KENLY, N.C. – official release — PASS photo — As the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South Super Late Models prepare to return to Southern National Motorsports Park this weekend, the series is in the midst of one of its most competitive seasons ever.
Through five races so far this year, there have been four different winners. Only Daniel Hemric has been able to double up in victory lane in 2014, yet that was with two different teams, Woodman Racing and Carswell Motorsports.
This Saturday night’s second annual Dogwood Blossom 150 could very well see the fifth different PASS South Super Late Model winner this season. Southern National Motorsports Park in eastern North Carolina has traditionally been a stronghold for super late model racing. PASS South competitors John Batten and Joe Heigl are both former track champions at the high banked, four-tenths-mile speedway.
Veteran racer Randy Renfrow has also seen his fair share of success at Southern National behind the wheel. But, these days, Renfrow is finding success in PASS South as the crew chief for Coulter Motorsports. Renfrow first wrenched cars in PASS South on a limited basis for Joey Coulter, before moving on to a full assault for the championship with Gray Gaulding in 2012.
After a strong season last year with multiple drivers behind the wheel of the No. 2 machine, Renfrow is now mentoring Trevor Noles as he competes for the championship and Rookie-Of-The-Year honors in PASS South.
Growing up in nearby Fuquay-Varina, N.C., Noles is very familiar with the tracks of eastern North Carolina. Noles first experience racing full size stock cars came at Southern National Motorsports Park and that has him excited for his prospects this weekend.
“Southern National is probably one of my favorite racetracks to go to, it’s high-banked and you can keep a lot of speed there,” said Noles, driver of the Military Missions In Action Chevrolet. “It’s near my hometown and I’m looking forward to going there again. You know heading to Kenly and South Boston the next two weeks should be good since we raced there last year. Just getting used to a track for the first time is one of the hardest things, so I’m excited about going back.”
Last year, Noles dominated that PASS Pro Late Model division, winning the championship while driving for Coulter Motorsports on the strength of seven wins in 12 starts. In just a handful of PASS South Super Late Model starts in 2013, Noles was able to score a career best second place finish to Austin Theriault last June at Southern National.
Despite the success of a year ago, 2014 has been somewhat of a struggle for Coulter and Renfrow. But things have definitely turned around for the duo as they head home this weekend to Southern National. After a top 10 finish in the prestigious Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory Motor Speedway, Noles put forth his best performance thus far in a PASS South Super Late Model, leading 144 laps and finishing second at Ace Speedway in the most recent event for the series. With that said, Noles realizes the learning curve is steep when racing in the most competitive short track series in North America.
“Moving up has definitely been tough trying to get used to the speed and saving the tires,” said Noles, who currently sits fifth in PASS South points. “You know we’re just having to get used to racing with these guys, they’re a good group to race with and we’re glad to be here.”
PASS South points leader Tyler Church and championship contenders Jared Irvan and Tyler Dippel lead the list of drivers currently pre-entered for this weekend’s second annual Dogwood Blossom 150. Defending PASS National Champion Jay Fogleman returns to action at Southern National along with Gus Dean, Chad Kendrick and Kiel Spaulding. Brandon Setzer will be looking for another strong run following his third place finish at Ace Speedway along with veterans Brandon Ward and Tate Fogleman. While Ted Mickelson and Matt Daley hope to rebound with a good run on the high banks.