Maine speedster Corey Williams drove his Prevost-Stuff.com Chevrolet to a hard fought victory in Saturday’s PASS South Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory (NC. Motor Speedway. Williams battled 2007 PASS South champ Ryan Lawler for thirty laps in the closing stages of the 150 lap event, taking the lead for good on lap 137. Lawler settled for second, with teenagers John Stancill and Zach Stroupe third and fourth. Heath Hindman completed the top five.
Blue skies, a warm breeze and a pit area full of race cars – it’s the recipe for a perfect kick off to any race season, and the Pro All Stars Series (PASS. South racers and fans that made the trip to Hickory Motor Speedway Saturday were greeted by all three. Forty four of the fastest Super Late Models in the country were on hand to try and crack the field of thirty.
Forty cars made the call for PASS South qualifying and Signal Mountain Tennessee’s Heath Hindman set quick time with a lap of 14.904 seconds, .036 seconds quicker than Jimmy Doyle. Ben Rowe led the PASS North contingent with a 14.944 followed by Floridian Jeff Choquette at 14.970 and Corey Williams with a lap of 14.971. The remaining fifteen drivers locked in through time trials (in order. were: Cassius Clark, Zach Stroupe, Derek Ramstrom, Grant Enfinger, Ryan Lawler, Mitch Cobb, Tom McCann Jr., Mark Gibson, Shaun Turple, Perry Brown, Mike Rowe, Brad McCaskill, Justin Wakefield, John Batten and Butch Miller. Just three tenths of a second separated the top twenty.
Three fifteen lap consolation rounds qualified six more cars; Morrill Maine’s Travis Benjamin, Nova Scotian Dean Clattenburg and Raleigh North Carolina’s Alex Fleming earned the consi wins. Ryan Sieg, John Fleming and John Stancill were runner-ups. A 20 lap last chance filled the final two qualifying spots and Alex Haase led from green to checker to put the Kyle Busch Foundation Toyota in the starting field; Easley South Carolina’s Clete Caywood was the runner-up. Brandon Johnson and Tim Pinion received provisional starting spots.
The top ten time trialers redrew for their starting positions, and Jeff Choquette had the touch, pulling the number one spot .Zach Stroupe drew the outside pole and fast timer Hindman drew third. Corey Williams, Cassius Clark, Jimmy Doyle, Ben Rowe, Derek Ramstrom, Ryan Lawler and Grant Enfinger lined up in positions four through ten.
At the green Choquette jumped out to the lead with Hindman second, Williams third, Clark fourth and Jimmy Doyle fifth. The front of the field ran single file for the first twenty laps until Doyle spun to bring out the first caution. Choquette didn’t get going on the restart, allowing Hindman and Clark to get by. It took Choquette just seven laps to work his way back to the point, and he kept the number one spot through several early cautions, despite Hindman’s best efforts to wrestle the away the lead.
On lap 75 Choquette was still out front with Hindman, Rowe, Zach Stroupe and Corey Williams the top five. The front pack was running nose to tail, working the lapped traffic on lap 103 and the lappers got together with the leaders, jumbling the front of the field and handing the lead to 2007 PASS South champ Ryan Lawler and sending Choquette and Ben Rowe to the pits. When the smoked cleared it was Lawler followed by Williams, a charging Travis Benjamin, Mike Rowe and John Stancill. Benjamins’ run to the front was sidetracked a short while later after contact with Mike Rowe; Dean Clattenburg was a victim of the melee and had to retire for the night.
The last third of the race was a battle royal with Williams now in command and Lawler hungry to get back the point Lawler got his way on lap 117, but 20 laps later Williams took the lead for good and drove off into the sunset to claim the Easter Bunny 150, the first ever PASS National Champion’s event, and a guaranteed starting spot in the $30,000-to-win PASS North DNK 250 at Wiscasset Raceway. Lawler, Stancill, Stroupe and Hindman rounded out the top five. Cassius Clark, John Fleming, Travis Benjamin, Mike Rowe and Sean Turple finished in positions six through ten.
The PASS South tour heads to Dillon South Carolina on Saturday April 5th for their first visit to Dillon Motor Speedway for the South Carolina Clash 125. For more information on all of the Pro All Stars Series touring divisions, click on www.proallstarsseries.com or www.racewithpass.com
UNOFFICIAL ORDER OF FINISH – PASS SOUTH RACE #1 – PASS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES ROUND #1 – THE EASTER BUNNY 150 – HICKORY MOTOR SPEEDWAY – HICKORY NC
1. 47-Corey Willians,Boothbay ME Prevost-Stuff.com Chev
2. 31-Ryan Lawler, Colleyville TX Grapevine Suzuki Ford
3. 20-John Stancill,Ayden NC Stancill Farms Chev
4. 51-Zach Stroupe,Iron Station NC bdiracing.net Chev
5. 91-Heath Hindman,Signal Mountain TN Chev
6. 8-Cassius Clark, Farmington ME EJP Ford
9. 2R-Mike Rowe, Turner ME PT Watts Chev
10. 0-Shawn Turple,Truro Nova Scotia Dexter Construction Chev
11. 22-Perry Brown,Riverview FL Pal-King Pallets Chev
12. 98-Justin Wakefield, Woodstock GA Grace Mortgage Service
13. 4R-Ben Rowe,Turner ME Richard Moody & Sons Ford
14. 18-Bradley McCaskill, Knightdale NC TR Verna Painting Chev
15. 48-John Batten,Nashville NC Batten Ceramic Tiles Chev
16. 35-Derek Ramstrom,W Boylston MA W.Boylston Auto Parts Chev
17. 39S-Ryan Seig,Tucker GA S&W Services Chev
18. 70-Jeff Choquette,Loxahatchee FL Guaranteed Concrete Ford
19. 14-Clete Claywood,Easley SC Kaytech Inc.Chev
20. 16- Tom McCann Jr.,Mooresville NC McCann Motorsports Chev
21. 51H-Alex Haase,Concord NC Kyle Busch Foundation Toyota
22. 82-Grant Enfinger,Mobile AL Beslyallen.com Chev
23. 62-Mark Gibson,Winston-Salem NC Yarborough Trans Chev
24. 39-Dean Clattenburg,Dartmouth NS Langley Industrial Machining Ford
25. 26-Brandon Johnnson,Harrisburg NC US Navy Pontiac
26. 71-Jimmy Doyle,Henderson NC General Auto Repair
27. 52-Butch Miller, Mooresville NC ASI Limited Chev
28. 05-Alex Fleming,Raleigh NC Joyner Traffic Eng. Chev
29. 94-Mitch Cobb,Edwards CO JAMK LLC Ford
30. 42-Tim Pinion,Bedford VA PR Design Dodge
Sources: PASS South PR