CHARLOTTE, NC (November 13) – Entering this weekend’s 9th Annual Mason Dixon Meltdown at Southern National Motorsports Park, Hickory, NC’s Tyler Church is on the cusp of winning his first Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South Super Late Model championship. Church comes into Saturday afternoon’s race as the defending winner and with a 40 point lead over second year Super Late Model driver Cole Timm.
After competing in a partial schedule in 2013, Church captured his first PASS South win in the Over The Mountain 150 at Hickory Motor Speedway last September. But, it was a dominating performance in the Mason Dixon Meltdown at Southern National that not proved Church and his small family-owned team could compete with the best that short track racing has to offer.
“It was big because it was finally another racetrack that we were able to win at,” says Church. “You know Hickory is home and that was special. But, there was a lot of good cars at both races and I was honored to be able to win at both races.”
Church has emerged as one of the most consistent drivers in PASS South, scoring six top 5’s and 10 top 10’s in 13 starts this season. But despite a win at Ace Speedway back in May, Church believes his Church’s Carpet Chevrolet has been capable of performing even better as he seeks to become the first back-to-back winner of the Meltdown.
“I hope we can run as good at Southern National this time as we have every other time we’ve been there,” said Church. “I feel l like we could have won both races there earlier in the season. My Dad and I have worked so hard this year. We’ve been so close and fast so many times this year, but haven’t had a bit of luck the last half of this year.”
Church has struggled in recent weeks, finishing 13th at Orange County Speedway in October after breaking an axle while running third with 10 laps to go. And, then again most recently at Caraway Speedway for the North-South Shootout, where he finished 11th after being involved in a couple of incidents following a poor qualifying run. But, Southern National could be the place to turn it around for Church. After all, he’s finished no lower than eighth in three starts there including a win and a second place finish.
“I’m going to try a few things out during practice and see how everything feels,” said Church about this weekend’s 200 lapper. “It just depends on how the car’s working and what everybody else is doing. It would be great to cap the season off though with a win and a championship.”
While Church battles Cole Timm and Jared Irvan for the PASS South Super Late Model Championship, Maine’s Ben Rowe and New York’s Tyler Dippel will be competing for the PASS National Championship. In addition to Rowe, fellow New Englanders Joey Doiron, Derek Ramstrom, Steve Legendre, and Wayne Helliwell, Jr. and Quebec’s Eric St. Gelais will be making the trip to Southern National.
Christopher Bell is hoping to continue his streak of finishing no worse than second in the last two events and will be joined by Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate Karl Weber. Tate Fogleman, Trevor Noles, Brandon Setzer, Tanner Rumburg, Jody Measamer, and Lucas Jones will each be seeking their first career PASS South wins.
Action at Southern National Motorsports Park for the 9th Annual Mason Dixon Meltdown kicks off practice for all divisions on Friday, November 14 from 1 – 4:20 PM. On Saturday, November 15, practice will start at 10 AM, with qualifying at 1:15 PM, and racing slated to start at 3 PM. The PASS South Super Late Models will race for 200 laps, along with main events for the PASS Pro Late Models, Pee Dee/Coastal Supertrucks, and USAC Eastern Midgets.
PASS South Super Late Model entry forms as well as the complete weekend schedule for the 9th Annual Mason Dixon Meltdown at Southern National Motorsports Park can be found at ProAllStarsSeries.com.
-PASS South Press Release & Photo