Pro Late Model Driver Jeremy Pate

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Pensacola driver Jeremy Pate was right in the mix for a victory in the season-opening Midwest Cooling Towers Pro Late Model 20+30 twin features on Apr. 20 at Mobile International Speedway and believes he could be next to reach victory lane following breakthrough performances by Bryce Dulabhan and Junior Niedecken.

The reason for his confidence is two-fold. First the new format provides double the opportunity to score a victory and secondly two chances to nail the set-up.

When Pate first heard about the new race procedure, he had mixed feelings but really came around after participating several weeks ago.

The format was designed specifically to aid the local drivers typically disadvantaged by the longer 100-lap endurance races. As Pate explained, shorter-distance events are more about talent than funding and he’s looking to take full advantage on Saturday night.

“I think we’re right there,” Pate said. “Look at last time out. It was our first time with this homegrown operation and we were right there. These shootout formats could go several different ways and it easily could be us next time with a little luck and continued hard work.”

Pate knows the path to victory goes through Dulabhan, Niedecken and defending division champion Josh Bragg and feels as though the first race was a good preview for how the rest of the season may go. On the other hand, Pate isn’t discounting a single driver in the field, calling this year’s roster one of the best in recent memory.

“These guys are just a lot of fun to race against,” Pate said. “And this format only adds to it. Each of the drivers in the field have a pretty impressive set of credentials and winning against them at Mobile will speak volumes, so hopefully we’re adding our name to that mix on Saturday night.

Pate is primarily known for his Super Late Model experience across the Gulf Coast and is still looking for an engine package to complete his 2013 season needs. If he can secure that last piece of the puzzle, Pate also expects to compete in the Southern Super Series events at both Mobile and Pensacola’s Five Flags Speedway later this month.

“We’re excited to see these tracks band together the way they have,” Pate said. “It’s exciting on a variety of different levels. It provides another chance for the national drivers to come to town and generate some excitement as well as give us local guys a chance to prove how good we are at tracks where we have a lot of seat time. Those races are going to be a lot of fun and we hope to be a part of it.”

A victory in either of Saturday night’s Pro Late Model features will be a nice consolation prize and could point Pate towards a season championship, not to mention the steadily approaching Lee Fields Memorial 150 Pro Late Model spectacular on Aug. 30.

The Pro Late Models headline an action-packed card on Saturday night that also features the Praytor Realty Super Stocks, Bob’s Speed Shop Sportsman and Island Motors II Bomber division.

Grandstands open at 4:00PM on Saturday with grandstand admission: $10 for Adults, $8 for Seniors, Military, First Responders and Students aged 12-17. Kids 6-11 get in for $5 and those 5 and under get in FREE. Pit passes run $25. Everyone under the age of 19 must have a signed parental consent form.

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