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Hickory Looms Large In Record Books for PASS South
Sep 17, 2008 - updated Sep 17th, 2008 1:26pm
Web posted by Alan Dietz

Charlotte, NC. --

For Immediate Release: September 16 2008

It doesn’t matter who they are or where they are from; race car drivers want to win at Hickory. Nestled in the foothills of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, the Hickory Motor Speedway has played a huge part in the history of stock car racing. It is fitting that on the inside wall of the speedway it reads, “Birthplace of the NASCAR Stars.” Names like Ralph Earnhardt, Junior Johnson, Ned Jarrett, Bobby Isaac, and Harry Gant have all raced and won at the Hickory Motor Speedway. And, very little has changed about the .363 mile oval since it first opened with a red clay surface in 1951. Today’s present configuration still resembles the one that Curtis Turner and the like slung clay on adoring fans. If you look at archival film of classic races at Hickory, nothing is different with the exception of an asphalt surface and the outside wall that encloses the speedway.

So, when looking at all of the great battles that have helped create history at Hickory, you might wonder how the PASS South Series fits in. Yes, the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South Super Late Models have only been around since 2006, but it all started at the Hickory Motor Speedway. Maine legend Mike Rowe out dueled Kentucky’s Chuck Barnes to take the win in that first running of the Easter Bunny 150. The following year Ryan Lawler marched to the win in the Easter Bunny. Both Rowe and Lawler went on to win the PASS South Super Late Model championship. This year’s Easter Bunny 150 winner Corey Williams hopes to continue that trend.

While the spring race at Hickory has gone on to produce champions, September’s Over the Mountain 150 has produced both history and surprises. In the 2006 Over the Mountain 150, Lawler took his first career PASS South win. It was not that easy, though. Earlier in the day, Lawler and his Robert Hamke led team lost their primary engine in practice. The team regrouped, put a lower horsepowered crate engine in, and went on to take the victory in dominating fashion over Rowe and Preston Peltier. Last year’s Over the Mountain 150 started off with a whopping field of over 40 cars attempting to qualify for the 28 car starting grid. Contenders like Williams, Cassius Clark, Lee Tissot and others were eliminated through crashes and mechanical problems. Meanwhile, Lawler appeared to be on the way to a third straight win at Hickory. However, alternator problems late in the race knocked Lawler from contention allowing Tennessee’s Heath Hindman to take his first career PASS South victory.

The 2008 Over the Mountain is sure to be another historic battle at Hickory. Currently, the top five in points are separated by a mere 72 points. PASS South points leader Corey Williams hopes to get back to victory lane for the first time since the Easter Bunny 150 in April. Contenders Alex Haase, Hindman, John Batten, and John Stancill look to get in good runs at this weekend’s (Sept 20-21) PASS North PASS 400 Weekend before focusing on the Over the Mountain. It’s the third race of the four race PASS National Championship Series and they are all making the trip to Maine to duke it out in the PASS 300 for the $10,000 top prize.

PASS South Super Late Model action returns on Saturday, September 27th for the 3rd Annual Over the Mountain 150 at the Hickory Motor Speedway. Action starts on Friday, September 26th at Hickory for the PASS South Super Late Models with practice from 4 PM to 7 PM. On Saturday, September 27th, pit gates will open at 12:30 PM, qualifying will be at 6 PM, with racing starting at 7 PM.

For information on any PASS division go to racewithpass.com. For marketing or media questions contact Alan Dietz at 704-231-2039 or for technical information contact Scott Reed at 207-625-3230


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