Sunday, March 17, 2019

Dream Comes True as Giovanni Bromante Wins 43rd Rattler 250

Giovanni Bromante emerged from his racecar victorious in his Super Late Model debut, winning the 43rd Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway on March 17, 2019. (Daniel Vining/PixelatedSPEED)

By: Daniel Vining, Twitter: @danielvining

OPP, Alabama (March 17, 2019) -- Giovanni Bromante drove to victory lane, winning the 43rd Annual Ratter 250 at South Alabama Speedway on Sunday, opening up the 2019 Southern Super Series season and completing a dream scenario in what was his debut race behind the wheel of a Super Late Model. To get there, Bromante beat two former Ratter 250 champions in Harrison Burton (2nd), and Ty Majeski (3rd).

Bromante made his Super debut after being out of any racecar for the past eight months following a nasty dirt bike crash in October 2018 that left the Anthony Campi Racing driver with an injured back.

“It was just a good day, the car was really good from the beginning,” said Bromante. “I can’t thank Anthony Campi Racing enough for giving me such a great piece. This is really just a dream come true to be in victory lane at my first Super Late Model race.”

Bromante was a contender throughout the entire race, leading the most laps in the event. He and Ty Majeski battled hard throughout the first 100 laps of the race, trading licks and using lapped traffic to pass each other.

“I timed it wrong and I hit him, and he repaid the favor,” said Bromante. “You know, that’s just racin’. I got by him and the car was really good so I was able to pull away and win this race.”

The middle portion of the race was dominated by Majeski, but the former Ratter 250 winner began to fade, relinquishing the lead to Bromante on lap 177. From there, Bromante checked out on the field until the waning laps, when defending Ratter 250 winner Harrison Burton made a late race charge, getting to the bumper of Bromante but failing to make the pass, allowing Bromante to pick up the checkered flag.

“I just raced my race, and it really paid off,” said Bromante. “The car was just so good from the beginning so I wasn’t really worried about anybody passing me because I knew I could get back by them. It was just a really great day.”

Harrison Burton, finishing second, had run in the top five all day long, but come up just shy of scoring a repeat win in this race.

“I was a lot of fun,” said Burton. “We came from the middle of the pack kinda like we did last year and eventually got up to second and started to try and ride and save tires. Gio took off for about the first 20 laps and then I started trying to run him back down and just couldn’t quite get back to him.”

While he didnt’ pick up the win, Burton was still very upbeat with the result, and the racing in general.
“It was a fun race and I was glad that I was able to come out here and race,” he said. “I’m so busy now with the Truck and ARCA deal… I miss Super Late Models, they are some of my favorite racecars to drive, for reasons like this.”

He added, “What a great race, and great crowd. We’re out here in the middle of Alabama and there are still thousands of people that come out to watch these races and cheer us on. I love the community around Super Late Models, I love the competition and I wish I could race them more often.”

Ty Majeski faded to a very distant third place, thinking there would have been more yellows that would have given him the opportunity to catch back up and mount a late charge.

“We just played our cards a little bit wrong,” said Majeski. “We just thought there was going to be another competition caution and it never came. I let Gio and Harrison go there with 80 to go or whatever it was thinking that they were gonna go racin’ and burn their stuff up and there’d be another yellow but unfortunately it never came.”

Touching on some other big names in the field…

  • Augie Grill’s day ended on lap 8 after contact with Dawson Fletcher in turn four sent Grill spinning into the inside wall. In the process, Kyle Bryant was jacked up by Logan Bearden, with the resulting damage causing Grill, Bryant and Bearden to drop out of the event.

  • The front row of the 43rd Rattler 250 consisted of 2014 winner Casey Roderick on the pole, alongside former Baby Ratter winner Stephen Nasse.

    Roderick seemed to be off the pace compared to his rivals during the first 100 laps of the race, ultimately pulling his machine behind the wall with drive train issues. Roderick won the Baby Rattler 125 on Saturday night.

    Nasse had a left rear tire come loose, causing him to spin out near the entrance of pit road, just as a caution for Austin Nason flew. Nason made contact with another car going into turn one on lap 105, and came to a stop at the exit of turn two. In the process of the caution, Nasse lost two laps getting his car down to the attention of his crew.

    “We had a left rear tire come loose and that’s why I spun out,” Nasse told Speed 51’s Koty Geyer.  “I needed a caution and we got that but I lost two laps trying to get the studs to strip.  Trying to make up that track position was almost impossible.  I thought I almost got a lap back but we ended up not getting it back and it’s just one of them deals where cautions never really flew when we needed them to.”

  • Bubba Pollard was a top five car the bulk of the day after starting in the third spot. Contact with another driver following the race’s final restart on lap 176 left Pollard with a left front tire rub. It wasn’t long before the 2012 Rattler 250 winner began to fall back, settling in for a disappointing 13th place finish.

The next race on the calendar for the Southern Super Series is on March 29, 2019 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida for the first Blizzard Series race of the year.

Official Results for the 43rd Annual Rattler 250:

1 81 Giovanni Bromante
2 12 Harrison Burton
3 91 Ty Majeski
4 14 Connor Okrzesik
5 17 Josh Brock
6 54 Jeff Fultz
7 24 Colin Garrett
8 21 Jeremy Pate
9 20D Jack Dossey III
10 50 Jett Noland
11 51 Stephen Nasse
12 34 Nolan Pope
13 26 Bubba Pollard
14 78 Corey Heim
15 10 Steve Dorer
16 4 Kyle Plott
17 14N Austin Nason
18 18 Casey Roderick
19 71 Dawson Fletcher
20 97 Steven Davis
21 20S Anthony Sergi
22 66 Logan Bearden
23 112 Augie Grill
24 79 Kyle Bryant

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