“Ben is a top gun and I’m excited that he’ll be on our side and not racing against us,” said Richard Moody.  “Travis is going to be a top gun and it’s a great lineup.”

It won’t take much time for Rowe and Khiel to work together as teammates.  Last season, Khiel was without a ride in PASS and lacked the resources to run a full schedule with his own equipment, so he spent the season as the tire specialist on Rowe’s championship-winning #00 team.

“He already had Travis driving for him and Trav and I got along excellent, so I couldn’t think of a better teammate than him,” said Rowe.  “Trav and I actually talked about it last year and said that it would be neat if we could team up someday.  We just never thought it would be this fast.  It’s a neat deal.  We get along really well and we share stuff.  I think that we’ve really got something here.”
BEN ROWE SWITCHES RIDES FOR 2006 by MikeTwist
Three Time Champ Joins Richard Moody Racing
For the past several years in Northeastern Pro Stock racing, there have been two things for certain when Ben Rowe gets to the track.  First, he has shown with the yellow #00 Tom Estes-owned ride (well…except for one event at White Mountain when the team borrowed another competitor's car and won anyways) and secondly, he's always been a threat to win races.
“I told those guys the other day that I don’t see why we can’t go to Oxford and win the race,” said Rowe.  “Caesar Morgan is the crew chief on Travis’ deal and he was behind my father last year when he won all of those races.  He did the shocks and stuff and he’ll be doing our shocks.  I have all my same set-up guys and a brand new car from Jeff, so it is all the same equipment that we are used to.  The Moodys are stepping up and giving us everything we need, so there is no reason why we can’t win right races right off the bat.”

News of the new pairing shocked the racing community when it became known this past weekend.  Also shocking was the fact that the deal came together as quickly as it did.

“A little over a week ago on a Saturday, I got a call from Ben saying that he might be available,” said Richard Moody.  “We talked all week about it and on Friday, we said ‘Let’s try this.’”

“This all came about in the last two weeks,” said Rowe.  “The team that I was with wanted to scale back and only do seven or eight races and I want to race every week, so I started looking around.  It happened pretty quick.”

With Rowe, the three-time and defending PASS Champion available, snatching him up was a no-brainer for the Moodys.

“He became available and he was a logical choice.  How can you say no to Ben Rowe?,” said Josh Moody.  “With him being a three-time PASS champion, he’s kind of hard to pass up.”
Rowe's last ride in the #00 was down in Florida at Speedfest last month.  (51 Photo)
“Ben is going to be a great asset to help the team,” said Richard Moody.  “Travis and Ben are good friends and have a good relationship already.”

Ironically though, while Rowe knew his new teammate all through last year, he only got to know his new owner recently.

“I never even knew the guy [last year],” said Rowe of Richard Moody.  “We talked at Lakeland.  I knew who he was, but was never really introduced to him.  I’ve talked to a lot of people in the last few weeks and just talking to him, I know that he’s in this for the long haul.  He wants to run full schedules and it just seems to fit.  He’s easy to get along with.  His son Josh is good to talk to as well.  They understand the business and know what it takes to do well.  They are stepping up to the plate and I’m happy to be part of it.”
Last year, Tarvis Khiel was Ben Rowe's tire specialist.  This year, they will be teammates. (Norm Marx Photo)
“He already had Travis driving for him and Trav and I got along excellent, so I couldn’t think of a better teammate than him,” said Rowe.  “Trav and I actually talked about it last year and said that it would be neat if we could team up someday.  We just never thought it would be this fast.  It’s a neat deal.  We get along really well and we share stuff.  I think that we’ve really got something here.”

“They’ve got a good relationship, especially after working with each other,” said Josh Moody.  “Travis has a lot of fire and heart and Ben is a proven champion and you know what you are getting.  They are great all around people too.”
One of those things will change when Rowe hits the track for the PASS opener at Oxford Plains Speedway on April 29th.  The other probably won’t.

Rowe has parted ways with the #00 team and found a new home with the burgeoning team of Richard Moody Racing.  Father and son team owners Richard and Josh Moody announced earlier this off-season that they would be fielding a car for Travis Khiel in most of the races this season in an effort to build for the future.  Now, they’ve added the full-time #4 entry for Rowe as well.

And the new team doesn’t expect much of a learning curve.
For the first time in his PASS career, Ben Rowe won't be in the #00 this year.  (51 Photo)
“They’ve got a good relationship, especially after working with each other,” said Josh Moody.  “Travis has a lot of fire and heart and Ben is a proven champion and you know what you are getting.  They are great all around people too.”

“Ben is going to be a great asset to help the team,” said Richard Moody.  “Travis and Ben are good friends and have a good relationship already.”

Ironically though, while Rowe knew his new teammate all through last year, he only got to know his new owner recently.

“I never even knew the guy [last year],” said Rowe of Richard Moody.  “We talked at Lakeland.  I knew who he was, but was never really introduced to him.  I’ve talked to a lot of people in the last few weeks and just talking to him, I know that he’s in this for the long haul.  He wants to run full schedules and it just seems to fit.  He’s easy to get along with.  His son Josh is good to talk to as well.  They understand the business and know what it takes to do well.  They are stepping up to the plate and I’m happy to be part of it.”
Although the #4 team is a new operation and there are still plenty of details to work out, the start-up tasks aren’t going to be overwhelmed according to everyone involved.

“We knew that we were eventually going to expand in racing and we took those first steps to start expanding, so this isn’t something that we are starting from scratch,” said Josh Moody.  “We’ve got two cars right now and another one being built.  We’ve got two new motors and two back-up motors.”

Ironically, the new car being built will be a Distance Racing creation and the proprietor of Distance, Jeff Taylor, will replace Rowe in the #00 car for a limited schedule in 2006 – although that team will have a mostly new crew.
Last season, the Moodys fielded the #83 car for Donnie Whitten and finished a solid sixth in the PASS standings. 
“Jeff Taylor is building us a brand new car and we’re supposed to have that in two or three weeks,” said Rowe.  “All of my guys are coming with me except from Brian [Burgess] the crew chief, so I don’t see why we just can’t continue what we’ve been doing.”

One thing is that although Rowe’s #4 team and Khiel’s #44 team will be a two-car effort on raceday, they will be housed in different shops.

“They are going to be pretty separate operations,” said Josh Moody.  “This is still pretty new to us, so we haven’t worked out all of the details yet.”
“The two teams are going to be done separately, but they will be teammates at the track,” said Richard Moody.

Neither Moody team is ruling out entering some of the races planned for the new PASS Southern Series later this season either.

“We’ve talked about it,” said Rowe.  “They kind of threw it out there and I don’t know if I would be driving or Trav would be driving.  That is still in the works.  They would like to do a couple of the big races down south.  If time permits and we can get down south for a few races, I think that you’ll see us down there.”
So with two months to go before the PASS season opener at Oxford, the new #4 team is definitely up to the task of coming out of the box as title contenders.

“Within two or maybe three weeks, we could be going racing if we wanted to,” said Richard Moody.  “And we should do pretty well.”

And that won’t be anything new for their proven driver.



Ben Rowe  (51 Photo)