Seven Dates Announced at Meeting, More to Come Soon
The Pro All Stars Series is breaking new ground. The successful northeast-based Super Late Model (ProStock) tour announced today that it will begin the PASS South Series starting this year. The series will consist of at least eight races; seven of them are already scheduled at tracks in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The races will be 125- to 150-laps in length and will pay $5,000 to win.
The word on the street is out and the series is already picking up momentum in the southern states. On Saturday, March 4th, Tom Mayberry, owner of the Pro All Stars Series, and other PASS officials made the trip from New England to Concord, NC, to meet with dozens of Super Late Model drivers from throughout the Carolinas that have been desperately looking for an organized place for some good, hard racing.
PASS has filled that same void in the northeast for the past five years. That reputation has trickled south, so Southern-based Super Late Model drivers were intrigued. Many of those drivers showed up to the D Sports Group offices in Concord for the first meeting of competitors and series officials to discuss the PASS South Series for 2006.
PASS owner Tom Mayberry (far right) and other PASS South officials met with interested drivers and teams. (51 Photos)
“I think the meeting went very well,” said Mayberry. “The rules package was accepted very well and everyone was very responsive to what we had to say and they’re willing to work with us on making it a level playing field. That’s what PASS is all about. We’re just excited to bring this type of racing back to life in this area and help provide an avenue to competitors and fans alike.”
Several hot topics were discussed in the meeting, including the implementation of PASS’ traditional double-file restart rule to the Southern series as well as many technical issues including tires, engines and chassis. Both straight-rail Super Late Models and perimeter chassis cars that are run on the NASCAR Elite Divisions and in the PASS North Series will be permitted in the new South Series.
While many rules and procedural items were discussed, the overriding message relayed by Mayberry and his staff during the meeting was that series officials are determined to have an organized series that will feature a competitive and equal playing field for all competitors. Starting a season knowing that they are on equal footing as their competitors has many drivers excited for the series’ first race at Hickory Motor Speedway on April 15th.
“Right now this is the only saving grace for Super Late Model racing in this area,” said Freddie Query, who is the all-time leading winner at Concord Motorsport Park (NC), a track that dropped Super Late Model racing and its Big 10 Series at the conclusion of the 2005 season.
Dennis Schoenfeld (left) and PASS tech man Scott Reed discuss the new rules.
“If this doesn’t work, there’s nowhere else to go. There are other series out there, but none of them have anything going on. This series is something that can definitely bring racing here in the South back to what it used to be.”
The PASS South Series will have an eight-race schedule in 2006 with plans for expansion in 2007. After the season opener at Hickory, the series shifts to the Florence Speedway on June 10th. A trip to Southampton Speedway in Capron, VA, in June as well as a Fourth of July extravaganza at the Tri-County Motor Speedway in Hudson, NC, will feature some hot action on the track during the warm summer nights. Return visits to Tri-County, Florence and Hickory bring the PASS stars to the final event of the year, a 300-lap, season-ending special event at Hickory paying $15,000 to win.
“We want to have a schedule that will allow guys to come and race, but not have them run every single week,” said Mayberry. “Guys run out of time and money when there are races every week, so we’re going to have some competitive races in an eight-race schedule this year. The ultimate goal for 2007 is to have as many as 14 races.”
Keeping the PASS schedule at tracks within a comfortable driving distance of the Central North Carolina area will benefit many Super Late Model teams that call the region home. That’s part of what draws a lot of drivers, such as Ted Musgrave, Jr., to the PASS South Series.
“I’m excited to not have to drive seven hours to race at Birmingham or Montgomery,” said Musgrave, son of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Ted Musgrave. “The tracks that we’re going to be running are short enough that it’s not going to be all about horsepower. I’m excited to go to these tracks that are close to home and not have to travel all over the place.”
Ted Musgrave, Jr. is excited about bringing his #72 to the PASS South Series
The PASS South Series’ competitors will be racing for $5000 to win each event. In order to get that winner’s purse, the drivers will have to race hard and clean throughout the race, especially on restarts, which will be double-file every time. The PASS North Series has featured the double-file restarts for years, providing some of the best racing in the country. Now the two-wide restart rule comes to the PASS South Series.
Violators of a “no-jumping” rule on restarts will be penalized stiffly, as points and money will be deducted from the culprits. While rules like this may be a departure of the norm for the Super Late Model drivers in attendance, many of them agree that it will only bring about better racing.
some big plans for next year as well. We had a very good turnout of drivers at our meeting. I don’t know everyone’s name yet, but the drivers that were here are a talented group. Guys like Freddie Query are big names in this kind of racing and they are interested in this series and we appreciate that. From what the response has been so far, I think we’re going to have a very good product for the racers and the fans, and that’s something that’s important to me. We want to put on a good show for the fans and do things to put fans back in the stands. We’ll have a lot of interesting things planned for our shows.”
For more information on the PASS South Series, contact Matt Kentfield at DSG by calling (704) 455 – 2051 and be sure to visit the official website of PASS, www.proallstarsseries.com.
“I know it’s going to take a driver’s attitude adjustment to be able to race the way they want us to race, but that’s okay; we can do that,” said Query. “We are going to be side by side a lot and we’re going to have to survive a lot of racing in order to succeed and make it to the end of the race and that will be fun for the fans to watch.”
Query and Musgrave were two of 17 drivers in attendance, but many more have been calling the PASS Northern office to inquire about the new Super Late Model Series and that has Mayberry encouraged.
“I’ve made the commitment to this series just like I did when we started the series up north. We already have