Monday May 30th, 2016 6:39PM

Casey Smith on pole for Southern Super Series opening Rattler 250

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KINSTON, AL - Texan Casey Smith set fast time for the Southern Super Series presented by Sunoco Super Late Model Hardee's Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway in Kinston, AL with a lap of 15.170-seconds around the 4/10-mile oval Saturday.

Smith will start from the pole in Sunday's Rattler 250, the first race of the 2014 Southern Super Series season.

"I figured if we got a top-five I was going to be really happy," said Smith after his qualifying run. "Because we put on one set of tires in practice, and it was the first set of (Hoosier F-45 tires) we've ever put on and I was a little bit free. But I was afraid to tighten it up too much and mess up the car for the race so I snugged it up a little bit. It still turned good and it had awesome drive off.

"I'm just really excited for the race," said Smith. "I just can't thank everybody at Port City Racecars enough for the help and all they've done to get me back to the top."

Smith, who wasn't sure what he had in his No. 99 machine before his qualifying run, was surprised by the result. It was Smith's first-career Southern Super Series pole, which is presented by Hamner Racing Engines, McGunegill Engine Performance, Progressive Racing Engines, RW Engines and Ford Racing Engines.

"My dad yelled at me over the radio that I was on the pole," explained Smith. "But I still didn't know what I ran. I knew it was pretty good, but I didn't think it was that good because I felt like I left a little bit out there. I didn't expect it to have all the drive off that it did, but I'm excited."

Michigan's Chad Finley will start on the outside of the front row in Sunday's Rattler 250, while Senoia, GA's Bubba Pollard will start third. Korey Ruble qualified fourth in a car that will be piloted Sunday by Suwanee, GA's Anderson Bowen, who was competing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway . Bowen will start at the rear of the field Sunday. Hunter Robbins rounded out the top-five qualifiers.

The Southern Super Series Rattler 250 will take the green flag at 2:00 pm CT Sunday.

Southern Super Series
South Alabama Speedway - Kinston, AL
Rattler 250 Qualifying - March 15, 2014

1. 99 Casey Smith 15.170
2. 42 Chad Finley 15.174
3. 26 Bubba Pollard 15.193
4. 29 Anderson Bowen (Korey Ruble) 15.215
5. 18 Hunter Robbins 15.219
6. 77 Ross Kenseth 15.236
7. 31 Kyle Grissom 15.266
8. 98 Daniel Hemric 15.345
9. 112 Augie Grill 15.349
10. 91 Zak Hausler 15.351
11. 8 John Hunter Nemechek 15.424
12. 41 TJ Reaid 15.457
13. 79 Kyle Bryant 15.497
14. 29 Stephen Nasse 15.500
15. 2 Donnie Wilson 15.524
16. 30 Bobby Knox, Jr. 15.53
17. 14 Chris Davidson 15.582
18. 12 Harrison Burton 15.642
19. 10 Johanna Long 15.805
20. 33 Steven Davis 15.833
21. 47 Allen Karnes 15.855
22. 83 Scotty Ellis 15.874
23. x2 Dennis Reno, Jr. 15.889
24. 1 Keith Cahela 15.902
25. 7 Casey Roderick 15.957
26. 43 Justin South 16.047
27. 5 Will Gallaher 16.269
28. 71 Kyle Benjamin No Time
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