NAPLES, Maine – In just over a week, short-track racers from across North America will converge on Richmond (Va.) Raceway for the inaugural PASS Commonwealth Classic.
While a lot of the focus will be on the Pro All Stars Series super late models as they kick off the PASS National Championship season, that will be just a fraction of the nearly 400 laps of action fans will be able to see at Richmond next Saturday afternoon.
In addition to the PASS super late models, 40 ACT late models are currently entered, along with the return of the tour-type Modifieds to Richmond and first-time trips for the MASS street stocks and NEMST mini stocks.
Fifty mini stocks from up and down the East Coast are set to try and qualify for their $1,000 to win, 25-lap race. Like the ACT late models, the mini stocks will compete in heat races to set the starting lineup for the biggest field in NEMST history.
While top southern runners like A.J. Sanders, Shane Canipe, Michael Tucker and Jesse Yopp look to defend their home turf, Rochester, N.H.’s Josh Rheaume will be leading a strong contingent of New England 4-Cylinder racers.
“Being able to race at Richmond, as a mini stock racer, is unreal,” said Rheaume. “When the news came out, we knew we had to make it happen. Last year we struggled a bit with a new engine and chassis package, but ended strong with a podium finish at the World Series.
“We are beyond grateful for PASS stepping up to put on the show, and NEMST for working with them to allow us mini stock racers from all over the country another ‘once in a lifetime’ chance to race at a facility like Richmond.”
Like the mini stocks, a big field of nearly 40 MASS street stock racers are currently entered for Richmond and the chance to win $2,000 at the end of their 40-lapper.
Stantonsburg, N.C.’s Greg Barnette has won numerous street stock races over his career and multiple track championships at Southern National and on dirt at County Line Raceway. Since 2016, Barnette has been a regular with the MASS Street Stocks and is honored to have the chance to compete at Richmond Raceway.
“To come from such humble and simple racing roots to racing at a Cup track is unbelievable,” said Barnette, who will debut a new body and paint scheme on the BlackPearl Racing No. 8. “This is the big stage, this is where we want to shine bright as we battle the other stars of the Mid-Atlantic Street Stock series. It’s a long road from the Carolina dirt tracks and junkyards to the big city lights of Richmond.
“I hope to see our No. 8 on that huge scoring pylon when we pull through the tunnel with this car we built in a barn.”