CHARLOTTE, NC (September 19) – Following a history making event at the North Wilkesboro Speedway on Labor Day weekend the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South Super Late Models return to action Saturday, September 25th at the Hickory (NC) Motor Speedway for the fourth running of the Over The Mountain 150. With only two events left in the 2010 racing season, Ryan Blaney, Preston Peltier, and Andy Loden are separated by just sixteen points as the race for the championship heads to Hickory.
At 16 Blaney is the youngest of the three championship contenders, but don’t let his age fool you. After winning the 2009 PASS South Rookie-Of-The-Year Award, Blaney has stepped up his game, winning three races this season and has led more laps (249) than any other driver, good enough to top the PASS South points standings.
Peltier started the season off on a roll winning two of the first three PASS South events, including the prestigious Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory. However, Peltier has struggled in the last three races with a tenth place finish at South Boston (VA) Speedway being the best he could muster. There is room for optimism, though, for Peltier as he trails Blaney by only six points heading back to Hickory after his win there in the Easter Bunny 150 and having finished in the top five in two of the three editions of the Over The Mountain 150.
Perhaps the most optimistic driver coming to Hickory is third place points man Andy Loden. And why not? After all, he won three straight track championships there driving a Late Model Stock car from 2006-2008. In his first full season racing a PASS South Super Late Model, Loden has definitely made the short track community stand up and take notice. He won three straight races in the middle of the season and has won five Pro Photo Productions Pole Awards to lead all drivers. Excluding a 17th place finish at South Boston, where he was leading before falling out with mechanical problems, Loden has not finished any lower than third in the last seven PASS South events. A third place finish at North Wilkesboro (NC) Speedway coupled with 14th and 15th place finishes by Blaney and Peltier has allowed Loden to pull right back into the thick of the championship fight.
And it should be a fight indeed, as the championship contenders will have their hands full with a stout field of Super Late Model competitors vying for a chance to win the Over The Mountain 150. In eight previous PASS South events at Hickory Motor Speedway, an average car count of about 40 have shown up to tackle one of the nation’s most historic short tracks. The weekend will kickoff on Friday, September 24th with rotating practice for the PASS South Super Late Models, Allison Legacy, Legends, and Bandoleros. Practice will run until 7 PM and gates will close at 8 PM. On Saturday, pit gates will open at 1 PM with qualifying at 5 PM and racing at 6 PM.