CHARLOTTE, NC (July 8) – There are a few weekends in racing that are marked on all real race fans calendars; the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500, the Grand Prix of Monaco, the All-American 400, the North-South Shootout, and the Snowball Derby. NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula One, or short track, you name it, those races conjure memories of great racers winning at the pinnacle of their respective disciplines. In 2008 the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) hopes to introduce an equally prestigious race to the motorsports landscape. On July 19th at Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, NC, some lucky racer will go down in history as the first winner of the Southern Sizzler 200. But, how did it come to be and what will it offer to the fans?
When PASS President Tom Mayberry first came to Orange County Speedway in 2006, he fell in love. Despite the fact that there were only 17 cars there for that first race, Mayberry saw something in Orange County.
“I don’t know what it was. As soon as I saw the racetrack, I knew that PASS had potential there,” said Mayberry. “I love the people, the track, the facility, everything. Ever since that first race, things have just gotten bigger and better at Orange County and I felt like it would be a great place for the Southern Sizzler.”
With the PASS 400 at Beech Ridge (ME) in September and the Mason-Dixon at South Boston (VA) in October, the summer was prime for a major PASS event. Couple that with the fact that PASS started the PASS National Series this year and the Southern Sizzler was born. Not since the NASCAR Nationwide Series last raced at Orange County in the 1990’s has the track seen an event this big.
“It’s clearly the biggest event we’ve had here since we re-opened in 2006,” said Track Director of Operations Kim Foushee. “These PASS guys have just put on some great races here and our fans love it. We can’t wait to have the PASS North guys here and everyone else from around the country. It’ll definitely be a great race.”
Now, what is it about the Southern Sizzler that’s going to be so great for the fans? As we said earlier, this race will be the second race of the four races that make up the PASS National Series. The first race of the series, the Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory (NC) Motor Speedway, attracted nearly 50 cars and was won by PASS South points leader Corey Williams. The Southern Sizzler’s nearly $50,000 purse is expected to bring at least 50 Super Late Models with the winner taking $10,000 home with them.
As always, everybody likes to think their region has the best race car drivers in it. That’s what fans of PASS have thrived on for years. The Southern Sizzler provides a great opportunity for fans to see Pass’s version of the Civil War. In addition to PASS South regulars like Williams, Alex Haase, Heath Hindman, and Justin Wakefield, a great field of PASS North drivers have already entered including Ben Rowe, Mike Rowe, Cassius Clark, DJ Shaw and Adam Bates. Those are just some of the PASS drivers expected. Other drivers who are already planning to compete in the Southern Sizzler are Jeff Fultz, Jason Hogan, Zach Stroupe, Grant Enfinger, Logan Ruffin, Jeff Choquette and many others.
“We believe this could be one of the best fields we’ve ever assembled for a PASS race,” said Mayberry. “The fans love it when the North and South guys go at it and when you throw some surprises in there; nobody knows who could win this thing.”
This will be the first time the PASS Super Late Models have ever run more than 150 laps at Orange County Speedway. The extra 50 laps will not only put a premium on tire conservation, but whether or not to conserve tires or not. The Southern Sizzler will feature live pit stops giving competitors the option of changing up to four American Racer tires and taking on Sunoco Racing Fuel. While some drivers may try to conserve and not pit, others will gamble on going all out and taking full advantage of the pit stops.
An exciting addition to the Southern Sizzler weekend is the Tag-Out Late Model Stock cars. The Tag-Out Late Model Stock cars will race for 150 laps with $3,000 going to the winner. Track regulars like Deac McCaskill and Stacy Puryear will be among the favorites, but again there could be new characters to add to the list of players. South Boston, Motor Mile, and several other tracks will not be racing Late Model Stocks that weekend and the Southern Sizzler would provide a great opportunity for those drivers to get some major exposure from the short track racing media.
“I think you will definitely see a good field of Tag-Out Late Model Stocks show up for this one,” said Foushee. “The fans love the Tag-Out Late Model Stocks and I just think you can’t find a better ticket in racing when you pair these cars up with the PASS Super Late 3230Models.”
No doubt, while there will be two drivers taking home checkered flags, the fans will be the true winners at the Southern Sizzler.
For information on any PASS division go to racewithpass.com. For PASS South marketing or media questions contact Alan Dietz at 704-231-2039 For technical information contact Scott Reed at 207-625-