CHARLOTTE, NC – Diversity is the name of the game as drivers from far and wide continue to prepare for the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) Super Late Model season opener at Dillon Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon, February 4. The “Original” Winter Meltdown will again be on Super Bowl weekend and will pit the best short track racers in North America against one another for 200 laps in the first race of the 2017 PASS National Championship series.
Sarah Cornett-Ching comes into 2017 with realistic goals in PASS and something to prove to herself starting at Dillon. For the 25-year-old driver from British Columbia, just being at the Meltdown will be a victory of sorts. Following a season that saw her finish seventh in ARCA Racing Series points in 2015, Cornett-Ching ran a partial schedule last year. In the ARCA season finale at Kentucky Speedway, she suffered a serious concussion after a devastating crash. Experiencing symptoms similar to those of Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Cornett-Ching was unsure of her racing future.
“I don’t really know the exact time when I felt like I was ‘coming back’, but it’s more like the symptoms began to go away slowly and I would wake up one day and realize I didn’t feel nauseous anymore and then a few weeks later I would notice that I didn’t have a headache all the time,” says Cornett-Ching. “My memory would slowly improve and I would feel like I could do anything I used to be able to and when I started exerting energy it just knocked me back down. I am still working on getting my stamina back to where I was but thankfully the symptoms have totally gone away and the doctor has cleared me for all competition.”
After three PASS starts in 2016, Cornett-Ching returns with Tony Blanchard and the Race 101 team this year, with plans to compete for the PASS South Super Late Model championship and possibly the PASS National title. She will also be looking to better the sixth place results of Tayla Orleans and Kenzie Ruston-Hemric, currently tied as the best finishes by a female driver in PASS history.
“I don’t have lofty goals for 2017, but I hope to be a competitive top 10 car at each race I enter,” says Cornett-Ching. “My ultimate goal is to be the most successful female ever to compete in the PASS Series, win races and be a threat each time I show up to the track. This will be my first race back after several months of not racing and I know the PASS Series has some high car counts and competitive racing. I would like to be in the top 10, but ultimately running 200 laps clean and finishing this race will be priority #1. I really like Dillon, it has some neat character and Ron Barfield has done a great job of facilitating us any way he can, so I am looking forward to an awesome time.”
Joining Cornett-Ching at Dillon will be first time PASS starter, Tanner Thorson. Following in the footsteps of former PASS South winner, Christopher Bell, the Minden, NV driver is hoping to make the successful transition from open wheel cars to stock cars. After finishing as the USAC National Midget Series runner-up in 2015, Thorson did even better last year, capturing six wins and the series championship. Already this season, Thorson finished fourth in the Chili Bowl, the most prominent event for Midgets. Thorson joins the Bond Suss Motorsports team at Dillon for the Meltdown after the organization went to victory lane for the first time last November at the North-South Shootout at Concord Speedway with Dalton Sargeant behind the wheel.
Joining the growing list of drivers from New England on the entry list is New Hampshire’s Joey Polewarczyk. The former ACT Late Model champion and Oxford 250 winner will be making his first trip to a PASS South race since 2013. Running a limited schedule last year, Polewarczyk captured three wins in just nine PASS North Super Late Model starts. The PASS Winter Meltdown will be Polewarczyk’s first trip to Dillon Motor Speedway.
Action gets underway at Dillon Motor Speedway Speedway on Friday, February 3 with gates opening at 1 PM and rotating practice for the PASS Super Late Models, Late Models, and Pro 4s from 2 – 5 PM. On Saturday, February 4, gates will open at 8 AM, with rotating practice from 10 AM – Noon, qualifying at 12:30 PM, and feature events set to go green at 2 PM.
Entry forms for the PASS Winter Meltdown at Dillon Motor Speedway can be found at ProAllStarsSeries.com. The 2017 license forms for the PASS Super Late Models are also available at ProAllStarsSeries.com. Drivers purchasing licenses for the 2017 season will receive bonus points for each race they are pre-registered for and will also save money towards any events that they enter early.
The Pro All Stars Series is recognized as North America’s premier sanctioning body for asphalt Super Late Models and boasts such marquee events as the Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory Motor Speedway and the legendary Oxford 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway. For media or marketing questions, please contact Alan Dietz at 704-231-2039 or[email protected]. Please visit ProAllStarsSeries.com for more information and don’t forget to “Like” the Pro All Stars Series on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @PASSSLM14 to keep up with breaking news as it happens.
-Pro All Stars Series Press Release & Photo