some speed. Last year about 85% of the time we were the fastest car in practice, but something went wrong or we just didn’t have the car at the end. I don’t mind being king of the mountain by any means.”
If he is the “king of the mountain,” his crown was tarnished a bit after post-race tech. The engine in Clark’s number-8 machine did not meet the compression regulations of the Pro All Stars Series North competition. His engine was at 12.7 compression and rules call for an engine not to be more than 11.1 compression, with no exceptions, if it is competing with a dry sump like Clark’s had.
Clark and car owner Ed Chapman have been fined all winnings and 120-points for the rules violation. Clark and the team are now on probation and any other infractions this year will result in disqualification.
“The number-8 car blew a motor at the Oxford event and they used another motor for Thompson,” explained Tom Mayberry, owner of the Pro All Stars Series. “In the view of the number-8, they thought they could run that rules package, but according to our rules, it is not allowed. They will be running the same motor at White Mountain (Saturday), with an additional 100-pounds and 56% left-side weight. They have assured us at Bangor (next event, this Saturday); the car will be 11.1 compression.”
In the Nextel Fan Appreciation Night event, Clark took the lead from Ben Rowe on lap 54 and checked out from the field. His route to victory was clear once Rowe blew a tire and was sent into the wall, but the path to the lead wasn’t quite as pretty. Clark was involved in an incident with Travis Benjamin in the first heat race of the afternoon. The two touched while racing for the heat race lead and Benjamin was sent into the wall. Clark was black flagged and at that juncture of the heat race he was sent to the rear. He was not able to climb back through the field and in turn started 19th in the 75-lap main event.
“The thing has been hooked up here and we were just going for the lead. They have a thing now where they give five points for winning the heat race and I wanted those points. It wouldn’t have mattered if I won the heat because we would’ve started 11th anyways (PASS North rules state that previous feature event winners can start the race no better than 11th). You can gain a lot of points in heat races, so we were just going maximum points and evidently his spotter didn’t tell him I was under him. He went around and I had to go to the back.”
While Cassius Clark had to come from the rear, 2004 PASS North champion Johnny Clark found himself in the right spot from
CASSIUS CLARK TAKES THOMPSON PASS NORTH WIN by Matt Kentfield
Youngster Beats NASCAR Stars Spencer and Wallace, But Receives Penalty after Tech
Jimmy Spencer knows his way around Thompson International Speedway (CT). The Thompson record books will prove it. Before he became the NASCAR “big league” winner and television personality that he is today, Spencer won Modified races at the historic 5/8-mile facility and that earned the nickname “Mr. Excitement.” In his first-ever Pro All Stars Series (PASS) North event at Thompson on Thursday night, Spencer did everything he could to add another tally to his win total at Thompson, but he was no match for the youngster who has been dominating PASS North so far this season.
“That opened up the outside lane. I needed the lane that Jimmy was running, but if I ran where he was running then the guys behind me would’ve ran inside of me.
“I had a lot of fun out there. These are the exact same cars that I grew up in. I ran ASA in 1986 and these are the exact cars except these guys have some different motor rules. I couldn’t see over the hood very well and that bothered me a little bit but I soldiered on.”
Johnny Clark hung around the top five for most of Thursday night’s race and took the checkered flag in fourth. Travis Benjamin rebounded from some slight damage suffered in the heat race incident to finish fifth. PASS North point leader Scott Chubbuck finished seventh to maintain his championship lead.
Next up for the stars of PASS North is a 150-lap tilt at the 1/3-mile Speedway 95 in Hermon, ME on July 22nd. Cassius Clark scored the win in the first PASS North race of ’06 at Speedway 95 on May 7th.
For more information on the PASS North Series, contact Mike Twist at DSG by calling (207) 590-1786 and be sure to visit the official website of PASS, www.proallstarsseries.com.
Thompson International Speedway, Thompson, CT
1. (19) Cassius Clark, Farmington, ME, 75
2. (5) Jimmy Spencer, Cornelius, NC, 75
3. (3) Kenny Wallace, St. Louis, MO, 75
4. (1) Johnny Clark, Hallowell, ME, 75
5. (20) Travis Benjamin, Morrill, ME, 75
6. (11) Mike Rowe, Turner, ME, 75
7. (22) Scott Chubbuck, Wiscasset, ME, 75
8. (47) Corey Williams, Boothbay, ME, 75
9. (2) Fred Astle, Northbridge, MA, 75
10. (11) Norm Wren, Nashua, NH, 75
11. (12) Dennis Maxfield, Fitchburg, MA, 75
12. (18) Dave Macomber, Manorville, NY, 63
13. (14) Rich Martin, Taunton, MA, 59
14. (13) Ben Rowe, Turner, ME, 54
15. (21) Walter Sutcliffe, East Hartford, CT, 53
16. (10) Andy Johnson, Rehoboth, MA, 42
17. (16) Bill Duggan, Belmont, NH, 31
18. (14) Steve Desmaris, Westpoert, MA, 31
19. (8) Richie Dearborn, Hollis, ME, 31
20. (23) Joe LeMay, Millville, MA, 31
21. (9) Alan Tardiff, Lyman, ME, 16
22. (15) Garry Johnson, Hollis, ME, 13
23. (6) Scott Mulkern, Falmouth, ME, 10
24. (DNS) Travis Khiel, Denmark, ME
25. (DNS) Louis Mechalides, Tyngsboro, MA
NASCAR veteran Jimmy Spencer finished second in his return to Thompson.
the drop of the green flag. Clark started from the pole position in Thursday’s 75-lap feature with Thompson Pro Stock division regular Fred Astle on his outside as a result of their heat race wins. Clark was in the catbird’s seat in the early laps, but NASCAR Busch Series driver and SPEED television personality Kenny Wallace quickly worked his way into the lead to the delight of the packed crowd. Ben Rowe reclaimed the lead for the PASS regulars by overtaking Wallace for the top spot on lap 26.
While the leaders were clicking the laps away, Cassius Clark was quickly joining the fray. Clark made his way up to second and found himself in a torrid battle with Rowe for the race lead. Rowe’s chances for his first PASS North win of the season were dashed when a flat tire sent him into the outside wall.
“I think the lap before I ran over something when I went high around a lapped car,” explained Rowe. “It started bottoming out two laps before that. We can’t help it, we blew a right front. I heard it blow and locked the brakes up to save knocking the nose off it, but we had to back it in.”
Rowe’s bad luck was exactly what Clark needed to get to the lead. Clark checked out from the field, while Wallace and Spencer were running neck-and-neck as they chased down the leader. Eventually Spencer showed that he would have the most for Clark. The 24-year-old Clark knew that the experience level behind him was going to be tough to beat, especially on the final restart of the night with just nine laps remaining.
“I made my way though with Spencer and he’s pretty tough,” said Clark. “He was using some guys up pretty good and he was pretty hard to pass, so I was a little worried about him on the restart. We dragged down into one and I kinda pulled out coming off two. It was good from there on out.”
Clark cruised on to the victory, besting Spencer and Wallace, who had a classic battle of their own behind the leader.
“I knew Jimmy had a real good car at the end of the race, but all I could do was get up to his door,” said Wallace.
Cassius Clark put in a classic performance over the final stage of the 75-lap PASS North event in a “Mr. Excitement”-esque fashion. Clark was black flagged in his heat race for rough driving and had to start at the rear of the field. Undaunted, he worked his way through the pack that included Spencer and current NASCAR Busch and Cup standout Kenny Wallace as well as the rest of the PASS stars to capture his fourth victory of the 2006 season in five races.
“We kind of have them caught with their tails between their legs right now,” said Clark. “We’ve always shown
Cassius Clark (#8) races with Ben Rowe (#4) at Thompson on Thursday. (Norm Marx Photos)