Dillon Motor Speedway has not been Jody Measamer’s favorite track over the years, but he’s confident that Dillon will be the place where he scores his first career Pro All Stars Series (PASS) Super Late Model victory.
The 39-year-old from Sanford, North Carolina has had his fair share of bad luck at Dillon Motor Speedway, which is located in South Carolina just a few miles “south of the border”. The worst of that luck came two years ago when Measamer was turned upside down in a massive multi-car accident in the early stages of a 150 lap PASS South race.
“I finally went to the doctor about four days later and had a pretty good concussion but I was okay, nothing major,” Measamer said. “I hit my head pretty good on the headrest.”
Despite that concussion, Measamer remembers vividly what transpired in that accident.
“The race started kind of wild,” Measamer recalled. “We had already been on the racetrack, two cautions and a red flag only lap five. We go back green and something happened to [Tate] Fogleman, he got in the wall off four. When he did, he came back across the track and hit me in the right rear. Then it kind of shot my car toward the wall. The rght front hit and it launched the car the way it hit.
“The track was bleeding off of four. There was a big water spot there. I don’t know if [Fogleman] hit that or something. I never saw what happened.”
Last season, Measamer returned to Dillon and had a shot to win the race, but a late race restart proved to be his undoing as Measamer was shuffled back from second to fifth in the closing laps. Despite that, it was that performance last year that gave Measamer confidence heading into this year’s PASS South race at Dillon, which will be held on Saturday night, March 5th.
“We had a shot to win it,” Measamer remarked. “We were running second and, had a late caution and it got us shuffled back to fifth. It’s kind of weird. I never really liked Dillon. I ran there a lot with the Super Truck. We ran second and thirds a lot but never won. We never had success there. But, for some reason, with the car, I’ve always had a good car and felt like I had a shot to win it.”
Another thing giving Measamer confidence about his chances to win is the amount of experience he has at Dillon compared to much of the field. Several rookies will be making their first ever start in a Super Late Model at Dillon Motor Speedway – though Measamer knows that even those rookies, such as Kodie Conner, will be tough to beat.
“I feel really good about Dillon because it’s not a cookie cutter easy racetrack,” Measamer explained. “It is very technical. It’s all about how you get through three and four and I feel like, with my experience and as good a car as I got, we’ll be in contention. Tyler Church won last year. He had a better car. I know Tyler will be tough. It’s a stout entry list so I know there’s going to be a lot of tough cars.”
The amount of inexperience in Saturday’s field will be in the back of Measamer’s mind, especially considering the crashfest that transpired in the race in 2014. However, all he can do is worry about his own race.
“You always got to have that on the back of your mind,” Measamer commented. “There’s nothing we can do about new drivers or inexperience. I’m going there with my game game plan as I do every week. Qualify in top 10, get a good redraw, get in a position where we can save the car, keep the fenders on it and be in contention in the end with a good enough racecar that we can win. Dillon is a tough place and it took me a ton of time to figure that place out.”
If Measamer can win, it will be his first career win in the PASS South Super Late Model tour, which he has been competing in since 2012. He has one previous PASS victory, in a Pro Late Model, at Orange County Speedway in 2011. Measamer feels like this could be his chance to score that breakthrough victory.
“I’ve got a good feeling if we don’t have any bad luck. There is no reason that, come Saturday night with five to go, that we are not contending for the win. Honestly, this year, I’m having to back up a little bit and I’m not going to run for points it looks like. this year, when we leave the shop, we’re not going to run second. We’re going to win the race.”
While much of the attention will be focused on popular rookie driver Nicole Behar, LFR Chassis driver Christian Eckes and fan favorite driver Kodie Conner, it could be the veteran, Measamer, who upsets the field on Saturday night.