NAPLES, Maine – In two weeks, grassroots racers from across North America will converge on Richmond Raceway for the PASS Commonwealth Classic on Saturday, March 30.
For many, it will be the chance of a lifetime to compete on one of the most historic short tracks in the country. For others, it will be the start of the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) National Championship Series.
Now in its 12th season, the PASS National Championship Series is the country’s only national title to be awarded in super late model racing. With two national championship points paying races for the PASS super late models at Richmond, several drivers are looking to compete in both 75 lap races, each of which will pay $7,000 to the winner and $700 to start. One of those drivers is Ray Christian III, who will be competing in both races.
“I think being able to race at Richmond is awesome,” said Christian. “Any time weekly short track racers that are used to running on quarter-mile to half-mile ovals get the chance to run on the same track that the stars run on, you really feel like a superstar and I’m excited for it. It’s PASS’s first time at Richmond so I feel like that will make the competition really tight because no one knows what to expect. It’s definitely going to be a show.”
After competing locally in Connecticut and in sporadic American-Canadian Tour late model shows, Christian burst onto the national scene last year following a strong performance in Dillon, S.C., that saw him finish third behind PASS National champions Derek Griffith and Ben Rowe. Christian feels he and his team are ready to take the next step towards a championship beginning with Richmond.
“After our strong showing last year finishing second in national points as a rookie, we are definitely hungry to chase a national championship,” said Christian. “It’s definitely going to be a tough task. We came out of nowhere last year and nobody really knew who we were wherever we went. But I feel like now we’re definitely on people’s radar and they know that we are fast enough to compete for podium wins and a national title.”
The number of PASS super late models entered for the weekend has nearly reached 40, with more entries still coming in. PASS veterans Jody Measamer, Jared Irvan and Reid Lanpher are now entered, along with Virginia driver Collin Garrett and Brandon Watson. On the other end of the spectrum, Kyle Reid will be making the long tow from Alberta to compete, while Dan McKeage will be heading down from Maine and PASS National Championship rookie contender Devin O’Connell will be coming from Connecticut.
The American-Canadian Tour will be competing in a 65-lapper at Richmond Raceway and has 36 cars entered as of today with a host of heavy hitters. Former Milk Bowl winners Patrick Laperele and Joey Polewarcyzk are now entered, along with former Thunder Road champion and ACT winner Bobby Therrien. The tour-type modifieds will be making their return to Richmond for the first time since 2002, utilizing the popular rules package used at New Smyrna Speedway during Florida Speedweeks. North Carolina’s Bryan Dauzat has filed an entry along with Connecticut’s Jim Dolan and Kris Watson.
The grassroots racing action as part of the PASS Commonwealth Classic will be completed by events for the MASS Street Stocks and North East Mini Stocks, and both divisions have shown great support from competitors around the country. More than 30 Street Stocks are now entered from Maine to Florida, including David Cameron and Joe Gerrard. Frankie Kimmel will be looking to follow up a strong second place finish at Dillon’s New Year’s Bash, while Virginia’s Justin Brown and Vermont’s Adam Maynard will be looking for good finishes as well.
The largest field in North East Mini Stock Tour history is expected at Richmond, with more than 40 entries already filed. Drivers range from Maine to as far south as South Carolina and as far west as Ohio. Competitors will be racing for a minimum $1,000 to win plus bonus awards and $100 to start.