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Pass Series Racing

Pass Series Racing News
PASS Fields Stacked With Big Names Heading To Hickory
Apr 7, 2009 - updated Apr 7th, 2009 9:26pm
Web posted by Alan Dietz

Charlotte, NC. --

For Immediate Release: April 7

The 2009 running of the Easter Bunny 150 is shaping up to have its strongest field of cars in the short four year history of the race. This weekend’s race will be the second of 14 races that will make up the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South Super Late Model schedule and will be the first race of the PASS National Series. The PASS National Series are four races set aside in the PASS North and PASS South schedules to determine an overall PASS National Champion. The PASS South Super Late Models will also be sharing the stage this weekend with the PASS Late Model Trucks and Allison Legacy Cars.

A strong contingent of PASS North Super Late Model drivers are making the trek down to Hickory including last year’s PASS National Champion, Cassius Clark. The native of Farmington, ME began the 2009 season without a ride, but will team with former three-time NASCAR All Pro Series Champion Jeff Fultz in a two car assault on winning the Easter Bunny 150. Other drivers making the trip down from New England will be Adam Bates and Ryan Moore as well as former PASS North Champions Ben Rowe and Johnny Clark. The two drivers have combined to win the last seven PASS North championships. Clark won last year’s title and also won the biggest PASS races of 2009, a $30,000 to win PASS North Series race at Wiscassett Raceway in Maine and a $10,000 PASS South Series event at the South Boston Raceway in Virginia. Rowe is the all time wins leader in PASS taking over 30 checkered flags and has won the PASS North championship four times. He has already taken a checkered flag in 2009 winning the PASS South season opener at the Dillon (SC) Motor Speedway back in March.

Perhaps the award for farthest distance traveled to race in the Easter Bunny 150 will go to Lonnie Sommerville. Sommerville is a veteran of the Carquest Maritime Series in Canada and will travel over 20 hours from his home province of New Brunswick to compete at Hickory. With veteran crew chief Gary Crooks tuning his car, Sommerville has a definite shot to become the first driver from outside the United States to win a PASS South race. Sommerville competed in two PASS South races in 2008 and scored top ten finishes at both Greenville-Pickens (SC) Speedway and at South Boston.

With the Easter Bunny 150 being contested on an off weekend for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the Hickory Motor Speedway will have a strong NASCAR presence in the grandstands and in the pit area. Among those in the pits will be Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing driver Aric Alimirola and Kevin Harvick Incorporated development driver Cale Gale. Almirola will be behind the wheel of a PASS South Super Late Model for the first time at the Hickory Motor Speedway, but it will not be his first trip to Hickory. Almirola raced at Hickory and several other short tracks in the Carolinas while racing in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series. Gale made his first PASS South start last year at the Caraway Speedway, but cut his teeth racing Super Late Models in Florida and Alabama. Experience is always key when it comes to racing at the Hickory Motor Speedway and perhaps no one attempting to make the Easter Bunny 150 will have more experience at Hickory than former UARA-Stars Late Model Stock champion Matt McCall. Although this will be his first time in a PASS South Super Late Model, McCall is a former track champion at Hickory and has won several races there in NASCAR Whelan All American Series and UARA-STARS competition. McCall will be driving a car owned by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Stremme.

Despite a strong field of drivers from outside the Southeast at Hickory, PASS South will be represented by a strong field of talented regulars. Carolina racing veterans Hal Goodson, Jay Fogleman and “Big” Jim Kelley are accustomed to racing in big events and hope that experience will pay off with a win in the Easter Bunny 150. On the other side of the coin, PASS South has an extremely talented group of young drivers paying their dues and making their way up through the ranks led by Ryan Blaney, Spencer Wauters,Devin Jones, Tayla Orleans, Bradley McCaskill, Alex Fleming, and Clay Jones.

Perhaps PASS South’s best chance of keeping the Easter Bunny 150 at “home” will be from the drivers that topped the 2008 point standings. Despite being a native of Maine, Corey Williams returns to PASS South as the defending winner of the Easter Bunny 150 and finished second in the 2008 title chase. Florida’s Perry Brown will also be returning after a win and a third place finish in PASS South points in 2008. While Williams and Brown are not planning on competing for the 2009 PASS South championship, last year’s other contenders are back for a run at the title and a looking to win at Hickory. Georgia’s Justin Wakefield scored two wins in 2008 and kicked off the 2009 season by finishing second at Dillon. North Carolina’s Mark Gibson had the fastest lap at Dillon and looked to have a shot at the win until a flat tire took him out of contention. Tennessee’s Heath Hindman could have the strongest chance at contending for the win in the Easter Bunny 150 since he already has a win at Hickory. Hindman took his only PASS South victory to date at Hickory in the 2007 Over The Mountain 150.

The PASS Late Model Trucks are also creating a lot of buzz as they prepare for the Lucas Board Plumbing 75 at Hickory this weekend. Dillon winner Hal Goodson returns along with PASS Late Model Truck point leader Grant Davidson, former Hickory regular Ben Ebeling, and Pro Challenge graduates Clint King and Meghan Dillner. A strong contingent of Hickory Motor Speedway SuperTruck regulars is also expected as they try to defend their home turf.

Action kicks off on Friday, April 10th with rotating practice from 3 PM to 7:30 PM for the PASS South Super Late Models, PASS Late Model Trucks, and Allison Legacy Cars. On Saturday, practice will start at noon, qualifying will be at 4 PM, and racing will start at 6 PM. In addition to the 4th Annual Easter Bunny 150 for the PASS South Super Late Models, the Allison Legacy Cars will race for 50 laps and the PASS Late Model Trucks will compete in the Lucas Board Plumbing 75. Hickory Motor Speedway is located just off US Highway 70 in Hickory. For more information, call Alan Dietz at 704-231-2039 or go to hickorymotorspeedway.com or racewithpass.com. For technical information on any PASS divisions contact Scott Reed at 207-625-3230.


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