CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Racers from across the country are busy counting down the days until the Pro All Stars Series super late model season opener at Dillon Motor Speedway.
The 14th annual Winter Meltdown 200 at Dillon on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 23 will not only mark the beginning of the PASS National Championship Series, but the introduction of a new body to the super late model racing landscape.
Wisconsin-based Five Star Race Car Bodies, a longtime supporter of PASS, has just introduced the new Gen 6 body, which more closely resembles the production Ford Mustangs, Chevrolet Camaros and Toyota Camrys. PASS and Oxford Plains Speedway have approved the new bodies for competition, which will compete alongside the existing bodies that are based on a 20-year-old design.
The new bodies, which are set to make their East Coast debut at Dillon for the Winter Meltdown, have racers and fans excited for the new season. One of those drivers is Maine’s Ben Rowe, who will be driving a Gen 6 Toyota. The former five-time PASS National champion agrees the time is right to spice things up a little on the grassroots level.
“I can’t wait to try it out, it’s a much needed change for us as a group to keep up with the times and it definitely looks pretty cool,” said Rowe. “This year with the new body, nobody knows the balance on the car that we are going to need just yet.”
Along with Rowe, a stellar list of drivers have gone to victory lane at Dillon, including two-time Winter Meltdown winner Ryan Blaney, as well as Justin Wakefield, Preston Peltier, Austin Theriault, Daniel Hemric, Tyler Church and Jared Irvan. In last year’s race, New Hampshire’s Derek Griffith started off his national championship season with a win at Dillon by holding off Ray Christian III and Rowe. Rowe hopes he can be just a little bit better this year and can join Blaney atop the Dillon Motor Speedway win column.
“Dillon has kinda grown into that big 200-lap race at the beginning of the year that we look forward to going to,” says Rowe. “Plus, for us New Englanders, it gives us a chance to get out of the cold and snow and get a jumpstart on racing.”
Rowe will be joined by several of his New England counterparts, including Griffith, Christian, Travis Benjamin and Mike Hopkins. Former PASS South champion Tate Fogleman has also filed an entry, along with Wyatt Alexander, Kodie Conner, Jody Measamer and Canadian J.P. Josiasse.