CHARLOTTE, NC – Any time the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) National Championship Super Late Models come to Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, NC, there is always excitement. The high-banked, 3/8 mile speedway has hosted some of the series most competitive races since 2006 and returns to the schedule for the first time in nearly three years this Saturday night. It is a favorite stop for both fans and drivers alike when the south’s original Super Late Model series comes to town. But for 16-year-old PASS Super Late Model driver Tate Fogleman, there might just be a little extra incentive to perform well in the 10th Running of the Orange Blossom Special.
Being from nearby Durham, NC, Fogleman grew up in the shadows of Orange County Speedway. Both his grandfather, Kent, and father, two-time PASS National Champion, Jay Fogleman, have raced and won at Orange County. So naturally, anytime the Foglemans race there, it attracts a lot of family and friends.
“I’m very excited to get home to Orange County,” said Tate Fogleman, driver of the Solid Rock Carriers Ford #8. “I love the atmosphere of the track when PASS goes there. Orange County is also one of my favorite tracks to drive on, so I can’t wait to get back there.”
Entering the third PASS South race of 2017, Fogleman has already seen some ups-and-downs. At Dillon, Fogleman had one of the fastest cars throughout the day, only to be involved in a spin just shy of halfway and having to fight back to a tenth place finish. Then at Southern National, he was able to wrestle an ill handling car to a hard fought fourth place finish.
But, the stakes could not be any higher for Fogleman at his home track. Sitting just two markers behind PASS South points leader Bradley McCaskill, young Fogleman knows that if he can join his dad, Jay, as a winner at Orange County, he will be also rewarded with an automatic starting position in this year’s $25,000 to win Oxford 250.
“The guaranteed starting position for the Oxford 250 which is up for grabs is very important,” says the 2015 PASS South champ. “Having raced in the 250 before, many people are sent home, so a guaranteed spot is essential. Especially if you are travelling from the south like us, it would be nice to know you have a guaranteed spot before you make the long haul.”
On the other end of the spectrum from Fogleman is New Castle, IN’s, Dalton Armstrong. A former Pro Late Model champion in the Midwest and winner at the World Series of Asphalt Racing at New Smyrna Speedway, Armstrong will be making both his PASS debut and first ever start at Orange County Speedway. Piloting Robert Hamke’s famous #74, Armstrong hopes to join Preston Peltier, Clay Rogers, and Ryan Lawler as a winner in PASS for the famed car builder.
“I’m feeling super excited and blessed to be given such a great opportunity,” said Armstrong. “I can’t thank Rob and Robert Hamke enough for this chance to race their house car and everyone else that helped put this together. I’m feeling very optimistic about getting in a new car and a new track for me.”
In addition to the PASS South championship, the Orange Blossom Special will serve as the second race of the PASS National Championship Series. 4-time PASS National champion, Ben Rowe, is in contention once again, along with former PASS South champions, Matt Craig and Tyler Church. Other contenders that have entered so far include PASS South points leader, Bradley McCaskill, Spencer Davis, Florida’s Dustin Dunn, Kodie Conner, Sarah Cornett-Ching, Derek Griffith, Trevor Noles, Tanner Thorson, and JP Josiasse.
Joining this impressive group will be Hudson, NH’s, Joey “Pole” Polewarcyzk. Teaming with Woodman Racing, Polewarczyk is hoping to build on a strong run in the season opener at Dillon, that saw him lead early before fading late to an 11th place finish. Sitting sixth in PASS National Championship points heading to Orange County, a good run in the Orange Blossom Special could set Polewarcyzk up nicely heading to next week’s Icebreaker at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Connecticut.
Action gets under way on Friday, March 24 for the “Original” Orange Blossom Special with rotating practice from 3 – 6 PM for the PASS Super Late Models, Southern Modified Racing Series Tour Mods, and USAC Eastern Midgets. On Saturday, March 25, pit gates open at 11 AM, with rotating practice for from 1 – 3:30 PM, qualifying at 4 PM, the Pit Party at 5:45 PM and feature racing set to begin at 7 PM.
Entry forms for the Orange Blossom Special, along with the 44th Annual Oxford 250 and upcoming events at Thompson Speedway, Hickory Motor Speedway, Oxford Plains Speedway and Beech Ridge 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 and the Mason-Dixon MegaMeltdown 300 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 credit: Mill City Images/Speed51.com