PASS SOUTH RESUMES SEASON AT SOUTHERN NATIONAL RACEWAY PARK
Another 150-Lap Event / $5,000-To-Win Show Expected To Bring Back SLM Stars
“New” might very well be the theme of the day when it comes to the May 21st Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South “Southern Sizzler” event at Southern National Raceway Park in Kenly, North Carolina.
The PASS South is a “new” series created by owner Tom Mayberry recently to help revive touring Super Late Model racing in the South. At the same time, Southern National Raceway Park (formerly known as Southern National Speedway) is under “new” management in 2006 and has a completely “new” look to the track and facility, making it a match made in heaven.
“I’m very excited about the race myself,” said new track owner R. Kirk Leone. “Picking a Sunday as raceday is a pretty cool deal and bringing the PASS South Super Late Models in will help build things for both the series and our track. Everything in this sport is about building and growing things and you can’t do that overnight. This track is new to me (Leone just took ownership of the track during the off-season), so I’m all about building and growing it into a place that has great weekly racing in addition to great special events. I think this relationship is something that can grow over the years and become a huge deal.”
There was a lot of close racing at Hickory during the PASS South opener. (Norm Marx photos)
The race will be even more exciting for locals, because in addition to getting to see some of the biggest stars in Super Late Model racing from the South and a handful of the top names from the PASS North, several local drivers are planning to enter into the event as well. Southern National Raceway Park is one of the few remaining tracks in the South that runs Super Late Models on a weekly basis.
“The Super Late Models have struggled in a way locally over the past few years,” added Leone. “I know Concord (Motorsport Park) tried with the Big 10 Series, but they don’t have that anymore. The past owners at Southern National were going to drop the Super Late Models this year if they kept the racetrack. I didn’t agree with that and I believe in trying to build that class. I think Super Late Models provide some of the best racing you’ll get to see. Their name says it all. They really are “Super” Late Models. I’m hoping that we can build a program locally and that if we bring in PASS South a time or two a year, that can help our local stuff too.”
Leone wears many hats. In addition to running the track, Leone also competes full-time with the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series Southern Division. He also owns R. Kirk Leone Builder, Inc., a successful custom home building company. He purchased Southern National Raceway Park in January and has worked non-stop on making improvements to the facility.
“When I visited that track earlier this year, I was so impressed that I came back and told everyone what a beautiful facility that Southern National is,” said Mayberry. “I think Kirk has done a fantastic job making his track into one of the best in the Carolinas, if not one of the best in the entire Southeast. After seeing the track, there was no doubt we were going to bring the
Ted Musgrave Jr. will return to action.
PASS cars there. Plus, they have a pretty strong weekly Super Late Model class, so that will attract even more.”
The weekend won’t only include PASS South Super Late Model action. In addition, the Pro Challenge Series will hold a 50-lap Regional/National event at the track as well. The Pro Challenge Series features 3/4-scale racecars that compete on tracks around the country as small as a quarter-mile to tracks just over a half-mile, including Bristol Motor Speedway. The Regional/National event is expected to draw some of the top names of the Pro Challenge Series, including National Championship point leader Terry Mathis, hotshot rookie Zach Stroupe and multi-time race winner Jason Burchard.
In addition, the hugely-popular and wild Redneck Racers (cross between a Street Stock & Hobby Stock) will hold a 25-lap race, as will the track’s 4-Cylinder class.
The PASS South season opened at Hickory Motor Speedway in April with rousing success. PASS North regular and three-time Oxford 250 winner Mike Rowe earned the victory over a stellar field of opponents that included former All American 400 winners Chuck Barnes Jr. and Jason Hogan and current Hooters Pro Cup point leader Clay Rogers.
The full race day schedule for the Southern Sizzler will
The Redneck Racers will be back in action as well.
be announced soon. There will be a practice day for the PASS South cars on Saturday, May 20th.
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.