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PASS confirms Tuesday-night SLM showdown at Star

The Super Late Model sanctioning body firmed up an open date on the schedule with a Tuesday-night tilt in July.

A fixture on the PASS North circuit since 2001, Star Speedway in Epping, N.H. confirmed a second PASS date this week. The 200-lap feature will be held Tuesday, July 30. (Jeff Brown photo)

The Pro All Stars Series left an intriguing question mark on the 2019 schedule with a midweek event earmarked for late July. This week, captivated fans received their answer in the form of a Tuesday-night program at one of New Hampshire’s popular bullrings.

Star Speedway in Epping, a track familiar to the PASS faithful, will be the home of the July 30 event, anchored by 200 green-flag laps for the PASS North Super Late Models. The race will be a second visit for the touring teams, who will also race at Star in early May.

This is not the first time Star has experimented with a mid-week feature event. In 2017, Star scheduled a PASS North feature on a Thursday in July, in support of that weekend’s NASCAR activities at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Rain forced the postponement of the event to Star’s usual Saturday night instead. A month later, Star successfully dodged foul weather with a Wednesday-night Tri-Track Open Modified Series feature.

Star’s Facebook page broke the first news of the race date, announcing on Monday afternoon that PASS would be leasing the venue for a Tuesday-night event, with Super Late Models serving as the headliner. The PASS Web site was updated later in the week, reflecting the newly-confirmed event.

The PASS Modifieds will accompany the Super Late Models for their sixth race at the tight quarter-mile and their first appearance since 2016. The North East Mini Stock Tour will also participate in the evening’s festivities. With PASS leasing the track, it is unclear if any of Star’s weekly divisions will make an appearance.

July’s PASS race adds to a busy year for Star Speedway, one in which the quarter-mile oval will host most of New England’s major touring series. The American-Canadian Tour Late Models, the Granite State Pro Stock Series and the GSPSS’ new Steel Sportsman Series have Star appearances in store for 2019. The Tri-Track Open Modified Series will again sanction Star’s eighth annual SBM 125 on July 27, a few days before the PASS feature. The International Supermodified Association will visit Star in September for the annual Star Classic, anchoring a night of open-wheel racing with Star’s own 350 Supermodifieds and the Northeastern Midget Association.

Two dates still remain to be confirmed for PASS’ 2019 schedules, with announcements expected in the next two weeks for both a July PASS North feature and a mid-November PASS National Championship event.

Midweek racing has become a popular request among racing fans in recent years. While most of the call is directed toward motorsports’ upper levels, fans in the stands at high-profile summer short-track events suggest there is an opportunity. Only a few Northeast tracks have a recent history of big-ticket midweek events, among them Seekonk Speedway in Massachusetts and Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway.

With this feature, one of the longest events in lap distance on the schedule, PASS and Star Speedway are coming together to build what they hope will be a new annual tradition.

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Jeff Brown is a contributor to Short Track Scene. A native of New Hampshire and a long-time fan of New England racing, Brown provides a fan's perspective as he follows New England's regional Late Model touring series.

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