A Pair of Mainers Steal the SLM Show North of the Border
Super Late Model and Pro Stock racing is gaining strength throughout the United States.  The Snowball Derby and Speedfest in Florida drew a ton of cars this winter, the TD Banknorth 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway (ME) was such a tough nut to crack that this year’s eventual winner Mike Rowe almost didn’t qualify.  Regional tours like the IBG-PASS Series in the Northeast and the CRA Super Series in the Midwest are strong.  Interest in the BAMA Series events at Montgomery Speedway in Alabama has been high all season long.
And the battle to the win was big as well.  Two hard luck, but very talented, drivers with solid teams put on a classic show through the 250 green flag circuits.  They overcame trouble from all sides and in the end, it was Scott Chubbuck besting Travis Benjamin for the victory.
The early part of the race was plagued by trouble.  Only green flag laps counted and in the first 93 green lap “official” laps, there were nearly additional 200 laps run under caution.  Backmarkers would spin and wreck and then repeat that cycle time and again.  A few drivers got hot with each other and one even took matters into his own hands.  Cars got crunched and drivers grew inpatient.  However, after every restart it was the Chubbuck vs. Benjamin show.  Scott Alexander broke through to lead while those two pitted for fuel and tires, but that was short lived.  Within 10 laps, Chubbuck was back in the lead.  Two laps later, Benjamin was back to second place.

Racing each other made the two drivers feel comfortable despite the carnage around them.

“I’ve raced with Scott for a long time and the #0 [Sean Turple] and #15 [Alexander] a few times now,” said Benjamin.  “They are all good.  They all run clean and they aren’t out of control.  I wanted to run out front with those guys to stay out of trouble.
Scott Chubbuck was smiling much wider after the race was finished.  (51 Photos)
We knew that we had to stay out.  When we did come in, it didn’t take us long to get back out front.”

So when trouble did strike the leaders, it was because of lapped cars.

With 43 laps to go, Chubbuck got shoved high in lapped traffic and Benjamin took over the lead.

“I knew the #17 [Benjamin’s] car was good,” said Chubbuck.  “I was worried and then I sat outside the {lapped] #8 car [Hal O’Neal] and he knew that I was there.  He was slow and we hadn’t made it to him yet, but he ran me right up the racetrack.  I was real worried.”
As it turned out, the two hard luck American Pro Stock drivers swept the top two spots.  Chubbuck won and Benjamin was appropriately right on his tail.  A little bit further back were Canadians Alexander, Turple,[who overcome an incident that left his racecar with front-end damage] and Wayne Smith.  Only the top five cars were on the lead lap at the end.

Chubbuck, who is usually a quiet guy who lets his driving do the talking, was all smiles after the victory.

“This feels wonderful,” said Chubbuck.  “We’ve have a really bad season and to finally get this win…you just
Johnny Benson and Travis Benjamin sign autographs for fans.
None of that seems to compare though to the reception that the low, light and fast racecars get in the Canadian Maritimes.  The Irving Oil 250 at New Brunswick International Speedway wasn’t just a race this past weekend.  It was an event.

There were 400 RVs at the track and what seemed like 7,501 fans in a facility designed to hold 7,500.  That didn’t include 39 entries on a weekend when most American entries were diverted to the PASS points race at Canaan Fair Speedway.  Irving Oil brought 175 guests to their hospitality tent for the race.  Peterbilt Trucks brought 400 guest.  Big names like NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Johnny Benson and Northeastern racing legend Dave Dion were on the entry list.  This was big.
Chubbuck wasn’t the only one to lap trouble.  Benjamin until there were 30 laps to go when another car laid oil down on the track.  Benjamin hit the oil and sailed off turn one backwards into the dirt bank.  He needed a tow truck to get out, but with the caution laps not counting, he was still on the lead lap.  Amazingly, when the other lead cars pitted he was placed back to second on the restart to resume his battle with Chubbuck.

“It wasn’t all that bad to go into the bank and come out second, but it could have been,” said Benjamin.  “I was heartbroken sitting there and I just wanted to cry.  I thought that we might have broke something.  I didn’t know why we had spun.  I was sitting there [off the track
The crowd at NBIS - during the heat races!
and I saw the oil going all through the turn, so I thought that it couldn’t be me.  I went back out and started shaking the car around and everything was cool.”

Benjamin caught up to the rear bumper of Chubbuck’s Cushman Competition #29 a few times but could not challenge for the lead again.

“I was in the tires so long and my tires cooled off, so it took 10-15 laps before I was comfortable.  We reeled Scott in again, but it was hard to pass him.  He’s good enough that I wasn’t going to pass him twice.

“We had a good car, it’s too bad that we spun in that oil.  I don’t think that Scott would have gotten back by us.  He might have caught us, but I don’t think that he would have gotten by us.”
can’t beat it.  This is the biggest win of my career.  I’ve won a couple of Coastal 200s [at Chubbuck’s hometrack of Wiscasset Speedway] and they meant a lot at the time.  I did that with a Saturday night car and those were big races, but to win a race like this is huge.”

He was also quick to praise his nearest competitor.

“Travis has been running so well,” said Chubbuck.  “He’s due.  He was up there at Halifax all over Mike Rowe.  He’s had a lot of gremlins get him, but he’s good.”
Benjamin (#17)  passes Dave Dion (#54) before going on to win his heat race.
And although Benjamin was hoping for a win, he wasn’t heartbroken at being the runner-up either.

“I’ll take second,” said Benjamin.  “It’s been a tough year and this is a good finish.  I’m happy for Scott.  He raced me clean all race long.”

The real winners of the night might not have been the ones taking home trophies, but programs instead.  Despite taking over three hours to run and having the start delayed because of a red flag in one of the
preliminary races, hardly any fans left early.  In fact, most didn’t even head for the exit as the race ended and the clock marched towards midnight.  Instead, most ventured to the pit area to meet the drivers that they just watched.

Stock car racing might be America’s favorite spectator sport, but it’s pretty darn big North of the Border as well.

Speed51.com will have more from NBIS coming up with a helping of Canadian flavored leftovers soon.

The top three in victory lane.