Hickory NC – ( April 11)  Ben Rowe hung out at the front of the pack for the first 116 laps of Saturday night’s Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory (NC) Motor Speedway,  but on lap 117 he turned on the jets , moving past Lonnie Sommerville for the final time to take down the win. The Turner Maine hot shoe joined his dad Mike Rowe as an Easter Bunny 150 winner. Rowe also takes the early lead in the PASS National Championship standings as The Easter Bunny 150 was designated as round one of the four race series for 2009.

Jeff Fultz came home second with Aric Almirola third and Ryan Blaney all the way up from the 21st starting spot to capture fourth. Trey Mitchell, Hal Goodson, Clay Jones, Tim Nooner, defending race winner Corey Williams and Gene Kirella completed the top ten. Nineteen drivers completed all 150 laps, and twenty one of the thirty starters were on track for the checkers.

42 cars signed in at the back gate and 39 answered the call for time trials. Local hero Matt McCall posted the only sub fifteen second time to take the top spot with a lap of 14.933 seconds in David Stremme’s 35, edging out 2008 PASS North champion Johnny Clark’s lap of 15.021. Jeff Fultz, Ben Rowe, and Gene Kirella completed the top five. The top twenty were only separated by three tenths of a second, and they were all  locked in to the Easter Bunny on time.

It’s not often that you see talents like Jay Fogleman, Heath Hindman, Trey Mitchell and Ryan Blaney in the last chance qualifiers, but the deep field made cracking the top twenty extra tough. Ryan Blaney and Trey Mitchell each won a fifteen lap last chance qualifier to make the feature; Brad McCaskill, Jimmy Doyle, Jay Fogleman and Brad Bischoff all locked in through the LCQs as well. Justin Wakefield and Heath Hindman received PASS South provisional spots, and Adam Bates received the PASS North provisional.  David Pollen Jr. completed the thirty car field via a promoter’s option.
Rowe pulled the number one spot at the top ten redraw, and Clay Jones drew number two for the outside pole. Lonnie Sommerville, Devin Jones, Aric Almirola, fast timer Matt McCall, Gene Karilla, , Johhny Clark, Hal Goodson and Jeff Fultz filled out rows two through five.

Rowe took command at the drop of the green but Lonnie Sommerville quickly came up to challenge Rowe, taking away the point on lap eighteen.  Aric Almirola slipped past Rowe for second and took the lead on lap 31 when Sommerville bobbled coming off turn four. Rowe decided he liked the view from the front of the pack and took back the point on lap 36. Title contender Justin Wakefield’s bad day got even worse when engine problems sidelined the Georgia speedster to end his day 30th.

It was a seesaw battle amongst the leader with Rowe, Almirola and Sommerville taking turns racing side by side and swapping the lead.  At the half way mark it was Rowe, Sommerville, Jeff Fultz, Almirola, Matt McCall, Ryan Blaney, Johnny Clark, Corey Williams, Clay Jones and Trey Mitchell. Somerville had the advantage on the restart though, with Rowe, Amirola, Fultz and Matt McCall all in hot pursuit as the laps wound down. McCall’s shot at the win ended on lap 114 with a flat right front. Rowe took control for the final time at lap 117 and quickly opened up a margin on Sommerville in second. The final caution at lap 141 saw Sommerville’s shot at his first PASS win come to an end when he came to the pits with front suspension issues. Rowe raced under the checkers first for the second time in as many PASS south starts. The official margin of victory was .564 seconds.

PASS North will kick off their 2009 campaign on Sunday April 190 at Speedway 95 in Hermon Maine. Race number three for the PASS South super late models goes green on Saturday April 25th at Orange County Speedway in Rougemont North Carolina.

For more information visit PASS on the web at www.proallstarsseries.com or www.racewithpass.com .
Unofficial order of finish – PASS South Easter Bunny 150 – PASS National Championship round one- Hickory Motor Speedway – Hickory NC – April 11, 2008
1. Ben Rowe
2. Jeff Fultz
3. Aric Almirola
4. Ryan Blaney
5. Trey Mitchell
6. Hal Goodson
7. Clay Jones
8. Tim Nooner
9. Corey Williams
10. Gene Kirila

11. Johnny Clark
12. Mark Gibson
13. Ryan Moore
14. John Batten
15. Heath Hindman
16. Bradley McCaskill
17. Preston Peltier
18. David Pollen
19. Michael Pope
20. Adam Bates

21. Devin Jones
22. Lonnie Sommerville
23. Brad Bischoff
24. Matt McCall
25. Jimmy Doyle
26. Spencer Wauters
27. Jay Fogelman
28. Cassius Clark
29. Alex Fleming
30. Justin Wakefield