CHARLOTTE, NC — In 2006, Pro All Stars Series (PASS) President Tom Mayberry was looking for a way to get the best short trackers from the North and South together in an ultimate Super Late Model showdown. Thus, was born the Mason-Dixon Meltdown, a race dominated in its early years by New England’s best, Cassius Clark, Ben Rowe, and Johnny Clark. It was not until 2010 when Georgia’s Justin Wakefield took the checkered flag at Newport Speedway that the trophy came down to “Dixie.” Since then, southern drivers have had the dominant hand in the big race, but with the MAV TV cameras rolling, a new name, more laps, and over $15,000 going to the winner, the Yanks hope they can bring the glory back to the north in next weekend’s Mason-Dixon MegaMeltdown 300 at Hickory Motor Speedway.
Leading a big contingent of drivers from New England and Canada, will be the 2017 PASS North Super Late Model champion, Travis Benjamin. With two wins on the season, Benjamin was able to capture his second PASS North title and, when asked, is not shy in telling anybody who he believes will have the upper hand heading to Hickory.
“It will be fun going to Hickory being the PASS North champion,” says Benjamin, who will be piloting the Petit Motorsports Chevrolet #7. “I feel PASS North is the best series in the country and that a north team will win that race…and hopefully it’s us.”
For several years, fans and drivers have asked for an Oxford 250-style event in the south, more laps, more money, live pit stops, all encapsulated into one day. This year’s MegaMeltdown fulfills those wishes with practice, qualifying, and racing all on Saturday, November 18. While Benjamin has tasted success in the Oxford 250, he does not feel like that will necessarily give him an advantage over his competition.
“I think most everyone has experience in extra lap races, but those are the races I usually do well in,” says Benjamin. “We should be good so long as we are there at the end. We should have a chance to go for the win.”
With just over a week left before practice starts, over 30 drivers from all over the United States and Canada have already filed entries for the Mason-Dixon MegaMeltdown 300 at Hickory Motor Speedway. The 300 lap race will feature live pit stops, but unlike some other major races, since caution laps do not count, teams will not be faced with the decision to bring in overpriced “ringers” to pit their cars. With $15,000 going to the winner and the cameras of MAV TV rolling for a nationwide audience, Hickory’s weathered surface and .363-mile track length levels the playing field between the 400 horsepower “crate” engine powered cars and the 600 horsepowered “built” engines.
Adding to the prestige of the MegaMeltdown, both the PASS South and PASS National Championships will be decided at Hickory on November 18. And, if that was not enough, a big field of Must See Racing winged Sprint Cars will be in action as well.
PASS South’s Matt Craig, Kodie Conner, Tate and Jay Fogleman, Jody Measamer, Roy Hayes, Tyler Church, and Jeff Batten have all filed entries. In addition to the PASS South regulars that will be racing at Hickory, a very strong contingent of New Englanders have filed entries including former Hickory winners, DJ Shaw, Mike and Ben Rowe, 2008 PASS National Champion, Cassius Clark, and 2015 Oxford 250 winner, Glen Luce. Fellow northeasterners, Trevor Sanborn, Derek Griffith, Derek Ramstrom, Travis Stearns, Dennis Spencer, Jr., Garrett Hall, and Gabe Brown have also registered, along with Canadians, Sarah Cornett-Ching, JP Josiasse, and Cole Butcher. Former Hickory winners, Brandon Setzer and Chris Dilbeck have filed entries, while David Calabrese from New Jersey and Carson Hocevar from Michigan, plus West Coasters, Garrett Evans and Kayla Eshleman, hope to make the cut for the big race.
All the action gets under way on Thursday, November 16 at Hickory Motor Speedway with PASS hauler parking and optional practice from 1 – 4 PM. On Friday, November 17, practice will begin at 10 AM, followed by Must Racing Sprint Car qualifying. On Saturday, November 18, practice will begin at 9 AM, with PASS Super Late Model qualifying at 11 AM, followed Must See Racing Sprints for 50 laps and the Mason-Dixon MegaMeltdown 300.
PASS Super Late Model entry forms and the complete weekend schedule for the Mason-Dixon MegaMeltdown 300 at Hickory Motor Speedway can be found at ProAllStarsSeries.com.
For marketing opportunities and in car camera inquiries for MAV TV’s coverage of the Mason-Dixon MegaMeltdown at Hickory can be made by contacting Alan Dietz 704-231-2039 or [email protected]
-Pro All Stars Series Press Release
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com