CHARLOTTE, N.C. – In less than a week, the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South super late models and pro late models return to action at Orange County Speedway as part of the ninth annual Orange Blossom Special.
Orange County has provided some of the most memorable races in PASS South history and is a favorite stop for fans and racers alike. This year’s race will once again be a PASS Fan Appreciation event with special admission pricing featuring $25 per vehicle load up to 6 people or $10 general admission.
“The fans are what it’s all about,” said PASS President Tom Mayberry. “We wouldn’t be able to have all the great short track racing we have in PASS without the fans. Orange County has some of the best fans in all of racing and we thought that PASS Fan Appreciation at the Orange Blossom Special was a way we could give back to those who support us.”
With the semi-retirement of Jay Fogleman, the defending winner of the Orange Blossom Special, the focus has turned to a new breed of drivers competing for the PASS South title in 2014. Newcomers Tyler Church, Cole Timm, and Jared Irvan currently sit atop the championship standings and are only separated by 20 points. Church came on strong late last year, winning at Hickory Motor Speedway in September and in the Mason Dixon Meltdown at Southern National Motorsports Park in November.
Timm is one of the hottest young prospects in Super Late Model racing, coming within two laps of victory in the most recent PASS South event at Dillon Motor Speedway. Third-generation racer Irvan is in his first full season competing with PASS after a third place finish at Caraway last May and a runner-up finish to Ross Kenseth at South Boston Speedway in October. Fellow newcomers Tyler Dippel, Tanner Rumburg Trevor Noles, Brandon Setzer, and Matt Daley are all poised for good runs in the Orange Blossom Special after getting off to a slow start to begin the season.
While all of those drivers are relatively new to PASS South Super Late Model racing, an impressive list of even fresher faces will be making their first series’ starts ever this weekend at Orange County Speedway. Virginia’s Trey Jarrell will be piloting the Mark Reedy owned No. 12 in the Orange Blossom after an impressive debut in Super Late Models this winter in Florida.
Jarrell’s resume include Legends championships and the 2013 Late Model Stock Rookie Of The Year title at Motor Mile Speedway. Like Jarrell, Florida’s Joey Padgett is also a graduate of Legends car racing and plans to debut at Orange County. Padgett made a handful of starts last year in the PASS Pro Late Model division.
Canadian Steve Alpin will make his PASS debut at Orange County as a teammate in the Woodman Racing entry to veteran Kevin Powell. Alpin will be driving the car Jay Fogleman drove to victory lane in last year’s Orange Blossom Special. Brendon Bock will also be making the long tow down from Franklin Square, N.Y., for his first PASS South start.
Bock comes to PASS as a quarter midget and Legends champion in New York and made his Super Late Model debut earlier this year in Florida. Although not a complete rookie to PASS racing, Orlando’s Tyler Audie returns to PASS competition following his first career pro late model win two weeks ago in his native Sunshine State.
The entry list continues to grow daily for the South’s biggest Super Late Model race of the weekend. Local favorite Tate Fogleman carries the banner for Bull City Race Cars, while Raleigh veteran Joe Heigl takes the short trip to Orange County looking to build on his top five points standing.
Veteran Randy Gentry returns after his third-place finish to start the season at Greenville along with fellow Upstate South Carolina driver Ted Mickelson. Fellow veterans Brandon Ward, Jody Measamer, John Batten, and Jimmy Doyle have also filed entries as they look to build on strong runs in the past at Orange County this weekend.