Kelly Moore Adds a PASS North Victory to His Long Resume
Summerfest Victory Comes Down to Close Battle between Veteran and Rookie
Kelly Moore has done a lot in his career. He’s raced at tracks from Daytona to Indianapolis Raceway Park to Antigonish, Nova Scotia. He’s set the all-time pole and victory records in the NASCAR Busch North/Busch East Series – winning his most recent event last summer at New Hampshire International Speedway. He won a NASCAR Touring championship. For years, he was even referred to by many as the “Dale Earnhardt of Maine,” thanks to his always-exciting and aggressive driving style and the fact that he would usually be driving a black Chevrolet.
When the race resumed, Sanborn found Moore right on his rear bumper. On lap 103, Moore dove under Sanborn to take the lead.
“Kelly got back up there and got underneath me,” said Sanborn. “We did all that we could do to hold him off. But he was fast. He had a crate motor and that was a little bit of an advantage, but it wasn’t a big deal. We just hung in there and finished second.”
Sanborn did not lead another lap in the race, but he didn’t give up either. The two fought a hard battle for the victory, leading a breakaway pack that grew to nine cars in length before the checkered flag waved.
the Cup Series, but it was weekly and in the Busch North Series from 1987 to 2005. That’s a long time.”
Moore has been running a limited schedule of PASS North events this season, and the Riverside race was one that he had his eye on from the beginning.
“We planned on coming over here,” said Moore. “At the beginning of the year, I looked at the schedule and picked out some races. I even picked out Speedway 95, but something changed and I couldn’t go there. We’re going to go to Beech Ridge; I’d like to go to Star. I like going to the races that are close – two, three or four hours away. I’d like to go to Antigonish, but I don’t like the ride. I’ve done enough of that. I’ve raced at Indianapolis Raceway Park, Darlington, Richmond and then gone back to Maine. I’ve done that weekend after weekend after weekend.”
Moore also likes the competitors that he faces on the PASS North circuit.
“These guys have all raced a long time too and they like to race and have fun,” said Moore. “They’re a great bunch of guys to race with for the most part. You’ll always have a little spat here and there, but that’s racing.”
There were no spats that involved Moore on this evening, though. Early on, rookie Stephen Barry led almost until the halfway mark. Then fellow rookie Trevor Sanborn took over the top spot and checked out to a lead that was nearly a straightaway long. Sanborn had shown promise in his heat race, when he finished second to Mike Rowe. In the feature, though, Sanborn really showed off the speed of his #29 Cushman Competition Ford while Moore paced himself.
“The car was decent, but it wasn’t a car that could run right to the front,” said Moore. “It probably would have been if I beat it up. But I like to hold on to the car and save it for the end. When I was young, I used to run the car hard. So I was trying to race the racetrack and not the other competitors tonight and that paid off for us.”
“The car was going good,” said Sanborn. “It was our first time here and it worked out well. In the heat race, I was all over Mike [Rowe], but I couldn’t quite get him. So come feature time, we wanted to show these boys what we had. I ended up getting Steve Berry on the outside on that last restart and had quite a lead on him. Then the lights went out.”
When Sanborn says that the lights went out, he means that literally. On lap 97, lights mounted on six poles in the infield went dark. The race was flagged yellow immediately and all of the competitors slowed down safely using the lighting from the grandstands and pit area as their only illumination. The problem was corrected and the race went back to green soon after.
Dave Dion leads Mike Rowe during their heat race at the picturesque White Mountain Motorsports Park. (51 Photo)
Now at the age of 48, Moore is finding that there isn’t much that he has not done in his career. But somehow he found an accomplishment to add to his resume this past weekend. On Saturday night at Riverside Speedway in Groveton, New Hampshire, Moore won the Miller Lite Summerfest event for the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) Super Late Model tour. It was the veteran’s first career PASS North victory.
But to Moore, the victory wasn’t about records or accomplishments. It was about having fun.
“That’s true. I never even thought of that,” said Moore after the race, when he was asked about winning in PASS North for the first time. “I just love to race. I like the competition and I like the camaraderie with the other drivers. It’s fun. If I come and have a good time, I’ll come again. If I come and don’t have a good time, I’ll just take a couple of weeks off. I just want to go race and have a good time. I don’t want to have the pressure of racing every weekend. I did that for 28 years racing for points. It wasn’t in
Moore and Sanborn raced hard, providing entertainment for the fans and enjoyment for themselves.
“I tried to race him good and clean,” said Moore. “I think that he raced me clean. There was a little bit of contact there, but it wasn’t a pushing and shoving match. It was just good, hard racing and that’s the kind of racing that I like to do.”
“That was different,” said Sanborn of competing against a driver who he had grown up watching. “Kelly knows his way around the track. There’s no doubt about that. I was trying to follow him and beat him. I wanted to chase him down. I’ve watched him race since I was a little kid. That was fun.”
Little did Sanborn know it, but Moore had also been watching him as well.
“I watched him run the heat races and I thought that he did a good job,” said Moore. “I try to watch people and see what they do and don’t do. I try to see how they act and react.”
At the line, the order of finish was Moore, Sanborn, Richie Dearborn, Johnny Clark and Ben Rowe.
With his top-five finish, Rowe unofficially maintains the PASS North point lead over his father Mike Rowe.
In other PASS action at Riverside, Jason Taylor kept his #8 car ahead of Chris Staples and Mark Lucas to win the PASS Modified feature event.
The PASS North Super Late Models will return to action Saturday, August 11th, in the Atlantic CAT 250 at Scotia Speedworld in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Kelly Moore and his #47 Bill Dodge / NAPA Chevrolet. (Norm Marx Photos)
PASS North Super Late Models
Riverside Speedway - Groveton, NH
July 28, 2007
1. Kellly Moore, Scarborough, ME
2. Trevor Sanborn, Parsonsfield, ME
3. Richie Dearborn, Hollis, ME
4. Johnny Clark, Hallowell, ME
5. Ben Rowe, Turner, ME
6. Alan Wilson, Hebron, ME
7. Rick Martin, Westport, MA
8. Mike Rowe, Turner, ME
9. Cassius Clark, Farmington, ME
10. Adam Bates, Warner, NH
11. Michael Thomas, New Portland, ME
12. Dave Dion, Pelham, NH
13. Stephen Berry, Gorham, ME
14. Derek Ramstrom, West Boylston, MA
15. Gary Bellefleur Jr., Stetson, ME.
16. Mark Patten, Belmont, NH
17. Bill Penfold, Yarmouth, ME
18. Mike Parks, Charlestown, NH
19. Travis Benjamin, Morrill, ME
Trevor Sanborn and his #29 team put up a good fight for the victory. (Top - 51 Photo, Bottom - Norm Marx Photo)