SOPHIA, NC – Scarborough, Maine’s Ryan Moore survived an intense late race battle with Christopher Bell to secure his first career Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South Super Late Model win in the 12th Annual North-South Shootout Sunday afternoon at Caraway Speedway. Moore was able to take advantage of an opportunity when Bell appeared to make contact with his Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate Karl Weber’s machine while trying to put him a lap down, which resulted in a slow leak on Bell’s right front tire. Bell tried to furiously to protect the inside groove as Moore closed in over the final laps, with the two cars making contact entering turn three on the last lap, sending Bell up the track and Moore to victory lane.
“I couldn’t run the 52 [Bell] down so I decided I would save my tires and take care of it and I knew we were gonna catch lap traffic and I caught him,” said Moore, alongside the RC Moore Transportation Chevrolet afterwards. “I hate he had to tear my car up there on the last lap, but he was going for the win too. It was an exciting trip down the backstretch I can tell you that. I didn’t know if we were both gonna wreck or what was gonna happen. It was a fun race.”
In qualifying Friday, Bell backed up his impressive win at Orange County Speedway last time out by scoring his first career quick qualifying lap with a speed of 99.945 miles per hour around the .455 mile speedway. After the top 10 qualifiers redraw, Bell would slot in at the fifth starting position, while veterans Jody Measamer and Brandon Ward moved up to the front row.
At the drop of the green flag for the 150 lap contest, Ward got the better of Measamer entering turn one, while third place starter Bill Catania struggled dropping he, Bell and others down the running order. While Catania continued to struggle, Bell regrouped, settling in eighth as he plotted a strategy for moving back towards the front.
Ward led the first third of the North-South Shootout, staying out front through the first caution flag of the event on lap 58 when Tate Fogleman spun exiting turn two. All the while, Bell was making his way back towards the front, eventually taking the lead from Ward just shy of the halfway mark. Ward continued to slide back, surrendering second to Ryan Moore.
The hardest accident of the day occurred with 55 laps to go when Kevin Powell spun entering turn three, making hard contact with the wall on the driver’s side. After a few tense moments, Powell emerged from his machine shaken, but otherwise okay.
On the restart, Moore was able to get the advantage over Bell entering turn one to take the lead for the first time in the race. Just two laps later, Ward slowed while running ninth due to an apparent broken track bar just in front of Derek Ramstrom. The two would make contact, sending Ward into the inside wall along with Trevor Noles.
Following a spin by PASS South points leader Tyler Church in turn four with 40 laps to go, Moore and Bell led the field coming back for the restart. Bell was able to move by Moore and started to stretch his lead over the field as he sought his second straight PASS South win. But, with about 15 laps to go, Bell entered slower traffic which allowed Moore to close the gap on the leader.
With less than 10 laps to go, Bell tried to put a lap on his teammate Karl Weber as they entered turn one. The two made slight contact that would prove to be disastrous for Bell. A slow leak developed on the right front tire allowing Moore to quickly close the gap. Over the last five laps, Bell tried to hold off Moore by protecting the low line. But, on the last lap, Moore was able to get on the inside of Bell as they headed down the backstretch. The two cars made hard contact as Bell tried to protect his lead. More contact was made entering turn three sending Bell sideways through the corner as Moore moved around and to the checkered flag.
“Whenever I got down there into those lapped cars I got my right front knocked down and just couldn’t turn,” said Bell. “Congrats to Ryan, it was a heck of a race for sure.”
Following Moore and Bell to the checkered flag were Measamer, Ben Rowe, and Ramstrom. Rounding out the top ten were Spencer Davis, Dalton Sargeant, Jared Irvan, Brandon Lynn, and Zane Smith.
The PASS South Super Late Models will be in action again for the final time in 2014 on Saturday, November 15 as part of the 9th Annual Mason Dixon Meltdown 200 at Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, NC. Championships will be decided for both the PASS National Championship Series and the PASS South Super Late Models. Also in action will be the PASS Pro Late Models, Pee Dee/Coastal Supertrucks, and USAC Eastern Midgets. For entry forms and the complete weekend schedule, please go to ProAllStarsSeries.com. And, don’t forget, to “Like” the Pro All Stars Series on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @PASSSLM14.
PASS PR – Photo credit: Brenda Meserve/Speed51.com