Naples, ME 7/16/09- This weekend thePro All Stars Series (PASS) South super late models s will make their one and only stop in the state of Tennessee as they tackle the ultra high banked Newport Speedway, just thirty miles north of the world famous vacation town of Gatlinburg.With twenty-five degree banking gracing the corners of the 4/10th mile oval there won’t be much time for vacationing once the green flag flies for the 125 lap event. Deemed to be one of the most physically demanding tracks on the tour, Newport Speedway presents new challenges unlike any other.
One of the main challenges that championship point contenders will have their hands full with will be fending off Newport Speedway locals. Veteran drivers Mart Nesbitt and Ed Surrett have each filed an entry and are expected to be in attendance. Youngsters Scott Patton and Jake Crum are also expected to make up the group of locals that will hope to defend their home turf. Last season Corey Williams, who finished second in the season standings just sixteen points behind eventual champion Alex Haase, got caught up in a wreck battling local racer Gary Helton. The two tangled and destroyed Williams’ racecar which cost him the 2008 championship as Helton went on to an impressive top five finish in his one and only start in the series that year.
Ben Rowe started the season out by winning back to back PASS South events at the Dillon Motor Speedway followed by a win at Hickory Motor Speedway has been winless since then but has built a comfortable yet reachable forty-six point lead over fourteen-year-old Ryan Blaney as Ben has not finished worse than seventh all year long. This may be the weekend that Rowe gets back to his winning ways as he has teamed up with Gary Crooks to pilot Crooks’ brand new Chevy Impala in three of the remaining six PASS South events after Rowe has raced his own older equipment the last two events. Prior to that Rowe’s PASS North team of Richard Moody Racing had made the long haul from the state of Maine for each of the first five PASS South events catapulting him to the top of the standings.
The driver who will have everyone watching him this weekend is the driver that has made the longest haul and has competed in every PASS South event since the 2007 season, Heath Hindman. Hindman and his TS Racing team will be in front of a home town crowd this weekend and with Newport Speedway being his home track on the tour, look for big things out of the #91 team. A couple of drivers who will pull into Newport with a ton of momentum on their side after each picked up a win in the Fourth of July weekend double header just a week ago are Jay Fogleman who won at Greenville-Pickens and Justin Wakefield who won at Hickory. Neither driver lead early or often but both showed their veteran knowledge of being there at the end gives you the best chance to win races.
Tickets still remain for the hottest event of the year at the Newport Speedway. For more information and directions to the eastern Tennessee facility visit their website directly at www.newportspeedway.com or call 423-623-2182.