PASS Racing

CHARLOTTE, NC (March 20) – Since the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) announced its expansion into the Southeast back in 2006, the Easter Bunny 150 has grown into one of the biggest Super Late Model races in the country. Regularly attracting 40-50 of the Nation’s top short track drivers, the Easter Bunny trophy is at the top of most racecar drivers Spring wish list. And, this year’s second race of the 2013 PASS National Series on March 30th should not be any different.

One would think a race that attracts Super Late Model racing’s best would favor veteran drivers. That was certainly the case in 2006 when New England legend Mike Rowe won over fellow veterans Chuck Barnes, Clay Rogers, and Scott Mulkern. But, that year’s fifth place finisher had something up his sleeve for the old timers in 2007. Texas tyro Ryan Lawler was impressive in the Inaugural Easter Bunny, but he was dominant the following year, showing that youth and speed could beat old age and treachery at legendary Hickory.

In 2008, youth once again prevailed when Maine’s Corey Williams took the checkered flag and launched himself into the national spotlight. But, by 2009, the veterans again showed they knew their way around Hickory totally dominating that year’s Easter Bunny 150. Not a single youngster that year led a lap as Ben Rowe claimed the win over Jeff Fultz and Aric Almirola. With all the wins that Ben and his Dad, Mike, have collected over the years, their Easter Bunny 150 triumphs rank at the top of their racing bucket lists.

“Just being Hickory is pretty huge for us up in Maine,” said Ben Rowe, a two-time Hickory winner. “Everybody likes to go there with the history of the racetrack and everything. You”ll show up there with 50 cars so when you can win at Hickory and beat the racetrack and 50 other competitors, that says a lot. I know there are 10-12 teams from up in Maine coming down to try and win that race.”

But winning at Hickory is anything but easy, whether young or old. The 60-year-old, .363 mile speedway has multiple grooves and can be quite tough on tires. A recipe that works well for Rowe’s driving style.

“Hickory’s all about patience, a lot of guys bring engines down with no power,” said Rowe. “A lot of taking goes on at Hickory and not a lot of giving. You’ve got to get around a good bunch of guys that know how to race and ride around for the first three quarters of the race and then race like crazy at the end.”

That combination worked perfectly for Preston Peltier in his 2010 victory and he lookeded to have the place figured out, seemingly cruising to another Easter Bunny win in 2011. But, on a late restart, youth prevailed when Florida’s Stephen Naase aggressively took the lead from Peltier and held on for the biggest win of his young career.

Matthews, NC’s Brandon Lynn hopes to emulate Nasse’s success. After all, Lynn is a past Limited Late Model winner at Hickory and is being guided by veteran crew chief David Pletcher, the same man who helped Nasse to victory lane. Lynn already has a fourth place finish at Dillon and sits in the top 10 in PASS South Super Late Model points, encouraging for the young driver as he heads into one of the biggest races of the season.

“Hickory’s one of my favorite tracks to run at and it’s a track we’ve got a lot of experience at,” said Lynn. “To work with Pletcher and to get any knowledge that he has, especially with a past at Hickory which has resulted in wins, I think we’re with the right guys and can get it done.”

As the PASS South Super Late Models head to Hickory Motor Speedway on March 30th, Kyle Grissom will definitely be targeted as one of the drivers to beat. He’s the defending winner of the Easter Bunny and is coming off of a thrilling come from behind win at Myrtle Beach. But, he won’t have to look far for tough competition. A strong group of Super Late Model racers will be making the trek down from Maine including Dillon winner Austin Theriault, PASS National points leader Joey Doiron, along with Ben Rowe and DJ Shaw. Other drivers who have already filed entries include defending PASS National Champion Jay Fogleman and his son, Tate, Georgia’s Spencer Davis, Brandon Ward, Zak Hausler, Bobby Measmer, Jr., and Karl Weber.

Action gets under way on Friday, March 29th with rotating practice from 3 – 6:30 PM for the PASS South Super Late Models, PASS Pro Late Models, and the brand new CCS Modified division. On Saturday, March 30th, pit gates open at 10 AM, with rotating practice for all divisions from Noon – 2:50 PM, qualifying at 3:30 PM and feature racing at 6 PM.