“I wouldn’t wreck the guy for the win,” said Rowe.  “That’s what this racing is about.  You don’t wreck a guy for the win, I’d much rather finish second.”

White Mountain was the second race of out the past three where the Richard Moody Racing team finished second.  Rowe’s teammate Travis Khiel was the runner-up earlier this month at Oxford.

“We’re going to get one of these.  This team has made great strides in the last three weeks.  We lost a tire at Thompson the other day and the guys came back.  We picked up through the field from starting in the back and
PASS NORTH LEFTOVERS: WHITE MOUNTAIN MOTORSPORTS PARK by Mike Twist and Matt Kentfield
Cassius Speaks, Good Night for the Rowes, Set-Up Troubles and Much More
CASSIUS SPEAKS OUT ON THOMPSON PENALTY

PASS North officials penalized Cassius Clark 120 points and all of his winnings after his engine did not pass technical inspection after the Thompson race.  Two days after the event, Clark spoke about it with Speed51.com.

Clark is still confused as to all of the options available to teams.

“They said that it was on the website, but it’s not.  There aren’t any rules on the website saying that these guys can run a two-barrel with a dry sump either and guys are doing it tonight.  They just need to get their rules on the Internet, get the confusion out of the air and figure this thing out.  Even after the race, they were telling us that we could run 57% left and 2,700 pounds.  But we had to run 56%.  So obviously, there is a little confusion even in the tech area.”

RUNNER-UP ROWE HAPPY WITH SECOND PLACE

Winning isn’t everything.  According to three-time PASS North champion Ben Rowe, to win a race at all costs just isn’t worth it.  So at White Mountain, Rowe was happy with a runner-up finish after he exhausted his chances of beating winner Scott Chubbuck cleanly.
Rowe's #4
“Scott was really good, but we were better on a long run,” said Wilson.  “I was just starting to reel him back in.  I don’t know if I could have gotten by him on the outside, but I was trying to pressure him a little bit.  For awhile, I was just content to ride and it just didn’t work out.”

Wilson hit so hard that he doesn’t even know what caused the crash.

“I’m not really sure what happened.  There is so much broken, that it is hard to tell.  I thought it was a tire at first, but looking at things maybe the shock had broken or a bolt had come off.  Something just snapped.  I never heard a tire blow.”

GERRY ADAPTS QUICKLY TO PASS


According to Clark, a chain of events that started with an engine failure in the race before at Oxford missed with a myriad of engine/weight rules led to the situation.
 
“We had to build a motor and two days before the race, my father called [PASS Technical Director] Paul Johnson and asked if we could run a two-barrel with 14:1 heads because that we all that we had and still run at 2,700 plus 50 [pounds]  and 56% left [side weight] and he said absolutely,” said Clark.  “We got there and ran the two-barrel.  After the race, he told us that we had to be 11-1.  My checked out at 12.7-1.

“If we were going to go there to cheat, we would have just put a four-barrel on.  There aren’t too many who can get around Thompson with a two-barrel.”
Cassius Clark's #8 at White Mountain.  (Norm Marx Photos)
got to third around halfway.  We were going good but I think we burned a plug wire off.  I was a little tight in and we burned the plug wire off, but we were coming.  I needed about six more laps and I could’ve maybe got him, but Scott wasn’t going to give up the bottom so it was going to be tough.”

The RMR team had a busy day between the races at Thompson and White Mountain.  They had two racecars to fix in a very short amount of time.

“Both the cars, the #4 [Rowe’s] and the #44 {Khiel’s] are the same cars that we pulled off the wrecker at Thompson,” said Rowe.  “The guys put these cars all back together.  They busted their tails to get the cars back together.  They do it day in and day out.  If we can just stop wrecking these things we’ll be in contention for wins.”

WILSON WALKS TALL, BUT ENDS UP IN WALL

Alan Wilson might have had the only car at White Mountain capable of beating Scott Chubbuck for the victory.  Wilson’s #53 was plenty quick, but hit the wall hard on lap 119.  Wilson was okay, but his car was done for the night.
Rowe did this despite bouncing his #24 off the wall midway through the event.

“I think it was just about the halfway mark when I got too high to the wall, just lost it and bent the toe,” said Rowe.  “I could feel the steering wheel was off and I just had to ride it out.”

Before that, Rowe was trying to run a conservative race.

“I was saving the car but Scott [Chubbuck] was running pretty good.  You’ve got 150 laps so there’s no sense using it up early.  I was just taking it easy trying to save
Curtis Gerry turned some heads earlier this month when the PASS North tour visited Oxford.  The former Beech Ridge regular finished a solid ninth against a very strong field.  In fact, former PASS champion Johnny Clark praised Gerry after the race even though he had no idea who the driver of the #7 car was.

Well, PASS observers are now starting to learn who Gerry is.  He finished in the top 10 again at White Mountain.  This time, Gerry topped his Oxford result by ending up ninth at the checkered flag and it wasn’t an easy trip to get there.

“This is our third PASS race,” said Gerry.  ”The car was really tight.  When we showed up and had two broken rocker arms.  We went out for the first practice and only had six cylinders, so I came in.  We didn’t have much practice time and in the heat race, we finished second but a bolt came out of the center peg of the rear end.  It spit it right out through the top.  We had to split the hub right here in the pits, take it apart and get a bolt.  Then we had to clean it out and plug the holes.  We took a rubber valve stem and put it in from the inside out and it held.

“So we  didn’t get a chance to fine-tune our set-up because we had so many mechanical problems when we got here.  We did good to hang in there.”

Gerry enjoys racing with the PASS competitors and has plans to do a few more events coming up.

“Our next race is going to be the Oxford 250.  Then we’re doing the PASS 150 at Beech Ridge and the 300 there.  We’re going to come to White Mountain again, to the last race at Star and I don’t know from there.  These are good guys to run with.  It’s typical racing, but nobody is beating and banging on purpose.  It’s fun.”

MIKE ROWE FINALLY GETS A PODIUM FINISH

Mike Rowe is second in PASS North points and leads the PASS South standings thanks to two wins down there, but believe it or not, his third-place finish at White Mountain was the first time in PASS North this season when he had taken home a podium finish.

Corey Williams' #47.
Alan Wilson walks away from his wounded #53.
“It wasn’t a great points night for us, but at least we kept Scott and Mike within sight of us for the whole race.”

After Oxford, Clark said that he thought that his team figured something out in the chassis department to help them turn the corner to better finishes.  But after White Mountain, he isn’t so sure it is working.

“It doesn’t look like it does it?” said Clark.  “Man, I keep thinking that we figure something out but I just don’t know.  I’m going to sit down with the boys here and try to figure it out.  I don’t know, I might have to go back to our
the car.  I started to pick up the pace a little bit and get going but I got too close to the front and bent the front of my car.”

CLARK RECONSIDERS HIS SET-UPS

Another driver struggling in 2006, at least by his own standards, is Johnny Clark.  The driver of the #54 finished right behind Rowe in fourth at White Mountain and sits third in the standings, but 2006 just has not brought the type of strong runs that he is used to having.

That’s what Alan Tardiff is going through this year.  The former Beech Ridge hotshoe finished 12th at White Mountain with his family-owned team. 

“We’re battling,” said Tardiff after the race.  “We were fortunate to finish the race the way that the car was running.  We were really tight in the middle and loose off.  I drove the wheels off the car just to finish.  We couldn’t get the car to go well tonight.  We were just fighting it all day and were loose or tight.  We just couldn’t find a happy medium.”
conventional Oxford 250 set-up.  We haven’t touched that in a few years.

“The soft set-ups are what everyone is going to.  It seems like you have to hit it perfectly though to be right.  We don’t have pit stops to adjust the car or do this and that.  Only a few cars will hit it in a race.  With the conventional set-up, we seemed to hit it week in and week out.

“I always thought that we were damn good for the last 45 laps of a race with the conventional  set-up and lately, we just haven’t been good for the second half of the race.”

TARDIFF KEEPS PLUGGING ALONG

If a former champion can struggle with set-ups in the ultra-competitive world of Super Late Models, just imagine what it can be like for a rookie driver with a rookie team.

Above all else, the young racer left the track with a big smile on his face.

“I’m going to remember racing with all the good guys.  It’s a great experience, I’m glad we came up.  I hope we can come back and run more PASS races.  These guys have a lot more experience than the Outlaw guys so I learned a lot out here tonight.”

WILLIAMS SQUEAKS OUT A TOP 10 FINISH

Just sneaking into the top 10 at the end of the event, was Corey Williams.  The PASS regular overcame getting spun, and having a racecar that was a little off in the handling department. 

“It was great experience,” said Ramstrom.  “Those guys are wonderful racers.  I knew we had a good car but at the end the car started getting a little loose.  We came off the turn sideways most of the time.  In long runs I could keep up with those guys and even pass some of them.

Ramstrom spun late in the race, but that had little impact on his finish.

“I think I had too much speedy-dry on my tires and when I got on the gas it just came around.  We caught the caution at the right time.  That was awesome.
Despite the fact that White Mountain is only a quarter mile in length, Dearborn thought that the amount of contact during the race was minimal.

“It was about normal for a race up here,” said Dearborn.  “You’re going to get some beating and banging at a little track like this.  We learned a few lessons here tonight.  You have to stay out of the pits and stay on the track because track position is so important.”

RAMSTROM GETS AN EDUCATION AT WHITE MOUNTAIN

For awhile, 15-year-old Derek Ramstrom was right up there in the top 10 at White Mountain.  He got shuffled back to finish 13th, but the race was still a good one for the PASS Outlaw regular.

With their finish, Chubbuck took over the PASS North point lead.  Since this barnstorming team races where the big shows are and doesn’t follow a schedule of points chasing, they could care less about that.

“Not at all,” was Chubbuck’s reply when asked how much the point lead meant to his team.  “I’d have rather won the race tonight.”

But Chubbuck is enjoying the team’s string of strong finishes in the first four PASS North events of the year.
“It makes it a whole lot better to start up front and run up front.  It’s easier on equipment and the car has been running good.”

“We were lucky to get a top 10 with everything tonight,” said Williams.  “But, I think that we probably had a sixth or a seventh place car.  We made a lot of changes since practice and it was much better in the feature.  We made some good notes and we’ll be better when we come back next time.”

White Mountain has never been one of Williams’ best track on the schedule.

“We’ve always struggled a lot here.  I’ve always had trouble getting around this place.  We picked up a few things here thought.  I learned how to get through three and four a little bit better.  We’re looking forward to coming back here next time.”

BAD NIGHT FOR CASSIUS

Leading into White Mountain, there had only been one PASS North race all season long when Cassius Clark did not cross the finish line as the winner.

But White Mountain would not prove to be one of Clark’s fonder memories of the year.  His #8 car developed a mechanical problem under the hood and Clark did not make it the to finish.

“I’m not exactly sure what happened,” said Clark.  “It was something in the motor.  It started lying down about 20 laps before.  When I got going wide open all the way around and still getting passed three-wide, I figured it was time to come in.  We tried starting it back up and it seized up I think.”

“It’s too bad.  We had a pretty decent car there and got messed up on the outside a little bit.  We were coming back through and this happened.”

With two engine failures in the last three races, Clark isn’t sure if his team will make it to the tour’s next event or take a race off.

“I don’t know if we’ll even go to Bangor.  We’ve got nothing together right now.  We’ll just go from here.”

KHIEL OVERCOMES THOMPSON WRECK WITH WHITE MOUNTAIN TOP FIVE

“It was a good car,” Said Hersey.  “Early in the race, we got tangled up with a car that was up high.  The front end got caved in a little bit and it ran a little warm.”

“The guys did a great job with all of the adjustments.  A couple of guys from SP2 came over and gave us a hand.  We had a good car.  Maybe it was good enough for a top five without any damage.  To come up and run with these guys like that for the first time this year, that was a good night.”

Hersey enjoys racing with PASS and knows that each time out with the tour makes his own team better and better.
team is coming together and how good we are going to be.”

Khiel’s car not only wasn’t on the racetrack when the Thompson race started.  It wasn’t even at the racetrack.

“We had to bring it to Jeff Taylor and have him fix part of the frame on Thursday.  The car left the track before the race even started.  He worked on it yesterday, we got it and we finished it around Midnight.”

HERSEY HAS A GOOD “OFF” NIGHT

With the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series racing at New Hampshire last weekend, many tracks took the weekend off.  Monadnock Outlaw Pro regular Russ Hersey and his team didn’t want to take the weekend off.  So even though their track was closed, Hersey came and joined the PASS North contingent – and finished seventh.
Brad Leighton and his SP2 team at Oxford.  (51 Photo)
Clark's car #54.
Tardiff's #8t.
Khiel's #44 runs to the outside of Travis Benjamin's #17.
Ramstrom's #35 goes for a slide through the infield.
Learning to dial in a fast racecar isn’t easy in tour racing – especially with an empty book of notes.

“You get some notes from some other teams, but it’s just a baseline.  It’s hard and frustrating to go to a racetrack where you know that you don’t have good notes to start with.”

Still, the young driver isn’t at all discouraged.  He’s just going to keep working on getting better.

“It’s a learning curve.  It’s our first year touring and all that we want to do is to win Rookie of the Year this season.  Where we end up in points, where we finish in the race…that’s all going to be luck for us this year.  Some races, we’ll have notes and some races we won’t have anything.  So we’re just going to take it as we can this year.”

DEARBORN IS ALSO A LITTLE OFF, BUT STILL FINISHES SIXTH

Do we sense a common theme here yet?
Add Richie Dearborn to the list of drivers who were a little bit off with their race set-up.  He finished sixth, but would have liked to have been just a bit better.

“We kind of missed the setup there tonight,” said Dearborn.  “We thought we had a pretty good handle on it earlier in the day but we found something wrong with the left front before the feature and tried to change it but we just never had the handle on it.”
“All these guys have their acts together.  Some have full-time employees.  To come up here and run with them is great for our crew.  Now we got back to Monadnock and they have more confidence in themselves and their decision-making ability.  It’s a good night.”

BENJAMIN HAS TOUGH NIGHT AT WMMP

Travis Benjamin ran as high as second at White Mountain, but dropped out of the race with mechanical problems.

“It was something in the rear end I believe,” said Benjamin.  “We had a good car and I felt something go out of turn two there.  Going down the backstretch she let go.”

Before that, getting caught behind a lapped car proved to be challenging.

“I was sitting behind the #29 waiting and riding,” said Benjamin.  “Nobody was behind us.  I was saving my stuff on a restart, we got a lapped car in front of us.  It wasn’t his fault, he had just as much right to be out there as anyone, but it took us back to eighth.  We got back to fourth and it broke.  This place is about track position and for awhile, we were in the right place at the right time, but oh well.  We didn’t end up there.”   






Travis Khiel wrecked during a heat race at Thompson and didn’t even get to start the feature event.  With only one car and one day before White Mountain, his Richard Moody Racing team got to work and were rewarded with a fifth at White Mountain.

“After Thompson and a long few days, it was nice to have a good run.  We’ve been working hard.  We worked pretty late last night getting the car ready.  To come up here and have both cars finish in the top five shows how this
Dearborn runs his #33 in traffic.
Russ Hersey's #88 tries the high side on Derek Ramstrom's #35.