WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: FRIDAY NOTES by Jeremy Troiano
North Invaders, Familiar Faces Seen, Low Car Count
There were just 21 Super Late Models that showed up for Friday's practice sessions at Concord Motorsport Park (NC) for the second running of the Asphalt World Championships.
Friday's practice session was not required, so there may be more that show up on Saturday to qualify for Sunday's 250-lap, $15,000-to-win event. 36 cars as scheduled to start the event on Sunday.
The top-10 from the Big 10 Series (the 10-race Super Late Model Series that runs at Concord during the year) were at the track on Friday for practice, as were several other Big-10
competitors. Freddie Query won the Big-10 championship in 2004 over Eddie Massengill and Jimmy Simpson.
Other notable drivers that were at Concord on Friday included Bobby Gill (driving Richie Wauters' #5), youngster Alex Yontz and Southern All Stars regular Matt Hawkins.
Chris Dunn (#1) and Alex Yontz (#6) were two of the drivers at Concord Friday. (51 Photos)
LOW CAR COUNT FOR PRACTICE DAY
While there were not a lot of big name Super Late Model drivers that towed in from around the country, three of the Northeast's top driver made the long trek down to Concord for this weekend's race, led by the 2004 PASS Champion, Johnny Clark.
Clark won his first PASS Championship by collecting four wins and 10 top-three finishes during the 15-race season.
The Northeast's “Mr. All Everything” Ted Christopher is back at Concord just a couple of weeks after competing in the North-South Shootout at the half-mile. Christopher is
Mike Rowe is one of the North guys who made the long trip down South.
driving the #34 that he piloted to a PASS win earlier this season, in just one of three PASS races that he race. Christopher, a noted Modified driver, also won a SMART Modified race at Concord earlier this year after starting last.
One of the racing Rowes also made the long trip to Concord. Mike Rowe finished third in the PASS standings this season. The father of Northeast superstar Ben Row has over 149 victories at the historic Oxford Plains (Me.) Speedway including two Oxford 250 wins.
WHO WAS FAST?
There were no official times recorded or given on Friday, two teams from the North and two teams from the South appeared to be the quickest.
Southern racers Bobby Gill and Freddie Query were two of the fastest cars on the track, but were followed closely by the North's Mike Rowe and Teddy Christopher.
MISSING FROM THE FIELD
Five drivers who finished in the top-10 in last year's Asphalt World Championships weren't at Concord on Friday, although they still have the chance to show up on Saturday.
That list is led by the defending race winner Clay Rogers. Rogers sold his Super Late Model in the off-season and isn't expected to defend his title.
Another big name not at the track was Travis Kittleson. Kittleson decided to take part in the Governor's Cup, a big Super Late Model race in Florida this weekend, which is also Kittleson's home state.
Jason Hogan was originally entered in the Asphalt World Championships, but pulled out to head down to Florida to visit with several NASCAR teams in the Homestead-Miami Speedway garage area. Hogan was one of the final four drivers considered for the Roush Racing truck ride following the “Gong Show,” but was not chosen in favor of ASA's Todd Kluever.
However, Hogan has had talks with several other teams and skipped the Concord event to head to Florida and pursue those opportunities.
Other drivers who finished in the top-10 last year that were not at Concord on Friday were Erik Darnell and Rich Bickle.
A FEW FAMILIAR FACES AROUND THE GARAGE
Ted Christopher (#34) and Bobby Gill (#5) were two of the fastest on Friday, unofficially.
There weren't only a few familiar names behind the wheel in the garage area on Friday, but there were some familiar faces roaming the pits helping out.
ProCup Series driver Mardy Lindley was in attendance helping out fellow ProCup regular Bobby Gill get his #5 up to speed. Gill won a Big-10 Series race earlier this year during an off weekend for the ProCup Cars.
Southeast Series regular Greg Pope and his son were at the track helping fellow racer Danny Propst. Propost, who hails from the same hometown at Pope (Monroe, NC), finished sixth in the Big-10 Series point standings this year.
Mardy Lindley (left) was helping out Bobby Gill on Friday.
Former ASA crew chief Gary Crooks was also at Concord, helping out the #09 of Dean Clattenburg. Crooks served as Travis Kittleson's crew chief for the last couple of seasons during ASA competition.