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Win The Rattler 250, ‘Enjoy’ a Unique Victory Lane Celebration

There are plenty of unique traditions for winners in auto racing. Whether it’s drinking the milk and kissing the bricks at Indianapolis, winning the grandfather clock at Martinsville or the sword at Bristol, some events have those standout moments every driver hopes to experience.

Similarly, there is a tradition awaiting the winner of the 48th Hardee’s Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway each year. However, it’s one that generates a variety of reactions from the fortunate drivers who win the race.

Part of the victory lane celebration each year is a photo opportunity with a rattlesnake. The tradition started in the early years of the race, held in conjunction with Opp, Alabama’s Rattlesnake Rodeo.

The Rattlesnake Rodeo is still an annual occasion, with this year’s event taking place on March 22-24. However, a rattlesnake will be awaiting the UARA National Series race winner on Sunday, March 17.

Some drivers have handled with photo with the slithery reptile with a smile on their face. Harrison Burton, who is now in the NASCAR Cup Series with Wood Brothers Racing, seemed hardly bothered after winning the race in 2018.

More often than not, however, winners are plenty apprehensive about taking the photograph. Last year, Bubba Pollard won both the Pro Late Model “Baby Rattler” 125 and the Rattler 250. It marked his second Rattler 250 win and his sixth Baby Rattler victory.

Even with all that practice, Pollard still appeared none too pleased to have the snake draped around his neck in celebration after last year’s win.

Photo credit: Ryan Nuttleman

Perhaps one of the most memorable victory lane photos from the Rattler 250 came courtesy of the most recent winner in the NASCAR Cup Series, Christopher Bell. Before his ascension up the NASCAR ladder, Bell made a handful of Super Late Model appearances during the 2015 season with Kyle Busch Motorsports alongside a packed schedule of dirt racing.

Christopher Bell Slices Through NASCAR Cup Series Field for Victory at Phoenix

 

That Super Late Model slate included a dominant performance in the Rattler 250, leading 203 of the race’s 250 laps to finish ahead of Casey Smith and Chase Elliott.

However, the lasting image from that event is not from the race itself. Instead, it is a picture of Bell’s reaction to meeting the rattlesnake in victory lane.

Oddly enough for one of the biggest Super Late Model events in the southeast, the driver who has won it the most is Wisconsin’s Ty Majeski. Majeski is a five-time winner of the race, including a streak of three consecutive Rattler 250 wins between 2020 and 2022.

Ronnie Sanders is a three-time winner of the race. Pollard, along with Augie Grill, Grant Enfinger, and Wayne Willard, are the other drivers with more than one victory in the Rattler since its inception in 1974.

Fans can watch on RacingAmerica.TV this weekend to see who will win the $25,000 first place prize and have their picture taken with the rattlesnake in victory lane. Subscribe to RacingAmerica.TV to watch all three days of the 48th Hardee’s Rattler 250 weekend.

-Featured photo credit: Racing America

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