Tyler Church Bets The House To Take PASS South Opener At Dillon
- For Immediate Release
DILLON, SC (March 7) – Defending Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South Super Late Model Champion Tyler Church took the lead from Jody Measamer with 23 laps to go and withstood a late-race restart to win the 10th Annual South Carolina Clash 125 Saturday night at Dillon Motor Speedway. Earlier in the day, Church revealed that anything less than a win could prove to be a premature ending to the 2015 season for the family financed team.
"That was a wild race, that was tough," said an emotional Church in victory lane. "We borrowed money against the house just so we could be here to race…and I'm going racing again. On that last restart I didn't want to let up until I got back up front and, dadgum, we've come this far and I was going to win this race."
In qualifying, last year's championship runner-up, Cole Timm, captured his first career PASS South quick qualifying time with a lap of 90.766 miles per hour around the egg-shaped, 4/10 mile speedway. After the top 10 qualifiers redraw, Tate Fogleman and Roger Lee Newton moved up to the front row, while Timm would slot back in the fourth starting position.
On a relatively mild late Winter afternoon, Fogleman quickly jumped in the lead position, a spot he would not soon relinquish. While Fogleman paced the field, drivers were implementing varying strategies. Jody Measmaer and Jimmy Doyle made their way up to second and third respectively, while drivers like Zane Smith and Matt Craig dropped out of the top ten in an effort to conserve their tires.
Fogleman dominated the first half of the event in one of his strongest PASS South Super Late Model performances thus far, but was overtaken by Measamer for the lead with 41 laps to go. Doyle's strong run ended 10 laps later when he pushed up into the wall exiting turn four while battling Joey Doiron for the fifth position.
All the while, Church was closing in on the leaders, first moving by Fogleman to take second, and then bypassing Measamer for the lead on lap 102. The first caution of the race would not wave until there were 18 laps to go when the machine of Kevin Floars spun exiting turn two.
Church would continue to lead when the race resumed, but the most heated battle on the speedway was for third between Fogleman and Timm. The two young drivers went back and forth for the position over several laps, making contact in turn two and then again on the back straight away. As Fogleman retook third, the two cars made contact sending Fogleman hard into the inside wall on the front stretch with nine laps to go.
Church and Measamer led the field back to green on the restart, with Trevor Noles making an aggressive three wide move for the lead entering turn one. Church powered into the lead from the middle groove, while Noles moved to second and Measamer slipped back through traffic.
Church led the rest of the way to take his first win since last May at Ace Speedway over Noles, Zane Smith, Doiron, and Measamer. Rounding out the top ten were Craig, Ryan Hall, Timm, Hal Goodson, and Newton.
Kodie Conner proved to be the picture of perseverance, bouncing back from two blown motors over the weekend, taking the lead from Chandler Smith with nine laps to go for his sixth career PASS Pro Late Model win.
"We lost a motor yesterday in practice after only 8 laps and went back home and stayed up until 4 AM putting another motor in," said Conner after his first Dillon victory. "We just got an hour and a half of sleep and I've got to thank my dad and all our guys for staying up all night and working on this Tiger 45."
The only incident of the race occurred on lap 41 when the second and third place machines of Zachary Dabbs and Austin Thompson made contact exiting turn two and both spun.
Following Conner and Smith to the checkered flag were Wesley Noles, Ryan Krachun, and Logan Jones.
Chase Purdy prevailed in a hearty race long battle for the lead to take the Legends car win over Ryan Millington, Devin O'Connell, Dillon Spain, and Will Bristle.
Sean Gartner came home with the win in the Challenger division.
The PASS South Super Late Models will be in action again in the first PASS National Championship Series event of the season on Saturday, March 21st at Anderson Motor Speedway for the Peach Blossom Special. The PASS Pro Late Models will also be in action along with the USAC Eastern Midgets and Legends. For more information, please go to ProAllStarsSeries.com, "Like" the Pro All Stars Series on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @PASSSLM14.
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