Pass Series Racing News
New Names Abound in Early PASS South Registration
Mar 5, 2008 - updated Mar 5th, 2008 12:33am
Web posted by
Charlotte, NC. --
(March 3, 2008) – With the 2008 Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South Super Late Model season opener just around the corner, many are wondering who might show up at the pit gates come March 22nd at Hickory (NC) Motor Speedway.
While names such as Lawler, Rowe, and Clark are all expected to be favorites for the PASS National Series crown, it’s the new names already showing up on the roster that have a lot of people interested. And, with 2007 PASS South Series Champion Ryan Lawler and leading race winner Corey Williams running limited schedules, those new names have an even better shot at showing up in the record books.
Tayla Orleans looks to be the first woman to ever qualify for a PASS South Series event at Hickory. The 15-year-old driver originally from Wrentham, Massachusetts began her racing career at the tender age of 7. Out of 120 races, Tayla scored 92 top 5’s with 31 of those being wins. Since 2006, Tayla has been competing in the Allison Legacy Series and in 2007 she went to victory lane four times at four different New England speedways. Tayla now resides in Randleman, NC with her family and will compete in select PASS South Series races while racing full-time in the Allison Legacy National Touring Series.
Strom Altman comes to the PASS South Series after a long and successful career racing in his home state of South Carolina. Strom began racing in the NASCAR Late Model Stock division in the early 1990’s at the now defunct Summerville Speedway. In 1997, the North Charleston, SC native moved into the newly created Late Model Supertruck division. Since then, he has become one of the most successful Supertruck drivers in South Carolina winning numerous races at the Florence Motor Speedway and the Myrtle Beach Speedway. Altman will be behind the wheel of Jesse Lynch’s Dodge Charger as they look to be consistent PASS South contenders.
Late in 2007 Riverview, Florida driver Perry Brown ventured into the PASS South Series and competed in the final three races. Brown wasted little time asserting himself, finishing in the top 10 twice. Prior to coming to PASS South, Perry raced in the ultra competitive Sunbelt Super Late Model division in Florida’s FASCAR. With top tens already achieved, Perry hopes to break into the top five, or better yet, PASS South victory lane.
Blake Lehr, like Perry Brown, also competed in the Sunbelt Super Late Model Series. In 1999, at the age of 8, Blake began his racing career driving a 345-pound, 11 horsepower Ultramax Go-Kart. By 2005, he finished second nationally on the dirt tracks of the World Karting Association, taking 4 state championships in Florida. In 2006, it was off to the Open Wheel Modifieds of the Gulf Coast Modified division. By 2007, Blake was racing full-time driving Super Late Models in Florida’s Sunbelt Series taking a win, a pole, and eight top five’s on the way to finishing fifth in points. And now, Blake Lehr and has family have moved from Florida to Waxhaw, NC ready to challenge for the 2008 PASS South Super Late Model championship.
Michael Pope comes to the PASS South Super Late Models having gained valuable experience in the Georgia Asphalt Series (GAS). 18-year-old Michael started his racing career in 1997 driving Go-Karts. From Go-Karts it was on to INEX Bandeleros and INEX Legends cars. He took 12 Semi-Pro Legends features wins in 2004 and decided it was time to move to GAS. By 2007, the Dubin, GA speedster was a threat every week taking a win at Peach State Speedway and finishing third in the season ending points. As of now, Michael plans to compete in seven PASS South Series events with a possibility of more.
Although Justin Wakefield has made several starts with the PASS South Series, 2008 will be different. Different because he plans on running all 14 events and challenging for the 2008 championship. It’s a goal the Woodstock, Georgia driver feels is achievable. Under the tutelage of Super Late Model legend Jody Ridley, Wakefield contended for the 2005 NASCAR Southeast Series championship, even taking the win in the final series event at Greenville-Pickens Speedway. Wakefield and his team hope their familiar #98 can find PASS South victory lane for the first time in 2008.
Without a doubt, one of the toughest Super Late Models to race anywhere in the country is the #5 Victor Ford owned by Richie Wauters. Wauters cars have gone to victory lane with a number of drivers, including J.R. Norris who won the NASCAR Southeast Series Championship for Wauters in 2005. This year, the #5 will be back on track with a Wauters behind the wheel. Spencer Wauters of Concord, North Carolina hopes to learn and at the same time take his dad’s #5 back to victory lane in the PASS South Series.
At 14 years of age, Ayden, North Carolina's John Stancill is one of the youngest competitors to join the PASS South Super Late Models. Like so many others, John began racing Go-Karts at the age of 5 and then made the move up to Bandeleros. John’s real success though came in the INEX Legends cars. In just his sixth race, John finished fourth in the 2006 Legends Nationals at Lanier National Speedway in Georgia. The 2007 season was the breakout year, though, winning 27 races en route to becoming the 2007 INEX Legends Semi-Pro National Champion. This year, John joins Mark Huff to compete on the full PASS South schedule as well as select Hooter’s Pro Cup events.
The final driver we profile is Altus, Oklahoma driver Keaton Feller. Keaton won numerous Bandelero and Legends events from 2002 to 2006. In 2007, Keaton raced in the ASA Challenge Series and was the GM Performance Parts Shootout winner at Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Keaton will no doubt keep a busy schedule in 2008. He will split his season racing Super Late Models and Trucks throughout the American Southwest. However, Keaton plans on racing in all three PASS South events that make up the PASS National Championship Series. Those races will be at Hickory Motor Speedway on March 22nd, Orange County Speedway on July 19th, and Greenville-Pickens Speedway on October 18th. The fourth PASS National Championship Series event will be held on September 21st at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, ME.
These are just a few of the new faces set to join the PASS South Series in 2008, but who else will join them at Hickory? You’ll just have to come and see for yourself!
For information on PASS, go to racewithpass.com or proallstarsseries.com. For more information contact Alan Dietz at 704-231-2039 or technical director Scott Reed at 207-625-3230.