LOCAL HOTSHOES READY TO SHINE IN PASS SOUTH AT SOUTHERN NATIONAL
Renovated Track Also Brings With It Lots of Added Excitement
Much of what makes dirt late model or sprint car racing series across America successful is the fact that the traveling series’ stars take on the track regulars at many of the facilities they race at. This time that same excitement will translate to the pavement when the Pro All Stars Series goes to bat against the track hotshoes of Southern National Raceway Park in, what can only be described as, a “turf war.”
PASS South invades the newly renovated Southern National Raceway Park in Kenly, North Carolina, on May 21st for the “Southern Sizzler” event. It’s the second Super Late Model event of the season for PASS South in its inaugural season below the Mason Dixon line. This time, the local boys will be trying to steal the $5,000-to-win, 150-lap race on the home turf.
Southern National’s David Clark has been the “leading-man” at the track so far this season. He led the Super Late Model standings at the track by winning both main events held as of May 5th. The Clayton, North Carolina-native holds a slim lead over 2005 Track Champion John Batten. Other regulars at the Southern National include USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series Rookie of the Year contender Jeremy Pate and Southern Super Late Model ace Eddie Massengil. Several of the track’s regular
Kevin Floars is one of the local drivers that is planning to compete in the PASS South race at Southern National. (Paul J Robinson Photos)
drivers are expected to enter the event and challenge some of the biggest stars of the Southern Super Late Model world, including Travis Kittleson, Freddie Query, Jason Hogan, Dennis Schoenfeld, Dean Clattenburg, Ricky Marshall and others.
“We normally have about 15 or 16 guys that race at the track on a regular basis,” said track champ John Batten. “I think almost all of them are planning on running the PASS South race. I think it should be a pretty good race with all of the cars that we’ll have there. When you put 30-plus cars on this track, it is going to make a good field of racecars and a good race.”
“It’s a good deal that someone has jumped on board and put a series like this together because the Southeast has had a need for it,” said two-time Southern National winner in ’06, David Clark. “They are bringing in the best teams in the country in these cars. Honestly, Freddie (Query) is one of the best in the region, if not the best in the country in these type of cars. I think it is going to be a great, great race and hopefully we’ll be able to defend our turf.”
Kenly’s Southern National Raceway Park is a different sort of track. The track is 4/10 of a mile, has 17-degree banking in the corners and is banked seven degrees on the straight-a-ways. The question is, will the regulars have any sort of an advantage?
“The biggest thing about Kenly is the banking,” said Clark. “It’s got a good bit of banking and you would think it would have good grip, but there is no grip there. Whoever can get the car to grip the best and whoever comes off the corner the best is going to be the fastest.”
“We might have an advantage,” said Kevin Floars, who is third in the track’s Super Late Model standings this spring. “I know my way around the track a little bit better than someone who is doing it for the first time and Kenly is a difficult track to get a handle on. Those guys shouldn’t have too much of a problem because they are all great drivers, but I hope we have a little home-field advantage.
David Clark (#34, top) and John Batten (#48, bottom) are the top two in points at Southern National Raceway Park in the Super Late Models.
“I’d say if they (PASS South) had 30 cars at Hickory, there should probably be 35 to 38 at Kenly. I’ve raced against a lot of those guys before at Concord (Motorsport Park, NC) in the old Big 10 Series. I think it will be fun to race against those guys from the North that come down too.”
The full race day schedule for the Southern Sizzler will be announced soon. There will be a practice day for the PASS South cars on Saturday, May 20th, while time trials, heat races and the 150-lap main event will be held on Sunday, May 21st (the day after the Nextel All-Star race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway).
For more information on the PASS South Series, contact Jeremy Troiano at DSG by calling (704) 455–2051 and be sure to visit the official website of PASS, www.proallstarsseries.com.