MYRTLE BEACH, SC — Defending PASS South Champion Kyle Grissom charged from 12th after a lap 100 competition caution to the lead in just nine laps and held on to win the the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South Super Late Model Bash At The Beach 150 at Myrtle Beach Speedway. The win was Grissom’s sixth in his PASS South Super Late Model career.
“That first half we tried to save our tires as best we could and the left rear just wore out really bad. We made an adjustment at the break and as soon as we got back going, I knew that saving the tires wasn’t going to do anything for us,” said Grissom. “All I was trying to do was get to the lead and fall back from there to conserve. To finally win a race here at Myrtle Beach in a Super Late Model with PASS and beat all of those guys…it’s a really good night.”
Last week’s winner at Dillon and current PASS South points leader Austin Theriault employed a similar strategy to Grissom, falling back in the early going to outside the top 15. But, by lap 100, Theriault brought Brad Keselowski’s Checkered Flag Foundation Ford back up to 8th and in sight of the leaders. Both he and Grissom stormed to the front at the drop of the green flag and were mired in heavy lapped traffic in the final five laps. Theriault closed to within five car lengths of Grissom, but could not make an advance on the race leader and ultimately came home in second.
“We rode around for a while kind of like last week [at Dillon] knowing that those who had charged early on would come back to us,” said Theriault after his second straight top five finish. “We made a couple of adjustments during that lap 100 break and I think we went the wrong way. I’m happy to come home second, second straight top three finish, the cars in one piece and we’ll see you at Hickory.”
The evening began with Johnny Sauter taking quick time in qualifying with a lap of 97.547 miles per hour around the .538 mile, D-shaped speedway. After the top ten qualifiers redrew for their starting positions, Sauter and second fastest qualifier Jay Fogleman swapped positions on the front row to lead the 27 car starting field to the green flag. Although Fogleman would take the lead at the start, Sauter quickly flexed his muscle and moved to the top spot on lap 4.
The early portions of the Bash At The Beach, were all about comers and goers. Mark Gibson started 17th, moving by Jordan Anderson in turn one and into the top five by lap 16. Gibson moved up as high as second position, but began falling back due to a slowly leaking tire and was out of the top ten by lap 70. With a night that began with such promise going by the wayside, Gibson’s Glenwood Clinical Monitoring Chevrolet struggled through the remainder of the race and finished 20th.
All-time PASS Super Late Model wins leader Ben Rowe took a more methodical approach from his 12th place starting position. Rowe moved by Grissom into the top five on lap 45. In less than 25 laps, Rowe made easy work of Sauter to take the lead.
As they were racing hard up front, Jay Fogleman began to chip away at the advantage held by the leaders. On lap 81, Fogleman and Rowe made it three wide as they lapped rookie Joseph Mursuli with Fogleman coming out on top and assuming the lead. At lap 100, the competition caution flew to allow teams to change two tires with Fogleman leading followed by Rowe, Sauter, local standout Jamie Weatherford and Anderson.
On the ensuing start, a frantic pace began over the next 20 laps that saw the best racing of the night. Sauter reassumed the lead as Fogleman and Rowe quickly dropped down the running order. Grissom, on the other hand, was making an amazing charge which saw him go three wide through the tri-oval and pass four cars entering turn one. With 41 laps to go, Grissom made his way around Sauter to take the lead.
Theriault restarted eighth, but moved around Sauter with less than 30 laps to go for second and set his sights on Grissom. Theriault closed to within a couple of car lengths of the leader as they weaved through heavy lapped traffic in the final five laps, but that was as close as he would get. Grissom drove the Harrison’s Workwear Chevrolet to the checkered flag for his first win of 2013 over Theriault, Sauter, Fogleman and Jordan Anderson. Rounding out the top ten were Brandon Ward, Rowe, Gus Dean, Weatherford, and rookie Zak Hausler.
In the 75 lap PASS Pro Late Model race held earlier in the evening, Trevor Noles was able to notch his third career victory. Georgia’s Spencer Davis, who also competed in the PASS South Super Late Model event, took the lead on the initial start. But, by lap 10, longtime Myrtle Beach Speedway competitor Clay Thomas drove the Kerry Lawrence owned entry into the lead. Thomas continued to lead until lap 33 when Tyler Dayton appeared to lose an engine. Thomas slowed and fell back to sixth handing the lead back to Davis. Just four laps later though, Noles sped into the lead and never looked back to take the win. Davis finished second, followed by Hayes Goodson, fast qualifier Austin Reed, and Tyler Audie.
It was a busy night for the Pro All Stars Series with awards presentations for the series’ 2012 competitors and a remembrance for Robert “Smoke” Rodgers, a longtime supporter of PASS and several of its teams over the years. Rodgers daughter, Kayla, was in attendance and was the honorary starter for Bash At The Beach.
For further information, contact Alan Dietz at firstname.lastname@example.org or “Like” the Pro All Stars Series on Facebook.
The next event for the Pro All Stars Series will be on March 30th at Hickory Motor Speedway. The 8th Annual Easter Bunny 150 has grown into North America’s marquee event in the Spring for Super Late Models and is expected to attract the best drivers in the land. This year’s Easter Bunny 150 will be the second PASS National Series race of the year and the final National event prior to July’s TD Bank 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway in Maine. In addition to the PASS Super Late Models, the PASS Pro Late Models and CCS Modifieds will also be in action.
UNOFFICIAL PASS SOUTH SLM RESULTS
150 Laps – Myrtle Beach Speedway – 3/16/13
1. 31 – Kyle Grissom 150 Laps
2. 29 – Austin Theriault 150
3. 5s – Johnny Sauter 150
4. 104 – Jay Fogleman 150
5. 2 – Jordan Anderson 150
6. 62 – Brandon Ward 150
7. 4n – Ben Rowe 150
8. 56 – Gus Dean 150
9. 00 – Jamie Weatherford 149
10. 19 – Zak Hausler 149
11. 51 – Bobby Measmer, Jr. 149
12. 33 – Roger Lee Newton 149
13. 8n – John Hunter Nemechek 149
14. 57 – Cole Timm 148
15. 97 – Brandon Lynn 148
16. 129 – Spencer Davis 147
17. 5 – Bobby Gower 147
18. 8f – Tate Fogleman 146
19. 50 – Karl Weber 146
20. 11 – Mark Gibson 146
21. 09 – Randy Gentry 145
22. 18 – Bill Catania 144
23. 8 – Joseph Mursuli 139
24. 1 – Justin Allison 108
25. 7d – Jimmy Doyle 59
26. 48 – John Batten 39
27. 80 – Shannon Mines 2
UNOFFICIAL PASS SOUTH PLM RESULTS
75 Laps – Myrtle Beach Speedway – 3/16/13
1. 16 – Trevor Noles
2. 129 – Spencer Davis
3. 16g – Hayes Goodson
4. 14 – Austin Reed
5. 22 – Tyler Audie
6. 45 – Kodie Connor
7. 03 – Clay Thomas
8. 49 – Jeff Batten
9. 02 – Walker Yates
10. 71 – Nick Robinson
11. 36 – Tyler Dayton
Sources: PASS PR