Making Up With Mike Rowe and Team Very Important to PASS Driver
The July 3rd PASS race at Oxford Plains Speedway had all of the ingredients of a short track war. There was contact on the track, retaliation, a fight in the pits and a driver being led away from the track by police. The whole incident got fans buzzing, internet forums filling with rumors and opinions tossed around.
“I’ve apologized to Mike and his whole team for what I did at Oxford,” said Mulkern. “I flipped out and I shouldn’t have.”
The incident started with two laps to go in the PASS feature. Mike Rowe was leading and Mulkern was chasing him. The two made contact and Mulkern got sideways. The car behind them, the #00 of Mike’s son Ben, then made contact with Mulkern, who slid off the banking and into the dirt. On the next lap, Rowe came around for the white flag and Mulkern took a shot at him. Johnny Clark got by and won the race.
“We had slight contact on the last restart and in the heat of the moment, I blamed Mike. After I calmed down, I realized that he really didn’t do anything wrong. He was leading and we made contact with our wheels. It jumped up into the air and if it wasn’t for that, I would have been OK. If we didn’t hit wheel to wheel, it would have been fine.
“I know that Mike wouldn’t do anything to me on like that on purpose. In the heat of the moment though, I didn’t think like that.”
Afterwards, Mulkern brought his car to Rowe’s pit and a physical altercation broke out between Mulkern and Rowe’s team.
“I’m really sorry that I got the team involved. I really wish that I hadn’t have done that.”
But the story didn’t stop there. Oxford (ME) Police arrested Mulkern when he returned to the pits because
Mike Rowe (#24), Ben Rowe (#00) and Scott Mulkern (#84) race at Oxford before things get ugly. (Norm Marx Photo)
they felt that he drove dangerous off pit road after the incident.
“They arrested me because after the incident on pit road, I went out, left pit road, went onto the racetrack and spun my car around so it was straight. I did a little burn out in second gear and there was nobody around me. I went into the pits slow, slow, slow. I wasn’t even upset then. I had calmed down. I guess that the cop decided that he was going to arrest somebody that night and it was me. I don’t see how I did anything there.”
Mulkern and his crew, earlier this season at Riverside. (51 Photo)
Mulkern goes to court to address those charges the week before the annual TD Banknorth Oxford 250. He still plans to compete in that event.
Mulkern has taken the last two PASS races off, but was in the pits as a spectator at White Mountain. He’s not leaving racing by any means and his time off is not completely because of what happened at Oxford.
“I didn’t really say that I was going to run the whole year. I hate not too, but honestly, I’ve had terrible finishes over the last five races. I just wanted to take a little time off and after that whole mess was the perfect time to do it.”
But the altercation between Scott Mulkern and Mike Rowe and the last lap of the race isn’t about two racers who are at each other throats. It’s more about a racing incident between two friends that got too heated.
Mulkern talked to Speed51.com this week about the incident and instead of throwing around cross words and insults about his rival, Mulkern has instead expressed remorse about an on-track altercation that carried over too far.
Query winning at Concord last fall. Clark wasn't far behind
In fact, before the Oxford race, he confided in Rowe about the troubles with his own racecar.
“I told Mike earlier in the day that I wasn’t time trialing good and that I needed to figure it out” said Mulkern. “Every week, I’ve been starting in the back and having to come up through. I’ve had a good car in the race, but haven’t time trialed well. I’ve been frustrated with that.”
Rowe has apparently accepted Mulkern’s apology. At White Mountain, he saw Mulkern and asked where his firesuit was. Rowe then even offered Mulkern his back-up car to race.
“Mike is a good friend and he has been for years,” said Mulkern. “I’m sorry to him and his team for what happened. I want to put this behind us. Everybody is gossiping and has their opinions, but it’s between us. Mike was upset with me and I don’t blame him. I cost him the win too and I’m sorry about that. I shouldn’t have gone off. I flew off the handle and that was wrong.”
It takes a bigger man to admit he was wrong than one who would try to just let the incident keep building and building and Scott Mulkern has proved he is just that type of guy. We salute him for his comments. After all, it takes everyone to make this racing world go around.
Mulkern has had a frustrating summer. Here his team repairs damage in the Unity 250. (51 Photo)