PASS South: Ben Rowe Dominates at Hickory; Scores Second Career Easter Bunny 150 Triumph

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HICKORY, N.C. – official series release — PASS photo —

Three-time Pro All Stars Series (PASS) Super Late Model national champion Ben Rowe led 114 laps en route to a dominating win in Saturday night’s 11th annual Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory Motor Speedway.

The Turner, Maine native’s second win in the Easter Bunny 150 was made even sweeter by the fact that it guarantees Rowe a starting spot in this year’s Oxford 250 in August at Oxford Plains Speedway in his home state.

“I just tried to set my own pace, but that kid in the 19 car [Riley Herbst] — he was giving me all I wanted. (I knew) if I could clear him off turn two I was okay. I can’t think of a better way to travel back home 17 hours than with a win,” said Rowe after his first win in the prestigious race since 2009. “This win is I huge, I mean it’s the Easter Bunny and this is Hickory and it’s a tough place.

“To be locked into the Oxford 250 is huge too. I’ve seen over 100 cars try to qualify for that race and a lot can happen in the heat races, so to have a guaranteed starting spot is great.”

Qualifying earlier in the day had its own share of drama, with several drivers breaking the six-year-old track record set by Andy Loden.

Jody Measamer set the new track record with a lap of 82.693 miles per hour, and also became the fastest Super Late Model driver in any series to ever tour the legendary speedway. Following the top 10 redraw, Measamer would slot into seventh while the father-son duo of Ben and Mike Rowe would move to the front row.

When the green flag fell under overcast skies, Mike Rowe jumped into the lead over the younger member of the family. The two would trade the lead four times before Ben Rowe would take command on lap 41.

Following a caution for an incident between Brandon Setzer and Tracy Gordon on lap 54, Ben Rowe continued to lead, but a new player was in the mix. Trey Jarrell took the top spot on lap 56, despite being on seven cylinders after a motor issue at the start of the weekend, before relinquishing it back to Ben Rowe four laps later. While they were exchanging the lead up front, Matt Craig and Joey Doiron had climbed up to 10th and 11th, respectively, after both started deep in the field.

After spins by Tanner Gray and Trevor Noles in turn four, the action continued to pick up with less than 50 laps to go.

D.J. Shaw’s return to PASS was derailed with 34 laps to go when he spun and collected Craig, Doiron and Joey Padgett.  Things would only get worse for the defending PASS National Champion, though, when he was eliminated in a crash involving Travis Stearns, Josh Williams and Travis Benjamin just 10 laps later.

After struggling with the handle on his car throughout the night, three-time Easter Bunny 150 winner Preston Peltier climbed into the top 10 and into contention late in the race.  But, before he could make a move, Peltier would be eliminated in a grinding crash in turn three on lap 129 that also involved A.J. Frank and Kodie Conner.

In the end, Ben Rowe held off a persistent Riley Herbst to take the win over the talented teenager.

Derek Ramstrom finished third, followed by Measamer and Jeremy Davis. Mike Hopkins, Gray, Jarrell, Tate Fogleman and John-Michael Shenette were the balance of the top 10.

Next up for the PASS Super Late Models will be the PASS North season opener and round three of the PASS National Championship Series, a 75-lap main event as part of the annual Icebreaker at Thompson Speedway in Connecticut on April 9-10, while the PASS South Super Late Models return to the track on Saturday, April 16 at Caraway Speedway.

 

RESULTS: PASS South Super Late Model Series; 11th annual Easter Bunny 150; Hickory Motor Speedway; March 26, 2016

  1. Ben Rowe
  2. Riley Herbst
  3. Derek Ramstrom
  4. Jody Measamer
  5. Jeremy Davis
  6. Mike Hopkins
  7. Tanner Gray
  8. Trey Jarrell
  9. Tate Fogleman
  10. John-Michael Shenette
  11. Travis Stearns
  12. Kodie Conner
  13. J.P. Josiasse
  14. Matt Craig
  15. Josh Williams
  16. Kyle Desouza
  17. Roger Lee Newton
  18. Shane Lee
  19. A.J. Frank
  20. Preston Peltier
  21. D.J. Shaw
  22. Mike Rowe
  23. Travis Benjamin
  24. Joey Doiron
  25. Trevor Noles
  26. Chris Dilbeck
  27. Joey Padgett
  28. Tracy Gordon
  29. Jimmy Doyle
  30. Brandon Setzer
  31. Derek Scott Jr.
  32. Gus Dean
  33. Jody Lavender
  34. Cale Gale

CREDIT: Pro All Stars Series

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