MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – A lot has changed since Super Late Models last raced at Myrtle Beach Speedway in 2004.
The headline division for that event was the old All Pro Series, which no longer exists. And the Pro All Stars Series (PASS), which will sanction this weekend’s Inaugural Bash At The Beach, was just gaining strength in New England and would not start as the south’s premier Super Late Model division for another two years.
And, even more telling, young PASS South talent competing this weekend like John Hunter Nemechek, Tate Fogleman, and Cole Timm were just getting ready for elementary school back in 2004.
PASS South’s first visit to Myrtle Beach will certainly prove to be one of the toughest challenges teams will face all year. By short track standards, the .538 mile D-shaped layout of Myrtle Beach Speedway will be by far the biggest track PASS South competes on all year. But, Myrtle Beach is perhaps more famous for its abrasive surface which chews up tires lake a cheese grader.
Daytona Truck Series winner Johnny Sauter returns to PASS at the Bash At The Beach driving his family-owned No. 5, a tribute to his father, Jim Sauter. A win at Myrtle Beach would be nothing new for the Sauter family. After all, Johnny’s older brother Tim won a thrilling All Pro Series race at the track in 2001, crossing the finish line with a flat tire.
“I know there is a lot history behind the speedway, but I’ve never gotten to race there myself,” said Sauter. “Tim raved about the place and said we should go and try to win us a race. I just really enjoy PASS. It’s a no BS series with a bunch of great drivers. When I race with PASS, it’s fun to just get out there and race and have a good time.”
Defending PASS National Champion Jay Fogleman will undoubtedly have the most experience of any driver in Saturday night’s field at Myrtle Beach. Fogleman drove Late Model Stocks there in the late 1980’s and 1990’s, winning the prestigious Myrtle Beach 250 in 1996. He also finished in the top five twice in the Hooters Pro Cup Series at the track. But no matter what type of car he’s in, Fogleman knows winning the Bash At The Beach will come down to one thing – tires.