51 Leftovers: PASS South "South Carolina Clash" at Anderson by Matt Kentfield, Matthew Dillner and Amy Hayes
SLM Heavyweights Trade Paint and Verbal Jabs, Engine Battle & More
Ben Rowe (#4) and Jason Hogan (#92) traded paint a few times on the track before... (51 Photos)
ROWE & HOGAN TANGLE AT CHECKERS…ROUND TWO AT O.C.?
In the world of present-day Super Late Model racing, names don’t get much bigger than Jason Hogan and Ben Rowe. Hogan has won at plenty of tracks throughout the Southeast, taking the trophies in some of the most prestigious races in the country. Rowe’s done the same thing up North and has been competitive every time he’s headed South, too.
Fittingly, the two SLM giants put on a memorable battle at the conclusion of the “South Carolina Clash” event at Anderson Motor Speedway on Sunday. Racing for third and fourth behind Ryan Lawler, Gary Greenwood and Johnny Brazier, the duo of Hogan and Rowe banged fenders countless times as the white flag flew. Then even as the checkered flag was in the air, the two weren’t about to stop their battle.
Hogan and Rowe came together off the fourth corner as they came to the checkered flag. Hogan’s car took a hard right across Rowe’s front bumper into the outside wall, pinning Rowe’s car against the wall as well. Hogan was credited with fourth and Rowe fifth, but the top-five runs were no solace for either drivers. As their teams traded verbal jabs on pit road after the wreck, then the drivers got into the war of words over the entire incident, as well.
“I tried protecting the bottom but the more I slowed down he just would get into me a little bit,” said Rowe. “Then I gave him the bottom going into three. I don’t know, he just sailed it down in there and tried running me up the hill but I was still there. I mean, we are coming to the checkered flag. I am not going to just give it to him. I hate it for me and I hate it for him because we are both wrecked. There is no need for it. He can watch the tape. He wasn’t clear of me because he hit on my inside door. And I ain’t going to back off when I see the start-finish line.
”It’s just unfortunate. We should have come to the finish side-by-side. He knows he got loose and came up the hill. I am sure if you ask him he will tell you.”
Well, Speed51.com did ask Hogan. Of course, Hogan told a different story.
“The 4 car (Rowe) was just losing speed, had done burnt his stuff up, and I got under him four or five times and he chopped me off, so I just let him go. There wasn’t no need in wrecking anybody.
“Then I went up to his door and we got together in three and four which is normal - that is what you do - and he right reared me. You just don’t right rear anybody and put them in the wall, then you take the chance of getting hurt.”
“I won’t talk to him. His crew came over and screamed at my crew. We’re not like that. When Jason calms down and wants to talk about it I will sit down and hash it out. It’s between me and him. Nobody else was driving those racecars. The only one’s who know what happened are the two of us.”
FUEL, NOT TIRES, PROPELS BRAZIER TO PODIUM
Johnny Brazier had a great day in his first PASS South Series event. The veteran Super Late Model competitor may not have had anything left at the end of the race, but he did manage to hang on for a third place finish.
“The cow’s coming with us to every PASS race now,” said Lawler. “At least until we don’t win one; then we’ll have to retire him and switch to something else.
“But seriously, this feels great, especially knowing Charlie won this race last year when it was at Florence. I got to know Charlie a little bit last year and my dad knows Charlie’s brother Gary pretty good. It means a lot to win this race. Hickory was pretty special, but this one is just really cool to win.”
That backup engine that Lawler put into his primary car and took the #31 to victory came off the trailer that once belonged to Charlie Bradberry. The Lawler Motorsports team totes their equipment to and from the track in Bradberry’s old hauler, keeping the memory of the fallen SLM great fresh in everyone’s mind every week.
RICE IMPRESSIVE BEFORE WRECK
Rowe’s team stayed in the Charlotte, NC area, about halfway between Anderson and this weekend’s PASS South event at Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, NC repairing their car. Hogan also plans to attend the “Orange Blossom Special” this Saturday at OCS, which could make for an exciting rematch of two Super Late Model heavyweights.
“We go to some of my racetracks next,” said Hogan. “Orange County, which I ran good at and then Peachstate and Lanier. Those are my tracks and he is going to have come down there and buckle his belts tight, because he might go for a ride down there.”
“I don’t run with (Hogan) much and I don’t want to,” said Rowe. “I don’t want to come down here and race like that. I’ve seen him do it to other people and my old man (Mike Rowe) told me to watch out for him when I came down here. We can all run together and put on a show for the fans but we don’t need to be stuffing each other into the concrete.
“I felt like we finished the best in our class with the 9:1 motors,” said Brazier. “Those crate motors had us beat with tires at the end of the race with tires. It looked like most everyone out there was struggling with the same problem I was having. They were all four-wheel drifting. The last thirty laps I couldn’t mash mine to the floor at any part of the racetrack. We didn’t have anything for those two cars at the front.”
Brazier was out of traction by races end but was definitely not out of fuel. In a move similar to late Charlie Bradberry’s late race fuel stop in his Carolina Clash win last year, Brazier ducked down pit road with a handful of laps to go to get a splash of gas.
“We didn’t know how many laps we run and didn’t have anything to lose because there were only three cars on the lead lap. We didn’t have anything for those guys in front of us. We came in and took some gas. We ran a bunch of caution laps and didn’t know how much gas these 9:1 motors were using so we figured we had nothing to lose.”
Preston Peltier (#5) gets the jump on the start at Anderson
“I thought that the (left-front) tire was going down under caution because when I scrubbed my tires off it kind of felt funny,” explained Peltier who finished 15th. “I could feel it roll over. I knew if we pitted we were done. When we took the green it went down on me the rest of the way. I stayed on the outside and tried to get down low but kept up enough speed to where I wouldn’t get run over.
“I don’t know what it was. I think maybe it was a rivet off of one of those wrecked cars. We came in and the car was still pretty fast even though we put on some old tires we had from South Boston. We went back out there and were hoping for a lucky dog. But the way Ryan was putting it on them out there we knew we really didn’t have much of a shot at getting one.
Peltier was quick to thank the man who was responsible for fine-tuning Ryan Lawler to the win, for his near-perfect racecar.
FAST BUT NOT FIRST AGAIN FOR PELTIER
Preston Peltier is fast and so his #5 Super Late Model. Everyone knows that. But that speed hasn’t always equated to wins for the North Carolina driver.
At Anderson, Peltier was fast again, taking the pole position. But a flat tire forced him onto pit road and kept him out of victory lane once again.
CLATTENBURG CROSSES FOURTH, BUT WAIT…
If you were in the stands and watching the wild last lap of the South Carolina Clash PASS race at Anderson Speedway, you saw Dean Clattenburg slip his #09 by the crashing cars of Jason Hogan and Ben Rowe just before the start-finish line.
“It was great,” said Dean of the last corner drama. “Ben Rowe was backing up a little bit and Jason Hogan was hungry. It was big. I could see it coming. I went for the bottom as they wrecked and got cleared but unfortunately because of PASS rules I got put back.”
Clattenburg came across that line fourth but PASS officials scored him with a sixth place finish.
Ryan Lawler and his co-pilot, the PASS Cow
“I have to thank Robert Hamke. He helped me out and turned me on to a set of spindles that helped the car cut better in the center. It helped a lot and made the car real fast. If it (the tire) went the rest of the way we would have won this thing. We were fast.”
LACK OF POWER BEATS BIG STEAM AT ANDERSON
Ben Rowe is accustomed to being one of the front-runners in the PASS North, and lately the PASS South Series. Rowe may have been on the score sheet in the top-five all day, but he was put a lap down by the top-two racecars that both had underpowered racecars. Ryan Lawler and Gary Greenwood, Jr. nearly lapped the field with Crate engines in their cars. The PASS Series gives the lesser-powered engines a weight break, which drivers like Ben Rowe say adds to their advantage on a tough, old track where it is hard to put the power down onto the pavement.
“Those crate motors,” said Rowe. “They give them a weight break but at places like this they kill us. You can’t stay with them. Those two cars just went out there and lapped the field. They were in a league of their own and I just had to wave them on by.
“On these tracks they should at least get them back to what we weigh. They penalize us on weight and they have less horsepower. If they don’t get them to our weight we are just going to have to start running the crate. Tom [Mayberry] don’t want it to be a crate series because it’s the fastest Super Late Model show. I am not a big fan of the crate. You can’t give them a weight break or everyone will be running them.”
Keeping up the trend of impressive PASS South debuts, like runner-up Gary Greenwood and third-place finisher Johnny Brazier, Jeremy Rice had a stout racecar all weekend long at Anderson. The Georgian, who has competed at Lanier National Speedway on a regular basis in recent seasons, brought two capable racecars to the track that he shook down in Friday’s practice day.
Eventually, Rice’s team decided on their black-and-green #23 machine over the red #20 and it was a decision that seemed to pay off until a late incident while trying to stay on the lead lap, running in the top-10.
“We had a good run going,” said Rice. “We had some debris get up under the tire and the car wouldn’t turn anymore so we finally had to come in.
“But once we did that, we came back up through the field. I believed we passed everybody but the top two. But then on the restart, I don’t know what the 16 (Tom McCann) was thinking but he made it three wide when I was trying to get down to let the two leaders by cause we were still a lap down like everybody else but he made it three wide and put us into the wall.”
Rice was credited with an 18th-place finish.
RACE A FEW HOURS TOO LATE FOR HINDMAN
When rain forced the postponement of the “South Carolina Clash 125” at Anderson from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon, Heath Hindman was one of the most disappointed. After qualifying fourth Saturday afternoon before the rain came, Hindman was excited about his chances.
Needless to say, Mother Nature likely won’t be getting any Christmas cards from Hindman’s team this year. On Sunday, it was a different track and different luck for Hindman, who labored his way to a still-respectable 10th-place finish.
“The race was pretty good at the beginning but the car just got loose,” said Hindman. “It would have been good last night, I should have tightened it up a lot more since it was so hot today.”
When Jeremy Rice was forced to the middle of this three-wide battle, he came out on the short end.
... their teams traded some harsh words in the pit area. That's Hogan in the red and white firesuit.
Johnny Brazier (#71) ran well in his first PASS South event.
“It was explained to me that on the last restart we heard on the scanner that we were to be put up behind the 92. We didn’t realize that all day long they were doing that. There were some inconsistencies. I guess we were supposed to go behind the pack of cars but we had heard to go behind the 92 and we should have restarted a lot further in the back. We felt like we did what we were supposed to do because we thought we were told to go behind the 92 car. What it boils down to is they should have thrown the yellow when they saw me come up there but they wanted to get the show going and I understand that. “
Clatttenburg took the ruling in stride and didn’t seem too over-excited about losing some spots due to a ruling. He used that same calmness to make his #09 last until the end of the race on a slick and wore out racetrack.
“Huge, Huge amount of patience,” Clattenburg said of his approach to the race. “I have been preparing myself for weeks to come here. I just hunkered down at the start of the race and ran my pace and tried not to run the wheels off of it.”
BRAIN-FADE WITH TEN TO GO?
With the rain falling after the race at Anderson, Preston Peltier summed up the final handful of laps at Anderson in unique fashion.
“It got rough at the end there,” said Peltier after rushing to load his car in the trailer during heavy rainfall. “I don’t know what everyone was thinking. With ten-laps to go everyone lost their minds.”
“PASS COW” & MEMORIES OF CHARLIE BOOST LAWLER
Ryan Lawler is now two-for-two on the year in PASS South after taking victory in the “South Carolina Clash” 125-lap event at Anderson. The victory can thank in large part not only to some good luck and hard work but also maybe in part due to the lucky “PASS Cow” stuffed animal affixed to a rollbar inside his #31 Super Late Model. That cow also helped guide Lawler to the win at Hickory. The memories of a fallen friend, Charlie Bradberry, made the win even more special.