For most of the off-season, the Northeastern-based teams of the PASS Super Late Model Series had the date of April 29th circled in red on their calendars. That is when Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway opens it pit gates for the first PASS North race of the season.
In the past few months, though, that has changed for many of the top teams on the tour. PASS has founded a Southern division that begins with the Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory Motor Speedway on April 15th. Maine’s Cassius Clark, Mike Rowe, Scott Mulkern and Corey Williams have made their intentions to compete in the race known.
The lure of a big springtime event deep in the heart of racing country is hard to resist.
“It’s the right time of year,” said Mulkern. “I’ve been puttering around all winter. I think that it is great that we are going down there.”
“That is definitely going to be an exciting event down there,” said Williams. “We’re looking forward to going down there and have been prepared all winter. We’re excited to be heading down there and we’ll see what happens.”
The race will pit the Northern invaders against some of the best racers in the South including Freddie Query, Jason Hogan, Clay Rogers, Travis Kittleson and Jay Middleton. Midwestern stars Chuck Barnes and Greg Boone.
Cassius Clark will be one of the Northern invaders this weekend at Hickory.
“It’s been a long time since Super Late Models raced at Hickory, so it should be pretty equal territory this time,” said Mulkern. “I’ve talked to Jason Hogan at Nashville and Gary Crooks, who helps out Travis Kittleson. They are all excited about trying to run some races. I know Dennis Schoenfeld from racing at Concord and he’s a good racer. I don’t know too many of the guys down there, but I know that there will be a lot of experience down there.”
“I’ve never been to Hickory before, but I’ve heard it’s a little rough, a little old and a lot of fun. I think we’ll put on a great show,” said Mike Rowe. “It’s going to be tough going down there, but those guys down South are fun to race with and those guys are going to be the ones to beat. That’s the fun part, going down there to try to beat Freddie Query and those guys.”
Having the best racers come together puts forth a good yardstick for both sets of drivers.
“You never know really how you stack up until you travel,” said Mulkern. “We’re up here in Maine in the middle of nowhere. They are in the hotbed of racing information. Hopefully we can get into having some combination events down the road.” ”
The race will also give the New Englanders a chance to make some headlines down South.
Clay Rogers wheeled the #2 car at Speedfest.
“We want to get down South and do some of these bigger races,” said Williams. “I want to get my name out there. I know that we can compete with those guys. We’ve got just as good of equipment as anyone else.”
The PASS Northern Tour has been around since 2001, when former driver Tom Mayberry started the series to fill a void for Super Late Models in New England. Now he is hoping to duplicate that with a successful Southern tour.
“It’s a great series [up in New England],” said Mulkern. “We came close up here to not having a place to race these cars and they were in worse shape down there [this past winter]. I give these guys in PASS all of the credit and I try to support it. They do a great job. It is very well-run series. I like the rules and they’ll have a good little tour down there.”
“I definitely think that this is a good step for the sport,” said Williams. “I think that this PASS Southern Series is shaping up to be the up-and-coming tour in the South. We hope to be a part of most of those races if we aren’t competing up here.”
Scott Mulkern is happy to see a series like PASS South come into existance.
Corey Williams and his new look #47 will be at Hickory.