At the 150 lap mark, it was Johnny with Cassius right behind, Chubbuck, Benjamin, Leighton, Dearborn, Flemming, Khiel, Alexander, and the #02 of Mike Mackenzie of Dartmouth, NS making up the top ten.
As they closed in on the $2000 that Forbes Chev-Olds put up for the leader of lap 200, Johnny was pulling away and put the money in the bank.
At the 225 mark, Cassius made his move off turn four and got Johnny to wiggle a bit and went to the inside for the lead as they entered turn one. Johnny did the crossover move under Cassius as they came out of turn two and regained the lead down the backstretch and pulled away over the last 20 laps.
Johnny held on over Cassius, with Scott Chubbuck padding his points lead with a solid third , followed by Leighton, Benjamin, Dearborn, Flemming , Khiel, Alexander, and Mackenzie tenth in the unofficial finish.
DURGIN BACK IN BUSCH AT WATERFORD
It's been three years since Mark Durgin sat in a NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East (previously North) Series race car. That downtime, though, is about to come to an end on Saturday when he straps into James Pritchard Motorsports' No. 41 Mannings USA/Snacketizers Chevrolet for the running of the Big Y World Class Markets 150 at the Waterford Speedbowl in Waterford, Connecticut.
On the restart, it was Alexander again out over Benjamin with Mike Rowe of Turner, ME moving up to third with the 44S of Wayne Smith of Halifax, NS fourth. Cassius Clark of Farmington, ME in the #8 took advantage of a slide up the track in turn four by Smith’s #44S and jumps to fourth. Benjamin was caught on the outside and was freight trained back to sixth before he could get back in line.
On lap 25, Rowe made a power move on the outside past Alexander and took the lead with Cassius moving to second around Alexander. Two laps later, Cassius went to the outside of Rowe and took the lead after a three lap struggle. Once out front, Cassius started to pull away. Took quick yellows on lap 37 and 38 for the #9 of Stephen Brown of Williamswood, NS stopping at the top of Turn four and a scuffle in turn one that put Rollie MacDonald of Pictou, NS off on the hook and out for the night slowed Cassius’ run..
Third-place runner Ben Rowe of Turner, ME in the Moody #4 slapped the wall on lap 58 and broke an axel, putting an end to his night. John Flemming of Halifax, NS brought the #97 from scratch on the filed to sixth on lap 66 and was coming to the front.
At halfway, it was Cassius, Dearborn, Johnny Clark, Leighton, Mike Rowe, Benjamin, and Flemming, with Travis Khiel of Denmark, ME in the #44 the first car one lap down.
On lap 134, the #0 of Shawn Turple of Enfield, NS went around on the backstretch bringing out the yellow, and everyone went to the pits, and we mean everyone. On the restart, it was Johnny Clark at the point after a quick pit stop to adjust the rear stagger. The final yellow came out on lap 147 for oil in turn one after Mike Rowe pulled the #24 to the pits with rear-end problems.
51's NORTHERN EXPOSURECompiled by Mike Twist
A Super Friday, Battle of the Clarks, Scott Wins Another and More
A beautiful afternoon fell victim to a sudden rain storm that featured some pea-sized hail just as the Super Late Models were to roll out for the pre-race ceremonies. Everyone took cover, and after a 55 minute delay, it was time to go racing as the big crowd filed back in from the parking lots.
The #15 of Scott Alexander of Dartmouth, NS and the #`17 of Travis Benjamin of Morrill, ME led the 25-car field to the green, and the two went side by side for five laps until the first caution of the night came out as the #11 of Marty Prevost of Fall River, NS got into Alan Tardif of Lyman, ME in the #8T sending the PASS rookie spinning off turn four.
On lap 11, a tangle of fours cars put the #89 of Donald Chisholm of Antigonish, NS, the #81 of Bobby White of Kennetcook, NS, the #47 of Corey Williams of Boothbay, ME, and the #19V of Daren Vanderaq of Price Edward Island in the pits and at the back of the pack with the #11 of Marty Prevost going off on the hook.
CLARK PREVAILS IN BATTLE OF NATIONS
The Atlantic CAT 250 at Scotia Speedworld in Halifax, Nova Scotia was an international event with three Maritimers and three PASS North regulars from the US in the first six spots on the grid.
New Brunswick International Speedway.
Johnny Clark after winning the Atlantic CAT 250 at Scotia. (Norm Marx Photo)
Pritchard asked Durgin to fill in for the team's regular driver, Don Wagner, who is chasing points in weekly Modified competition at Mahoning Valley Speedway.
"Don's leading the points there and he can't take a week off," Pritchard said. "I couldn't ask him to do that. But Mark's been such a help to the team for the last couple years so we'll give him a shot behind the wheel. We've done well at Waterford in the past, we'll see if Mark can keep things going this year."
Durgin's start in the series came first as a crew chief, working for Eddie MacDonald. He moved from the pit box to
the drivers seat in 2003, running a full season with his best finish being a pair of 13th place efforts. He finished the year fifteenth in points, earning an invitation to the inaugural NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown.
He has since returned to the crew chief position, first with Pritchard's team and now, having relocated to North Carolina from his native Lynn, Mass., for the Curb Agajanian Performance Group No. 43 team in the NASCAR Busch Series.
THE SENATOR WILL TAKE HIS TROPHY NOW
Washington County Senator Phil Scott of Middlesex became the first Late Model repeat winner of the summer at Barre’s Thunder Road on Thursday. Scott was joined in the Winner’s Circle by runner-up Rich Lowery of Charlotte and Williamstown’s Cris Michaud. Rounding out the top five finishers in the Vermont ACE Hardware Trophy Dash were Joe Becker of Jeffersonville and Eric Williams from Hyde Park.
Veteran racer, Gary Caron from Shelburne lined alongside freshman driver Mike Bailey of Barre for the start of the 50-lap Late Model feature. After battling back and forth for the initial circuits, youth bested experience as Bailey was able to complete the pass in the outside groove on lap five. He held the position the first of three caution flags flew on lap 14 for a minor incident.
Mark Durgin (51 Photo)
Lining up alongside Bailey for the restart was Lowrey, another of the experienced weekly racers. Experience prevailed on this start and before the 15th circuit was half complete, Lowery had passed the rookie driver. A long stretch of green flag racing allowed Lowery to distance himself from the field as he carefully maneuvering his Chevrolet through heavy traffic.
The second yellow came out on lap 24 which brought Lowrey back to the field. Despite the disruption, the leader again pulled away from the field when action resumed. Lowery and crew anxiously awaited the laps to tick down as they aimed for his first victory of the season. A yellow for David Chagnon’s spin in the first
turn brought out the caution for the third and final time with just three laps remaining. This time Lowery had a new dance partner in Scott. The two veterans battled door-to-door over the final laps which brought the packed house to their feet.
Scott, who had started the race 17th in the 28 car field, massaged the high groove as he worked his way through the field and moved into contention for the lead. When Lowery and Scott crossed the finish line on the 50th circuit, Scott’s Ford was in front by about a half-car length.
“Rich (Lowery) had a good car and it was a lot of fun to race against him tonight. If that last yellow hadn’t come out, I don’t think that I would have caught him,” Scott said.
Lowery was less pleased with the final caution, “I thought we had a great car tonight. I don’t know what brought out the last yellow, but someone better tell me who it was,” he said with a grin. “I really had a great time here tonight and I look forward to being in the Winner’s Circle next week.”
Rounding out the top ten was John Donahue of Graniteville, Trampas Demers from Shelburne, Barre’s Mike Bailey, and Shelburne residents Jamie Fisher and Dennis Demers.
The Late Models will complete their summer long point battle at next week’s Kinney Drugs Trophy Dash, the last Thursday event of the year. In spite of a mediocre outing, Chad Wheeler leads Dennis Demers into the final event.
Tom Therrien won the 35-lap ACE Trophy Dash for the NAPA Sportsman division.
Early season Allen Lumber Street Stock point leader, Eric Badore of Georgia also won his second feature of the year. Waterbury Center’s Frank Sanborn scored his first career win in the PowerShift Warrior division.
PASS NORTH TO RETURN TO HALIFAX
Tom Mayberry, President of PASS Racing, Inc has announced that the PASS North Super Late Model touring series will be back at Scotia Speedworld in Halifax, Nova Scotia for the next two years.
Even though the show was slowed by a 55 minute rain delay, last Saturday’s Atlantic CAT 250 played out before another capacity crowd of Maritime fans, and PASS and Scotia Speedworld agreed that the Forbes Chev-Olds 200 and the Atlantic CAT 250 have become the two premier races in the area for super late model/pro stock fans. With the great fan support and the willingness of Scotia management to increase the tow money package for the teams hauling from the States, PASS agreed to extend the relationship through the 2008 season.
A SUPER FRIDAY IN STORE AT LEE
The fastest short track race cars in America invade Lee USA Speedway, Lee, NH. Friday night August 18th, when the traveling International Super Modified Association makes its annual stop at the seacoast speedway for the 75 lap “Ollie Silva Memorial Summer Classic” for the 850 horse powered, fire breathing, winged warriors of short track racing.
Super modified fans will be treated to a homecoming of sorts as several drivers and car owners, that are part of the traveling tour, started their careers locally, and leading the list of entries will be “The Rowley Rocket”,
Chris Perley aboard the Vic Miller # 11 racer. Perley had put together a string of six consecutive wins until this past Friday when the streak was halted by Pennsylvania racer Lou Cicconi at an event in Mansfield, Ohio. But when it comes to Lee, Perley will be considered a strong favorite as the two time ISMA champion and 20 year veteran has a strong following and always has run well at the Lee track.
Also expected to compete are Ipswich, MA. veterans Justin Befiore, J.Scott Martel, Bradford, MA., Fremont NH’s Mike Ordway, a former Oswego NY Classic winner, Canadians Dave McKnight and Mike Lichty, Haverhill’s Rick Wentworth, Gloucester’s Kyle Carpenter and New Jersey hot shoe Nokie Fornoro, a former winner at Lee. A full field of the methanol burning race cars is expected to be on hand for the event, run annually in honor of the late Ollie “Quick” Silva who passed away two years ago.
Silva was considered by many to be one of the greatest drivers ever to come out of the northeast. Successful in both super modified and modified race cars, Silva was a member of the first New England Hall of Fame induction, the result of winning over 1000 races in his career with victories throughout the United States and Canada. Restored and replica race cars that Silva drove will be on display Friday night as will several other cars from the New England Supermodied Racing Association, the pioneer organization for super modified racing in New England .
Opening race ceremonies will include a charity motorcycle “ride” from Arundel, ME., to the speedway led by super modified great Bentley Warren. Warren is still active as a driver, recently competing at Stafford Springs CT.
NBIS PLANS A BUSY WEEKEND
New Brunswick International Speedway may be into the homestretch for Speedweekend, the biggest event of the year, but this coming weekend will rank as one of the busiest of the season. NBIS is looking to complete three events over two days including a special Friday night race. Originally only one event was scheduled for the weekend, but early rainstorms forced NBIS to re-arrange their schedule. This weekend’s events include an Enduro 200 on Friday night and then regular racing in all three divisions plus the completion of an extended sportsman race on Saturday night.
The weekend kicks off with the Enduro 200 starting on Friday at 8pm. This event was originally scheduled for May 22nd, but was completely rained out. This is the second time that NBIS has run an Enduro event at night with the last one two years ago earning rave reviews. At the last Enduro 200, Peter Chase Jr. led all 200 laps, could something as exciting as the last Enduro 200 be expected for this Friday? Only the Fans who come out Friday night will find out.
Then on Saturday night, NBIS returns with a full card of racing and a special race start. The event starts at 6pm with the Fredericton Inn Presenting Points Racing in all three divisions – Coast Tire Street Stocks (20-lap feature), Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman (30-lap feature), and CARQUEST Pro Stocks (40-lap feature). Normally, NBIS starts these events at 7pm, but the 6pm event is because points racing will be followed by the remaining 120 laps of the Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman 125 that was foiled by rain on July 22nd.
”Ideally, we would have a straight forward points race on Saturday night,” said co-owner Chris Johnston. “But we’ve been dodging Mother Nature this season and so it ends up being a couple of full events this weekend.
NBIS has the best Sportsman division in the province and the most sportsman drivers in its class. Oddly enough, the event will mark the first extended race of the season for the exciting division. “We would normally have raced at least one or two big sportsman races by now.” said Johnston, “However, this season we moved one of our early 100 lappers to the end of the season, then the Firecracker 150 was rained out, and the July 22nd race was halted.” The Firecracker 150 has been re-scheduled for September 24th.
It’s a lot of racing over the final half of the season, but sportsman drivers will be going for a big bonus if they can sweep all three races. The driver who can sweep all three events wins a $5,000 bonus. However, given the number of competitive cars in the division, no one has ever claimed the bounty since its introduction five years ago. The defending race winner is Bradley Logan, who was ultimately the 2005 Sportsman Division Champion. If anyone is considered a list of contenders for the bonus, Logan has to be included at the top of the list.
A battle of the Clarks - Cassius in the #8 and Johnny in the #54 go at it for the lead. (Norm Marx Photo)
Phil Scott (#14) and Rich Lowrey (#8) head to the finish line at Thudner Road. (Leif Tillotson Photo)