A Night of Firsts Lands Hindman In Victory Lane In the “Over the Mountain 150”
HICKORY, NC (September 30, 2007) – Hickory Motor Speedway (NC) has been the site of many firsts when it comes to the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South Super Late Model tour in the last two years. Hickory was the site of the first ever PASS South race in April 2006 and saw Mike Rowe take the first checkered flag. It was the site of Ryan Lawler’s first-ever PASS South victory and he has turned that success into two more series wins since then.
On Saturday, September 29th, the firsts kept rolling in and Heath Hindman could not be happier about it. While the running of the “Over the Mountain 150” at Hickory saw drivers making their first PASS South starts and others leading their first-ever laps in Super Late Model competition, it was Hindman that scored the best first of all.
Hindman inherited the lead from Lawler, who was in search of his third-straight PASS South Hickory victory, with only seven laps remaining when Lawler suddenly slowed under caution in turn one. The terminal alternator problem that Lawler suffered became Hindman’s break as the Signal Mountain, Tennessee native held off PASS North young gun Trevor Sanborn over the final laps for his first-career PASS South victory.
“I don’t even know how it feels right now,” said Hindman. “It hasn’t sunk in at all. I don’t even know if it will on the way home. It’s been a long time coming, but we finally got a win. It’s probably been 10 years since I won any kind of race. The last 10 years I’ve maybe run two or three races a year, no more than a handful, before this year. This year, some guys started helping me and we got this car where it needs to be and it paid off tonight.”
Since Mike Rowe won that first PASS South race at Hickory in April of 2006, the historic 4/10-mile track had become a personal playground for Ryan Lawler. Lawler won last fall’s “Over the Mountain 150” at HMS and followed up with a victory in the “Easter Bunny 150” this past April. Lawler appeared to be in line for his third-straight Hickory victory throughout Saturday’s edition of the “Over the Mountain 150;” he led a total of 113 of 150 laps. He finally slowed in turn one under a lap 143 caution and that’s when Lawler’s bid for the Hickory three-peat stalled along with his point-leading racecar.
“We were just kind of riding, racing up front for the lead with Cassius (Clark), Dean (Clattenburg), and some other guys, but we had a really good car. That last green flag run before the caution, the thing started sputtering. I got on the radio, but I was thinking that maybe I was just hearing the gremlins or something. Then it started making some bad noises and I knew there was something wrong here. The guys said, ‘just run it ‘til it blows,’ but it didn’t make it to the next green flag run.”
Lawler’s misfortune was Hindman’s advantage. Hindman did not just luck into his first-ever PASS South victory; he proved he was going to be a threat by setting fast time in qualifying earlier in the day. Hindman started the feature from sixth after finishing in that spot in the Dash event and patiently worked his way to the front. In position to take the lead late in the race, Hindman graciously accepted the lead that Lawler handed over with seven laps remaining.
“I knew we had a fast car for a few laps, but I wasn’t sure if I’d have anything in the long runs the way that Lawler had,” said Hindman. “He had a good car, but we did too and got a little lucky.
“When he stopped under yellow, I knew it was mine for sure. I thought I might have gotten him on the track anyways. On that last restart, I could almost get up beside him. If I could’ve gotten beside him, I think I could’ve got him in the center of the corner. Now, that’s a ‘what-if.’”
The night of firsts began early in the 150-lap feature, as 14-year-old Zach Stroupe got out to a strong start from his outside-pole starting spot with his #51 Chevrolet to lead his first-ever PASS South laps. Another young star, PASS North Super Late Model standout Trevor Sanborn, scored his first-ever PASS South top-five in just his second-career start with his second-place finish. Sanborn, who drove the #29 Super Late Model, had a shot at Hindman over the final restarts, but was unable to gain that one more spot to make it to Hickory Motor Speedway victory lane.
“I got some really good runs there the last few laps,” said Sanborn. “I had a crate motor in there, so it was hard to stay with the #91 (Hindman). He kind of jumped the gun there a little bit, but what can you do? I figured I could hold him off for two laps on the outside because he was so tight in the middle that he couldn’t even go. I was so good in the corner that I could get down and he wouldn’t be able to stay beside me. He just got a little bit of a jump on that last restart and I couldn’t keep up with him.”
Kentucky native Brian Royalty, in his first PASS South start, scored a third-place finish in his first visit to Hickory. PASS South regular Preston Peltier finished fourth, while Cleveland, Georgia’s Jason Hogan rounded out the top-five finishers.
Corey Williams, who came into the “Over the Mountain 150” having won the previous three PASS South events in 2007, was involved in several incidents through the course of the event and had to settle for a 16th-place finish.
The PASS South competitors now have approximately one month to prepare for the series’ penultimate event of the 2007 season. “The Howler” at Greenville-Pickens Speedway (SC) will be the series’ next race on October 27th, which will be followed by the season-ending Mason-Dixon Meltdown at Concord Motorsport Park on November 16th and 17th.
For more information on the PASS South or PASS North Series’ please contact 51 Sports at (704) 788-2134. For more information on PASS contingency programs and for technical questions, contact Scott Reed at (207) 625-3230 and be sure to visit www.racewithpass.com for PASS South info, as well as the official website of PASS North, www.proallstarsseries.com.
“OVER THE MOUNTAIN 150”
PASS South Super Late Models
Hickory Motor Speedway
1. Heath Hindman
2. Trevor Sanborn
3. Brian Royalty
4. Preston Peltier
5. Jason Hogan
6. Tim Nooner
7. Perry Brown
8. Tom McCann, Jr.
9. Mark Gibson
10. Brian Payne
11. Brad Bischoff
12. Dean Clattenburg
13. Cassius Clark
14. Robbie Brown
15. Ryan Lawler
16. Corey Williams
17. Rick Frenette
18. John Batten
19. Alex Fleming
20. Allen Gordon
21. Spencer Wauters
22. Lee Tissot
23. Ted Musgrave, Jr.
24. Brandon Johnson
25. Darren Shaw
26. Bradley McCaskill
27. Zach Stroupe
28. Jimmy Doyle
Lead Changes: Six among five drivers
Lap Leaders: Zach Stroupe 1-3, Ryan Lawler 4-11, Dean Clattenburg 12-22, Lawler 23-53, Cassius Clark 54-69, Lawler 70-143, Heath Hindman 144-150
Fast Qualifier: Heath Hindman 14.796
Dash Winner: Preston Peltier
Heat Winners: Jason Hogan, Cassius Clark, Trevor Sanborn, Corey Williams
Last-Chance Race Winner: Rick Frenette