SOUTH BOSTON, VA (May 11) – Ross Kenseth took the lead from Trey Mitchell on what proved to be the final restart of the night and was up front when it counted to win the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South Super Late Model event at Virginia’s South Boston Speedway. In a race plagued by a constant threat of rain, Kenseth’s third career PASS South Super Late Model victory came when the event was finally halted eight laps short of the finish due to a brief shower. Kenseth becomes the ninth different winner in nine PASS South events held at South Boston dating back to 2006.
“The track was damp and we both spun our tires real bad coming to the green flag,” said Kenseth of the final restart to take the lead from Mitchell. “Kyle [Grissom] got a heck of a jump and drove hard into turn one, we hit a little bit, but with 15 or 20 to go, that’s racing. This is a real fun series to run and they called it at the right time.”
Another strong field of 31 PASS South Super Late Models took time in qualifying with defending series champion Kyle Grissom reeling off a lap of 94.631 miles per hour to set fast time for the fifth time in his career. But, in the top 10 qualifiers redraw, Grissom pulled #10 and would have to start outside row five to begin the race.
On the initial start, Wauters’ Racing teammates Tim George, Jr. and Spencer Wauters made contact in turn two sending cars everywhere as they tried to avoid an accident. On the next restart, PASS Pro Late Model driver Trevor Noles got a good start and took the lead from Trey Mitchell exiting turn two. Racing was at a fever pitch as team spotters and their drivers were in constant communication monitoring a storm cell that was approaching the speedway. With about half the field strategizing that they needed to race hard to lap 75 when the race would be official, Mitchell felt it was time to go, making an aggressive three wide move around Noles for the lead on lap 31 as they passed the lapped machine of Bill Catania.
The caution flew for the fourth time of the race on lap 51 when Wauters and rookie Cole Timm crashed hard at the end of the back straightaway. As cars began to jockey harder for position with the halfway point approaching, a rash of accidents ensued damaging several cars, including perennial contenders Preston Peltier, Brandon Ward, and others.
By lap 75, the race was official with Noles back in the lead over Mitchell. At this point, the two drivers had clearly established themselves as the drivers to beat leading every lap to that point. The seventh caution of the night waved on lap 77 when Tim George, Jr. made hard contact with the turn one wall after a spirited battle with Kenseth inside the top five. By lap 82, Mitchell was continuing to stalk Noles for the lead and would take it from him with a bold move to the outside in turns 3 and 4. The car on the move was Peltier, who had made his way back into the top 10 on lap 89 despite severe damage to the right front after an earlier incident.
Back up front, PASS South points leader Jay Fogleman was making up ground in the bottom groove, passing Noles for second with 40 laps to go. Fogleman reeled the leader in, going three wide with Mitchell and the lapped car of Clete Caywood to take the top spot with 32 laps to go. Following a hard crash by Brandon Ward and Brandon Lynn in turn one on lap 119, Fogleman and Mitchell were set to duke it out for the lead as rain drops continued to fall on their windshields. On lap 126, Mitchell caught Fogleman for the lead. He faked high and then cut down low to bypass Fogleman for the lead entering turn three.
After the ninth caution flag of the night waved on lap 134 for another hard crash on the frontstretch between Jody Measamer and Caywood, eyes once again turned to the precipitation falling from the sky. PASS officials decided to allow each team to send a crew member out to wipe off their respective car’s windshields prior to the next restart.
Coming to the green, Mitchell and Kenseth spun their tires allowing Grissom to get to the inside entering turn one. As Mitchell slid back to fifth, Kenseth edged out Grissom to take the lead. The final caution flag of the night would wave on lap 142 when Mitchell and Alex Fleming made contact while battling for fifth causing a chain reaction that saw John Batten spin in turn three and Noles spin into the inside wall on the frontstretch.
As the rains returned, PASS officials determined that the track was too wet to continue. The checkered flag waved over Kenseth and the race was called official eight laps shy of its 150 lap distance. Following Kenseth at the finish were Grissom, Fogleman, Peltier, and Kyle Moon, making his first start for Brad Keselowski Racing. With Grissom’s second place finish, he closes to within six points of Fogleman for the PASS South points lead.
“This race was just about circumstances really, just what line you were in on restarts,” said Grissom. “I was running the bottom then it got wet and lost a lot of grip. It would have been nice to get that last restart in, I’m just glad the car’s in one piece with all the wrecks we had out there tonight.”
Rounding out the top ten finishers were Fleming, Kenzie Ruston, Spencer Davis, Mitchell and Powell.
The PASS South Super Late Models and PASS Pro Late Models will return for their next event on Friday, May 24 at the Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, NC.
PASS South SoBo 150 – UNOFFICIAL RESULTS
· Race halted at lap 142 due to rain
1. 25 – Ross Kenseth 142
2. 31 – Kyle Grissom 142
3. 4 – Jay Fogleman 142
4. 26 – Preston Peltier 142
5. 29 – Kyle Moon 142
6. 05 – Alex Fleming 142
7. 39 – Kenzie Ruston 142
8. 129 – Spencer Davis 142
9. 47 – Trey Mitchell 142
10. 104 – Kevin Powell 142
11. 8f – Tate Fogleman 142
12. 2 – Trevor Noles 140
13. 48 – John Batten 140
14. 57 – Cole Timm 135
15. 14 – Clete Caywood 133
16. 98 – Jody Measamer 133
17. 13 – Joe Ryan Osborne 131
18. 97 – Brandon Lynn 118
19. 62 – Brandon Ward 115
20. 33 – Roger Lee Newton 111
21. 41 – David Quackenbush 77
22. 5t – Tim George, Jr. 76
23. 8 – Joseph Mursuli 57
24. 30 – Jerrick Johnson 56
25. 45 – Mark Beard 54
26. 5 – Bobby Gower 54
27. 5w – Spencer Wauters 49
28. 18 – Bill Catania 48
29. 50 – Karl Weber 36