HICKORY, NC - 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, ME, 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 Maine.
“I just tried to set my own pace, but that kid in the 19 car [Riley Herbst], he was giving me all I wanted, but if I could clear him off turn two I was ok and 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 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 qualifiers redraw, Measamer would slot into the seventh starting position, while the father-son duo of Ben and Mike Rowe would move to the front row.
When the green flag fell under overcast skies, M. Rowe jumped into the lead over the younger member of the family. The two would trade the lead four times before B. Rowe would take command on lap 41.
Following a caution for an incident between Brandon Setzer and Tracy Gordon on lap 54, B. Rowe continued to lead, but a new player was in the mix. Trey Jarrell took the top spot on lap 56, before relinquishing it to B. 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. DJ 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, Doiron, 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, Peltier would be eliminated in a grinding crash in turn three on lap 129 involving AJ Frank and Kodie Conner.
B. Rowe held off a persistent Riley Herbst to take the win over Derek Ramstrom, Measamer, and Jeremy Davis. Rounding out the top 10 were Mike Hopkins, Gray, Jarrell, Tate Fogleman, and John-Michael Shenette.
Next up, will be the PASS North Super Late Model season opener and round three of the PASS National Championship Series as part of the annual Icebreaker at Thompson Speedway in Connecticut on April 9-10.
The PASS South Super Late Models will be in action once again for 150 laps on Saturday, April 16th at Caraway Speedway. Entry forms are available now at ProAllStarsSeries.com. Be sure to “Like” the Pro All Stars Series on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @PASSSLM14.