Whorff ended up 10th at White Mountain and thinks that if things played out differently, he could he finished even better.
“I think that we really had a top-five, if not a top-three car tonight,” said Whorff. “The guys did awesome and we were just as good as anyone tonight. It was just a long haul from the back. We kind of got a bad deal on a caution. I spun to avoid the accident and got caught in the back. I think that we were sitting fifth there at one point. But it was a racing deal and we came back as good as we could.”
PASS NORTH LEFTOVERS: WHITE MOUNTAIN by Mike Twist and Jeremy Troiano
Two Whorffs, Three Whorff Cars, DJ Carries the Torch & More
TARDIFF GOES FROM SIDELINES TO THIRD TO DNF
Alan Tardiff wasn’t even supposed to be at White Mountain on Saturday night. Instead, he came close to winning the race with a borrowed car.
For the full story, we actually need to back up one week to Beech Ridge. That is where Tardiff ran near the front all day long. With a handful of laps left, he was caught in two wrecks that were not of his doing. The first one was relatively minor, but in the second one, caused when the field checked up behind an incident between leaders Ben Rowe and Cassius Clark, Tardiff’s #8t was heavily damaged.
Meltdown] and exchanged phone numbers. He called me Tuesday and we made a deal to transport my car down to South Boston and he asked me how my car was. I told him that I was probably going to have to skip White Mountain and he offered me his back-up car. It was real nice to offer me a car to shake down and get some points.”
Tardiff’s original plan was to baby the #36 car. After all, he didn’t want to tear up a car that belonged to someone else. But Whorff caught wind of that plan and before the race told Tardiff to drive it hard – or deal with him after the race.
So Tardiff did anything but baby the ride. He started fifth and used the outside groove to patiently work his way towards the front. By lap 60, he was up to third and reeling in the leaders when a tire went down on the #36. Now several laps behind, Tardiff retired from the event.
“We made some adjustments after the heat. The car was quick in the heat race, but it could have been better. We didn’t know what the car would do and boy it was motoring in the feature.
“My hat’s off to those guys. Boy, they would have been disappointed if I brought it in. We were running third and catching Billy [Whorff] when the tire went down. I was thinking of taking the green and coming in, but when I knew what a good car I had, I kept it out there for as long as I could. The night was cut too short because of a flat tire though.”
The White Mountain ride was Tardiff’s first in a Hamke chassis. He obviously adapted quickly, but did not think that it was a big deal.
“Racing is what I know how to do and it is what I want to do. You’ve got to have an open mind about what you get into. Every car is different. The characteristics of every car is different, so you make the adjustments that you can.”
ANOTHER RACE, ANOTHER TOP 10 FOR JEREMIE
Jeremie Whorff seems to be getting a hang of this PASS thing pretty quickly. In the three PASS North and South races that he has entered since his late-summer TD Banknorth 250 at Oxford victory, the young Maine driver has finished in the top 10 each time.
The top-10 finishes at Hickory, Beech Ridge and now White Mountain are giving Whorff a boost of confidence as he makes the transition from Saturday night racer to touring regular. He’s also just happy to be making laps.
“I just want to race,” said Whorff. “That is all that I want to do. We have a hard time finding enough time to work on the cars, but we do. We run pretty well considering the time that we put into it. To run down South and run with the best of the best was pretty cool. The competition down there is excellent.”
DJ SHAW CARRIES ON FAMILY TRADITION
Pleasing your father is never easy. But when your father has won races in PASS North, NASCAR Busch North and ACT Late Model competition and several championships from the local track through the NASCAR Touring level, it can be a really tall task.
So DJ Shaw, son of PASS race winner Dale Shaw, is carving out his own list of racing accomplishments. At White Mountain on Saturday night, he secured the track championship in the Late Model class.
Alan Tardiff (#36) in his car borrowed from from Jeremie Whorff (#00) at White Mountain. (51 Photos)
“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Shaw after the race. “I’m sure it will tomorrow. I’m pretty excited. I knew that I had to have a perfect night. I knew that I had to make the semi-feature and keep it clean and in one piece. Tonight, I just got lucky. Everything went right all night.”
2006 was only the 16-year-old’s rookie season in any type of full-sized racecar.
“This was my first year in a Late Model or anything other than a go-kart. I won a championship in my go-kart last year.”
Things looked pretty bleak for this year’s top PASS rookie after that shunt. With heavy damage to their car, his family-owned team made the tough decision to skip White Mountain and properly repair their car for this coming weekend’s PASS 300 at Beech Ridge.
But a friendship that was struck up after the Beech Ridge wreck changed that plan.
“The car was wrecked last weekend when we were running in the top six all day,” said Tardiff. “We got wrecked with six to go and after the race, Jeremie Whorff came over to see how we were doing. We got to talking about South Boston [November’s Mason-Dixon
The racing was so close at White Mountain, Jeremie Whorff (#00) had to make it three-wide to gain spots.
TOP FIVE FOR POINT LEADER…NOT ENOUGH?
Johnny Clark has some high standards. When he finished fourth in the July White Mountain race, he wasn’t satisfied with the set-up of his #54 ride. This time around, he finished fifth and kept his point lead despite not having a car that he felt was ideal.
Joey Porciello's #04. (Norm Marx Photo)
How does DJ’s career shape up with his Dad’s at this point? Well, the youngster isn’t really keeping track.
“I don’t really know when he won his first championship. He started racing when he was 16 and I know that he won championships as a car owner at 13.”
Dale Shaw told Speed51.com that plans are for DJ to attempt to qualify for the PASS 300 this coming week at Beech Ridge. As of Saturday night, DJ wasn’t really sure about that.
“I don’t know where I’m going yet. He [Dale] hasn’t really let me know, but we’ll race somewhere.”
NO CRATE FOR CLARK
Last time around, in our Beech Ridge Leftovers, Mike Rowe talked about the PASS engine rules and how it applied to a late-race pass of Johnny Clark.
"If the race had stayed green today, I don’t think that I would have beat that crate motor [in Johnny Clark’s car],” is what appeared on Speed51.com last week.
There was only one little problem. Keeping up with who is running what combination this year is tricky since it seems to change ever week and Johnny Clark’s #54 did not have a crate motor.
“It’s a two-barrel,” said Clark. “I’ve never had more than 56% left side weight all year. I’m not interested in running a crate motor. If I wanted to have no power, I’d go to the go-kart track to beat and bang around. That’s what you’ve got to do when there is no horsepower. I want my horsepower and have it where it is driver against driver.”
PORCIELLO HAS BIG RUN WITH LITTLE ENGINE
On the other hand, Joey Porciello did have a crate motor at White Mountain and he loved it. The former Oxford Pro Stock refugee ran in the top 10 all night long and finished a strong sixth.
“We were trying our best,” said Porciello. “We got a little bit loose in the end. This is just a little ZZ4 crate motor and I guess that we did pretty good against those big motors. It’s pretty competitive, so we just came in and did our best.”
With Oxford dropping their Pro Stocks for 2007, Porciello is eyeing a move to PASS North.
“We’re going to run Beech Ridge and Riverside [late this season]. Next year, we’ll run full PASS. We’re building a brand new car. This is giving us seat time for that.”
“White Mountain is where we got a fourth in July and a fifth now,” said Clark. “We weren’t really that good today. We were right out to lunch. We were a few tenths off the pace when we got here and when we left, we were only about a half-tenth off. We made some headway with the car and some different set-ups. At least, I know what not to do when we come back here.”
Clark isn’t sure how the championship fight for PASS North is going to play out yet, but he does know that merely finishing in the top five every week won’t cut it if he wants to earn his second title.
win. But Jeremie’s dad Bill has been impressive too. And this time around, it was Dad that had the upperhand, finishing fourth even after getting involved in an accident not of his own doing midway through the event.
The #17 team was struggling to find a set-up that Benjamin was happy with at White Mountain. In fact, they even enlisted the help of Speed51.com’s Bob Dillner who gave them a set-up tip based on his experiences as a short track team owner.
“I’ve had better cars here. With all of these rule changes, we’ve been trying different things and seeing what works. Bob even gave up a few tips after the heat race and that helped the car.”
THE OTHER WHORFF IMPRESSIVE
Jeremie Whorff might be getting a little more press lately, riding on the coat tails to his still-impressive Oxford 250
“It’s really too early. There are still four races left and I don’t think that we can finish fifth in all of the races from here out and still win the championship. Mike and Scott are just too good.”
But now, Clark is just looking forward to this weekend’s PASS 300 at Beech Ridge.
“We were good at Beech Ridge last weekend, so we’re happy to be going back there.”
BENJAMIN GETS A LITTLE HELP IN THE PITS
Travis Benjamin had a long night at White Mountain, finishing back in the 15th position. Getting behind early with a flat pretty much set the tone for the rest of his race.
“We made some contact with a car during the race and that gave us a flat tire,” said Benjamin. “That’s three weeks in a row with a flat tire. That made for a long night after that. It put us down two laps and there was no catching up at that point.”
“I was just riding in second there waiting for the last 30 laps,” said Whorff. “I had just started to make my charge to the front. I was making up some ground on (leader) Dale Shaw. Then though, they had a wreck on the backstretch. I slowed up but still got caught in it and screwed the front end up. I was then overheating and lost all the downforce on the front end.”
That didn’t stop Whorff though. He got his spot back and continued on, but fell back because of the damage. He was, fourth-best at the end of the night.
“We had a great night and I was really pleased with the car. We were just riding, trying to save our tires. I think we could have gotten to him. If we would have had anything for him would have been a different story. I think we could have given him a good run.”
DJ Shaw brought dad's familiar #60 to the WMMP title in the Late Model class. (WMMP Photo)
Travis Benjamin got some good, and perhaps unexpected setup tips before the WMMP race.