What a Pass in PASS!
Anyone who bought a ticket for the Easter Bunny 150 PASS South race at Hickory Motor Speedway (NC) last weekend got their money's worth late in the race when Preston Peltier rocketed from third into the lead, right past Jay Fogelman and Ryan Blaney, on a late race restart. Peltier won the race and possibly pulled off the pass of the year to do it.
There are definitely some equal rights when it comes to wrecking in PASS South right now because it isn't just the boys who have been playing rough this year. The lady drivers in the series have been tearing it up so far this year - and not in a good way. Kenzie Ruston has gone through two complete ABC bodies in two races this year while Tayla Orleans ran into everything and everyone but the flagstand and the flagman while trying to qualify for the Easter Bunny 150 last weekend. We know that both ladies are talented, but they need to settle down a little bit if they want to make it through the season.
Victory Lane is a Dangerous Place
Sometimes drivers get hurt in a racecar, but breaking a bone in victory lane is a new one to us. But that's exactly what happened to Preston Peltier after winning the Easter Bunny 150. After jumping off his roof in victory lane, Peltier landed wrong and broke a bone in his foot. So even though he pulled off a classic move on the track, Preston isn't exactly Carl Edwards off the track.
New Sponsorships Are Alive and Well
Once upon a time, racing sponsors were made up entirely of auto parts companies and motor oils. That's not true anymore and just about everything is being marketed through the sport these days. Well, Dixie Motor Speedway (MI) definitely has unique business advertising at their track this year. The track announced this week that O'Guinn Family Funeral Homes has come on board as the Divisional Sponsor of the Modified division. For the upcoming season, the Modifieds will be known as the "O'Guinn Family Funeral Homes Modifieds."
Taking a Break
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East schedule is a little bit front-loaded this year and we don't think that is a good thing. Two of the ten schedules races for the year were on back-to-back weekends, but after those two events took place, the tour is off for nearly a month and a half before heading to Iowa Speedway. So that gave teams a short amount of time to fix their cars between races and then also gave fans way too much time to forget about the East Series season between the next events.
The South Rises Again
We're used to seeing Northerners win and sweep the top positions in the Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory Motor Speedway (NC). In the first four years of the event, Mike Rowe and his son Ben have each towed down from Maine to win the event along with Maine transplant Corey Williams. Ryan Lawler hailed from Texas to win another of the races, but no Carolina driver had won the event before. Well, that was before current Tarheel residents Preston Peltier, Jay Fogelman and Ryan Blaney swept the podium in this year's running of the event.
Reality TV Stars
The drivers featured on the History Channel's Madhouse show are enjoying some pretty good opportunities right now. Burt Myers found an SK Modified ride at Waterford Speedbowl (CT) this coming weekend and Chris Fleming has told us that he hopes to run a Super Late Model at Slinger Speedway (WI) this year. That newfound fame has to be helping to open doors for these racers. In fact at the recent NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race at South Boston Speedway (VA), a fan went up to tour regular Frank Fleming and said “Hey, I know you…Your brother is on Madhouse!”.
We know of many young, talented and ambitious young racers who would sacrifice body parts to even get a sniff of a ride with Kyle Busch Motorsports. So that is why we are a bit perplexed with Alex Haase, who won the 2008 PASS South title for the team. Haase has parted ways with the team. He reportedly decided to take a walk after being called out on his work ethic and tardiness to come to work at the shop. We're wondering if Haase might be too young to know of a certain Cinderella song titled “Don't Know What You've Got Till It's Gone”, but we think when he looks back on what happened, he might just be singing the blues.
They do things differently in California, that's for sure. A recent press release for Irwindale Speedway referred to Nick Joanides and Rip Michels as a pair of “dudes” and Sergio Pena as “Cinderfella”. We love the local flavor and anything that stands out from the hundreds of press releases that we read every week is welcome, so we hope they keep writing in their native tongue out west.
The Name Game
Through the years, there have been some sponsor/series relationships that lead to names that just roll off your tough. We remember the ACT Coors Tours and the CRA Sunoco Super Series as a few examples. Some combinations just don't have that magic though. This weekend will mark the opener for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. We just can't imagine that getting the juices flowing for many people. Plus, how do you practically condense that to fit into a conversation or headline? Is East Series appropriate? Do you say K&N cars? We love that in a time of economic uncertainly that a new short track sponsor could be found, but we wish the developmental tour had a snappier name.