Matt Craig continued his dominance of the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South Super Late Model circuit, completing a sweep of the tour’s events at Southern National Motorsports Park for his fourth PASS win of 2017.
“At the end of last year, we had some momentum built up,” Craig told Speed51.com powered by JEGS in victory lane. “We built some new cars, tested a good bit, found some speed and it’s been working out for us.”
After starting in fifth position, Craig – the defending PASS South champion - took the lead on a lap 28 restart. Immediately after Craig took the lead, Jared Fryar spun in turn four to bring out a caution, which was extended by a 30-minute red flag for rain.
“The rain was misting, and we just went back from having a little rain. It looked like we were going to have some more rain, so I took off and went 100 percent to get back to the lead. I don’t know if they were quite ready for that at that point in the race.”
When the race resumed, Craig checked out for his fourth PASS South win in six events this season.
“When we went back green, we were in first,” said Craig. “So that helped a lot.”
There was a late caution on lap 143 of the 150-lap feature, giving the competition one last shot at Craig. However, second-place Tate Fogleman spun in turn two on the restart, collecting Kodie Conner in the process.
This allowed Dave Farrington, partaking in a PASS doubleheader this weekend, to pick up the second-place finish before embarking towards Maine for tomorrow’s PASS North event at Oxford Plains Speedway. Farrington charged from the 10th starting position to second over the 150 laps.
“We survived,” Farrington said about the runner-up effort. “Slipping and sliding all over the place. Mist, rain, worn out tires, you name it, we were sliding and just kept digging.
“Hopefully we do one better tomorrow,” Farrington added in reference to his trip to Oxford Plains. “That would be awesome.”
Trevor Sanborn rounded out the podium with a strong showing in his first PASS South Super Late Model start since an 11th-place finish in the Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory Motor Speedway.
“It’s a shot in the arm,” Sanborn said about the third-place run. “I didn’t think we even had a car to compete. They said over the radio I was as fast as the leader. I was like, ‘I suppose, I don’t feel like it.’
“We got lucky on that restart at the end,” Sanborn added. “Somebody crashed, and we got the bottom lane, so we drove right through it.”
For Farrington and Sanborn, both Maine natives, the podium finishes came with added bonuses. The top-three finishers in Saturday’s event at Southern National locked into the Mason-Dixon MegaMeltdown at Hickory in November.
“That’s why we came here,” Sanborn said. “To shoot for that, and we were lucky enough to get it.”
With the win, Craig extended his points lead as he searches for back-to-back PASS South champions. In the first 11 seasons of the series, there have been 11 different champions.
The PASS South Super Late Model Series returns to action August 12, when the series heads to South Boston Speedway in South Boston, Virginia. The 150-lap PASS South race that evening highlights a racing card which includes twin-75 lappers for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Models and a 15-lap Hornets feature.
Race fans can find more information on Saturday's PASS South race at SNMP by visiting Speed51.com's Speed Central coverage.
-By Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent - Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
PASS South Unofficial Results
Southern National Motorsports Park (NC) - July 29, 2017
1 54 Matt Craig
2 7 Dave Farrington
3 41 Trevor Sanborn
4 14 Jared Fryar
5 4 Jay Fogleman
6 12 Joe Graf
7 45 Kodie Conner
8 8 Tate Fogleman
9 99 Sarah Cornett-Ching
10 6 Matt Wallace
11 15 Roy Hayes
12 51 Eddie Fatscher
13 98 Jody Measamer
14 91 Will Bristle