Lawler added to Expo lineup

PASS South champion Ryan Lawler, a Texas native now living in North Carolina, will be at the 20th annual Northeast Motorsports Expo at the Augusta Civic Center, show director Tim Attaya confirmed.

Lawler will join 4-time and current PASS North Series champion Ben Rowe to sign autographs at the event, which will be held Jan. 5-7. Sunoco Race Fuels has put together a special hero card featuring both Lawler and Rowe that will be available for signatures.

For more info about the Expo, click here.


Reverse gear: 2007's Top 10

No. 8

Return of the 'outlaws'

It wasn't one race here or there that fed this story, but a series of occurences over the course of a long 2007 season.

Patrick Laperle hopping in a car owned by Mike Lux at the TD Banknorth 250. Brad Leighton, a multi-time Busch East Series champion taking a shot at both the TD Banknorth 250 and the PASS 300 at Beech Ridge. Ben and Mike Rowe in the Labor Day Classic 200 at Thunder Road in Vermont. Venerable Dave Dion has made a habit over the last half-decade of being where the money is.

The decade dominated by racers chasing points and championships -- and the prize money and, hopefully, national prestige that goes along with those titles -- seems to be dissipating slightly. That's opened the door to more and more racers who are going places just to race.

What it's doing for the sport on the local level is not easily quantified, though one thing is clear -- it feels like we've stepped back almost 2 decades. Now, big events are beginning to feel like big events again (despite an over-abundance of extra-distance races with big purses), where you truly never know whose haulers are going to show up in the pit area until race day.

That's obviously great for fans paying to see quality racing, but it's good for track owners and promoters, too. It also doesn't hurt media coverage of the sport, as recognizeable names lend instant credibility to races in the eyes of sports editors across the region.

Again, it's not so much one event or another that's made this a Top-10 story, but it's certainly the beginning of a trend worth watching.