“That was some really good racing,” said Chubbuck. “That was tight and it was good competition. That’s what we do this for.”
“When we were 30 or 40 laps into the race, I think that we changed leaders three or four times among the top four or five guys,” said Clark. “That was good racing.”
Clark didn’t press the issue too much during that time. He mixed being aggressive with being smart.
“We were still racing, but I didn’t want to end up in the grandstands either,” said Clark. “We were biding our time a little bit.”
CASSIUS CLARK STARTS PASS NORTH SEASON WITH OXFORD VICTORY by Mike Twist
Maine Driver Rebounds From Hickory Disappointment With Strong Victory
It’s about a 17-hour drive from Hickory, North Carolina to Farmington, Maine and Cassius Clark’s #8 Pro All Star Series team felt every minute of it two weeks ago as they returned home after the Easter Bunny 150.
we had the best car again here tonight. I just wanted to make sure I hit my marks on all of the restarts there and that helped in the end.”
Clark didn’t take the lead at Oxford until lap 95, but once he took over the top spot, he never gave it up.
“When you get to around lap 100, that’s go time at Oxford,” said Clark.
Before Clark took over, it appeared to be anyone’s show. Dale Shaw led early and often from the pole before Corey Williams poked his nose through to lead a lap. Ricky Rolfe showed the way for several laps on two occasions. Scott Chubbuck also led and Clark was always in the lead pack. For many laps, the top four were side-by-side and nose-to-tail while dicing for the top spot.
Clark sailed to the victory by over three-seconds with Shaw, Chubbuck, Johnny Clark and Travis Benjamin rounding out the top-five finishers. Oxford Plains Speedway regular Tim Brackett crossed the line in the fourth position, but was disqualified in post-race inspection and credited with the 33rd position.
Cassius Clark helps to push his #8 car out to its spot in the line-up. Later, he'd climb out in victory lane. (51 Photo)
Defending PASS champion Ben Rowe, 2005 Rookie of the Year Alan Wilson, Travis Khiel, Gary Drew, Andy Shaw and Gary Smith were all eliminated because of wrecks. Mike Rowe faded to finish 11th after encountering transmission troubles and multi-time Oxford track champ Jeff Taylor saw a top-five run disappear due to a flat tire. The race’s top finishing rookie was Alan Tardiff, who lost several laps when his car stalled, and rebounded to finish 13th.
The #8 team gave Clark a fast car for the Pro All Star Series South opener at Hickory and Clark put it out front early in the race, but a parts failure ended their day. Afterwards, Clark and his team did not hang their heads too low. Instead, they got to work and focused on getting well-prepared for the PASS North opener, Saturday night’s New England Dodge Dealers 150 at Oxford Plains Speedway in Maine.
And It worked. At Oxford, the #8 team led late, rather than early, and captured a convincing victory at the 24-year-old’s home track.
“We needed to redeem ourselves after Hickory – I was crying for the last two weeks over that,” said Clark. “But
There was a full field in the pits for opening day at Oxford. (Jamie Williams Photo)
Finally, he knew that it was time to go after the race passed the halfway mark.
“On one restart, I was fourth and I didn’t want to go back any further. So I got up on the wheel and ended up second. Then we got by the leader under green in some lapped traffic.”
Once Clark took the lead, he pulled away to a sizable advantage.
While Clark and company were at it, the other 29 competitors were battling to survive. There were 12 caution periods during the race and just about everyone not in the top-five was involved in at least one of them.
Clark and his team now have a week to prepare for the next PASS North race, Sunday’s 150-lap event at Speedway 95 near Bangor, Maine. The sweetness of victory at Oxford will make the time between races a little easier than it was after Hickory for the team.
“We’ve still got a car under us and now we’ll head to Bangor,” said Clark.
The PASS North event at Bangor will take place on Sunday, May 7th. Racing action is scheduled to start at 1pm ET.
Dale Shaw (#60), Ricky Rolfe (#51), Scott Chubbuck (#29) and Clark (#8) would decide the race among themselves. (Norm Marx Photo)