FALMOUTH, Maine — Ben Rowe decided Easter weekend was a perfect time to take a road trip. 

Rowe will defend his 2009 Hickory Motor Speedway victory when he returns to North Carolina for the PASS Easter Bunny 150 at the storied track on April 2. The defending champion of both the PASS National Series and PASS South Series is the all-time winningest driver in PASS history with six total championships and 39 career victories. 

The decision to participate in the second of five 2010 PASS National Series events was a last-minute one. 

“Things have been kind of slow at work, and my father (inaugural PASS South Series champion Mike Rowe) decided we should go racing,” Ben Rowe said. “I figured, ‘Why not?’ He kind of got the whole thing rolling.” 

One year ago, Rowe led the final 34 laps to claim the checkered flag in the Easter Bunny 150. Perhaps not coincidentally, both Rowes — Ben and Mike — are champions of the event. 

“I don’t know what it is about that track,” Ben Rowe said. “I just like it. I really don’t know what it is. It’s old and there’s a lot of history there. The track (surface) is pretty worn out, so I think that brings the driver’s ability into effect a little more.” 

The Easter Bunny 150 marks Rowe’s second start with Mulkern Racing, the team he signed with in the offseason. He led at the halfway mark of his first race with the team — the Winterfest 150 at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway in January — before being caught up in a pair of wrecks and finishing 14th. 

Mulkern Racing will field a completely different car than it did at New Smyrna, bringing a Lefthander chassis with a crate engine to Hickory. 

“Anytime we can get out and do this before we get our season started up here in the north, it’s a good thing,” said Rowe, of Turner, Maine. “Just getting a chance to be around the guys, work as a team and get to know each other better is only going to help us.” 

The PASS North Series season begins April 18 at Speedway 95 in Hermon, Maine.