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The entry list to-date for the North-South Shootout includes the likes of Matt Hirschman of Northampton, PA, the only three-time winner of the event, and two-time winner Burt Myers of Walnut Cove, NC. It also includes a diverse collection of drivers, who compete up-and-down the east coast.

For the first time in many years, New England’s Modified Racing Series will have strong representation. Series top-guns Les Hinckley of Windsor Locks, CT, and Kirk Alexander of W. Swanzey, NH, who have made multiple North-South Shootout starts with modest results, will look for career bests at Caraway. Fellow MRS competitor Max Zachem of Preston, CT, will also be making the trek to Caraway.

Jimmy Blewett, of Howell, NJ, a sentimental favorite, will pilot the family-owned car looking to follow in the footsteps of his brother, who was a two-time winner. Blewett, too, has had modest results with one (1) top-ten finish and four (4) top-15 finishes in six starts.

The 2011 Sunoco Race of Champions event winner Zane Zeiner of Bath, PA, hopes to add to his dream season with a North-South Shootout victory. The Gary Cretty led team will be among the most competitive teams in attendance at Caraway. Tommy Cloce of Canton, NY, had a solid season on the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Tour during the 2011 season. He will join Zeiner in competition on November 3-5, 2011.

Ryan Preece of Berlin, CT, was in the thick of the battle in 2010 before being eliminated in an incident. He is certainly considered a favorite to score a victory. L.W. Miller, Mooresville, NC, is making his first appearance in the North-South Shootout since 2004. After a strong 2011 season on the Whelen Southern Modified Tour including two (2) victories, three (3) top-five and nine (9) top-ten finishes in 14 starts, Miller, too, will likely be in the hunt for victory.

Pennsylvania weekly racing hot shoe Earl Paules, Jr., Palmerton, PA, has been a Shootout regular in both the Tour-Type and SK-Type Modified ranks. Aboard his Tour Mod, Paules has struggled in recent years with finishes of 25th or worse. He has not been without successes; however, back in 2006, Paules posted a fourth-place finish. The veteran competitor knows what to expect from the competition at the North-South Shootout and should be considered a dark horse for the victory.

Wall Stadium regular Shawn Carrig, Little Falls, NJ, was a surprise in 2010; running strong in the late stages of the event. Fellow NJ racer, Steven Reed of Freehold, NJ, will look to bounce back in North-South Shootout competition at Caraway in 2011. Last year, Reed took one of the wildest rides even seen at the Shootout in his SK-Type Modified. Wheeling a Tour-Type Modified in 2011 at Caraway, Reed looks to have another spectacular showing, this time by virtue of his finish.

There will be a host of newcomers to this year’s shootout including Robert Ellis, Jr., and Daniel Hemric in the Hillbilly Racing #79.

With the assortment of talented drivers on hand, the 2011 North-South Shootout is anyone’s race to win. The likes of former champs, Hirschman and Myers, would like nothing better than to have another familiar face in victory lane.

It all shakes out on Friday and Saturday, November 4&5, 2011 with the running of the ninth annual John Blewett III Memorial North-South Shootout held in loving memory of Charles Kepley. The Tour-Type Modifieds will run the headliner with 125-laps of green flag racing. A star-studded field of Late Model competitors is expected for the 100-lap CRA Super Late Model main event. SK-Type Modifieds, USA Modifieds, Sportsman, and Legends will also be part of the excitement.

For a complete schedule for the North-South Shootout can be found on northsouthshootout.com and carawayspeedway.com. Visit heartofnorthcarolina.com for area information. To learn more about the CRA Late Models visit craracing.net.

Source: Dale Wolbrink / North South Shootout
Posted: October 25, 2011

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