Southern Super Series Mobile Debut



It’s finally here!

After months of anticipation, the Southern Super Series will make its official debut at Mobile International Speedway this Saturday night for the Miller Lite 125.

While virtually the same Super Late Model action seen at Mobile and Five Flags Speedway in recent memory, the division is now highlighted as one stop in the 16-race, five-track Super Series that also includes Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, Gresham Motorsports Park and Montgomery Motor Speedway.

Saturday night’s race is the first of four visits the Series will make to the Gulf Coast this season with the promise of more-impressive fields, longer races and bigger purses.

As one might expect, the more organized Super Late Model division is already tracking an interest from some of the most recognized names in motorsports — and some familiar ones too. Fans at Mobile International Speedway have watched Kyle Benjamin grow before their very eyes, watching him win Pro Late Model races at age 13 and his first Speedway Super Late Model victory one year later.

And most recently, they witnessed his most prestigious accomplishment yet, scoring a second-place finish in his ARCA Racing Series debut at Mobile in the ARCA Mobile 200 in early March. Despite hailing from Easley, S.C., Benjamin is right at home on the Gulf Coast, a fact not lost on the popular 15-year-old.

“For whatever reason, Mobile just really suits my driving style,” Benjamin said. “We’ve had a lot of success there and I always enjoy coming to it. And now with the luck we had in the ARCA race, it’s just another reason why this race is one of the more special places I go to each season.”

Benjamin joins a stacked entry list that also includes Southern Super Series championship leader Andrew “Bubba” Pollard and the most recent winner in the Series — Augie Grill (Montgomery 125). Pollard holds a 23-point lead over Daniel Hemric heading into Friday night’s race in Pensacola with Grill only 69 points behind.

But one of the more fascinating aspects of the Super Series is one-off drivers like Benjamin, who are not running for the season championship attempting to steal headlines away from the regulars. On Saturday night, that will include a pair of second-generation drivers in Ross Kenseth and John Hunter Nemechek – both whom carry impressive recent Super Late Model victories over the past calendar year.

While not running for the season championship, Kenseth, the son of 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Matt, appreciates the platform Super Late Model drivers are receiving with the unified league of racetracks. For Kenseth, it’s just another step for young prospects on the NASCAR ladder system — a road he is still traveling himself.

“It’s really beat to have an organized Series come together for some of the tracks the other tours don’t visit,” Kenseth said. “I like to race on as many different tracks as possible and so it’s definitely a positive sign that short tracks are banding together like this for the Series regulars.”

So while the rest of the world celebrates speed in various forms across Monaco, Indianapolis and Charlotte, the most-exciting racing of the weekend will be contested in the Gulf Coast this weekend and at Mobile International Speedway starting at 7 p.m.

The undercard is also stacked with the Alabama Pipe and Supply Modifieds, Bob’s Speed Shop Sportsman and Island Motors II Bombers.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, students under 19 and military. Children 6-11 get in for $5 and five-and-under are free when accompanied by adult.

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