Experience Could Be Key To PASS South Victory At Wake County


CHARLOTTE, NC (May 5) –  Ever since the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) began holding races in the Southeastern United States in 2006, there have been those who doubted it could really work.  Super Late Model racing had dwindled down to only a couple of racetracks in the Carolinas, one of those being the Wake County Speedway in Raleigh.  Add to the fact that PASS would be implementing double-file restarts and would not count caution laps, many thought this would be a certain recipe for failure.  Move forward three more years and most of those doubters have joined the bandwagon that believe PASS offers the best form of Super Late Model racing in North America.  

And, PASS officials are still shaking things up.  In 2009, PASS started racing’s newest touring division with the PASS Late Model Trucks and slowly but surely the division boasts a growing list of talented drivers and dedicated fans.  Perhaps, the biggest gamble PASS has made since starting the PASS South division was in 2008 when the first Capital City Clash at Wake County Speedway was announced.  Despite PASS North having raced on ultra short tracks for years, many felt that Super Late Model drivers from the South would shy away from racing on a tight quarter-mile oval.  After all, Wake County is just one of a few quarter-mile short tracks in the South that contests races for Super Late Models.  Initially drivers were skeptical and only 12 PASS South Super Late Models showed up for that inaugural Capital City Clash.  But, in spite of the doubters, the 2008 Capital City Clash was a great race in front of a packed Wake County grandstand that saw championship contenders Alex Haase and Corey Williams fight their way up through the field to duke it out for the win.  Haase got the better of Williams for his first of three PASS South wins in 2008.


This year, PASS South heads back to the Wake County Speedway for the Second Annual Capital City Clash with over 20 Super Late Models registered thus far.  In addition, the race’s distance has been increased from 125 laps to 150 laps.  The entry list reads like a who’s who of short track racing and could come down to a battle of experience.  Current PASS South points leader and four-time PASS North Champion Ben Rowe along with fellow Maine driver Cassius Clark could be serious threats for the win thanks to their years of experience racing in New England at tracks very similar to Wake County.  Along those same lines, Tennessee driver Heath Hindman raced at the quarter-mile Huntsville Speedway in Alabama and finished third in last year’s running of the Capital City Clash. 


While those three drivers have experience at tracks similar to Wake County, there will be a large contingent of drivers who have actual race experience at the track itself.  As we said earlier, Wake County Speedway has featured the Super Late Models as their premier division for years and several drivers racing in the Capital City Clash have raced or currently race there.  “Big” Jim Kelley has won five Super Late Model track championships at Wake County over the years and began the 2009 season by holding off 2007 track champion Alex Fleming for the win in the regular season opener.  Both Kelley and Fleming will be joined by Bradley McCaskill and Clay Jones as drivers who once raced at Wake County and now are regulars with PASS South.

And, the list of experience does not stop there.  Despite having not raced at Wake County, veterans Jay Fogleman, Justin Wakefield, Michael Pope and Orange County Speedway winner Preston Peltier look to fall back on their years of touring division knowledge to propel them into contention for the win. 


Besides Ben Rowe, Jeff Fultz and rookie Ryan Blaney are the only other drivers to record top five finishes in each of the first three PASS South Super Late Model races of 2009.  Although Blaney is a rookie, experience could even play into his favor at Wake County.  Blaney raced INEX Legends Cars for years on quarter-mile racetracks similar to Wake County and has tested extensively there in preparation for the Capital City Clash.


Joining the PASS South Super Late Models at Wake County Speedway for the first time will be the PASS Late Model Trucks.  Through three races, Grant Davidson has won two of the first three races with his wins coming at Hickory and Orange County.  Those finishes have given Davidson a slight edge in points over Jody Measamer and Ben Ebeling.  Michael Cooper led several laps at Orange County until tire problems dropped him to a third place finish.  This weekend, several Raleigh area drivers are expected to race with PASS including Joe Heigl who looks to pull double duty with the PASS South Super Late Models and PASS Late Model Trucks.  2008 Pro Challenge National Champion Clint King continues to impress in his first season racing PASS Late Model Trucks scoring a career best second place finish at Orange County.  The PASS Late Model Trucks continue to grow and will compete along side the PASS South Super Late Models at the next two events before taking the month of June off when PASS South travels down to the New Senoia Raceway in Georgia.  In addition to the 2nd Annual Capital City Clash for the PASS South Super Late Models and the PASS Late Model Trucks, the Limited Late Models and U-Cars will be in action this weekend at the Wake County Speedway.


Action gets under way on Friday, May 8th at Wake County Speedway with pit gates opening at 1 PM, rotating practice for all divisions from 3 PM to 6:15 PM, qualifying at 7 PM, and racing starts at 8 PM.  Wake County Speedway is located just off US Highway 401 near Raleigh.  For more information go to wakecountyspeedway.com or racewithpass.com.  For marketing or media questions contact Alan Dietz at 704-231-2039 or for technical information contact Scott Reed at 207-625-3230