CHARLOTTE, N.C. – As the remnants of a major winter storm finally disappear in the Southeast, Pro All Stars Series (PASS) super late model and pro late model teams up and down the East Coast are making their final preparations for the kickoff to the much anticipated 2014 racing season.
It all starts with two big weekends of racing in the state of South Carolina.
On March 1, the season gets under way in the upstate with the Fox Carolina 150 at the legendary Greenville-Pickens Speedway. Not only will it be the first race of the year for the PASS South super late models and PASS pro late models, but it will also be the first of six PASS National Championship events. The Fox Carolina 150 will bring together the best of the Southeast, such as two-time defending PASS National champion Jay Fogleman, to compete against top New England short trackers like Joey Doiron and former PASS National champions Cassius Clark and Ben Rowe.
Then, just a week later, the PASS South super late models and PASS pro late models head east to the Palmetto State’s Pee Dee Region and the Dillon Motor Speedway for the ninth Annual South Carolina Clash. Built and configured in the 1960’s by Harold Brasington, the father of nearby Darlington Raceway and Rockingham Speedway, Dillon has proven to be one the most challenging speedways on the PASS circuit. Some of the best PASS has had to offer over the years have managed to tame Dillon Motor Speedway. Drivers like Ryan Blaney, Ben Rowe, Justin Wakefield, Preston Peltier, and Austin Theriault.
But, about the only thing Greenville-Pickens Speedway and Dillon Motor Speedway have in common are that they are both located in South Carolina. Greenville first held stock car races in 1946 and has operated every year since with the exception of 1953. Dillon was one of the most popular speedways in the Carolinas throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s, but was shuttered for nearly 30 years before Ron Barfield reopened the track in 2007.
While Greenville-Pickens measures in at over a half-mile and Dillon is four tenths, the horsepower advantage does not translate. Greenville’s long and extremely flat corners will put handling at a premium over 150 laps for the PASS short trackers, while Dillon’s newer asphalt and banked turns tends to make the PASS engine gurus smile.
With the Fox Carolina 150 at Greenville-Pickens and the ninth Annual South Carolina Clash at Dillon on back-to-back weekends, the two challenging South Carolina ovals will become an even bigger test for North America’s top short track racers. But besides the PASS super late model and PASS pro late model racers who will get to see Winter’s hard work and long hours in the shop pay off by visiting victory lane, the real winners over the next couple of weeks will be the PASS fans.
South Carolina drivers headline those pre-entered for the Fox Carolina 150 including defending Greenville-Pickens Speedway track champion Anthony Anders and PASS veterans Randy Gentry, Clete Caywood, and Jody Lavender. Other drivers currently pre-entered for the Fox Carolina 150 include Super Late Model champions Travis Braden and Daniel Hemric, PASS North championship runner-up Joey Doiron, two-time PASS South winner in 2013, Tyler Church, third generation racers Jared Irvan and Tate Fogleman, veterans Brandon Ward, John Batten, Jimmy Doyle and Jody Measamer, and 2014 PASS South rookie contenders Trevor Noles, Brandon Setzer, and Matt Daley.