PASS NORTH OFF-SEASON NEWS AND NOTES by Mike Twist
Sanborn Signs, Kennison Moves Up, Corey Moves South and More
CUSHMAN TEAM JOINS RACING YOUTH MOVEMENT

Teenager Trevor Sanborn will drive the #29 Cushman Competition Ford in PASS North this year.

Signing the young driver is a little bit of a different approach for team owner Jay Cushman, who has always relied on veteran wheelmen like Scott Chubbuck, Dave Dion, Louie Mechalides, Ted Christopher and Larry Gelinas to drive his racecars.

“I never have been in this position – having a young driver like Trevor,” said Cushman.  “I never, ever even thought that I would consider it.  But these young drivers today are a lot different both on and off the track.  It’s not just Trevor either – it is the Corey Williamses and the Alan Tardiffs out there.”

Cushman believes that the current trend of starting young racers out in karts, Legends cars or anything else available to them has made a major impact in the sport. 

“You have to learn your lessons by doing something wrong first.  These drivers started when they were seven or eight years old and by 18 or 19, they’ve learned their lessons.  You can compare that to a guy like me or Gary Drew.  When we started, we were 18 and we didn’t race well and we didn’t lose well.  It used to be that a driver wouldn’t be 30 years old until he got it right.  It’s different now.”
KENNISON STEPS UP FOR 2007

Chris Kennison has thrown his hat into the PASS North ring and plans to run a full season of touring Super Late Model shows this season.  Kennison’s #10 Thule Trailers/United Sports team has added Brian Burgess, former championship crew chief for Ben Rowe, to their operation and is getting geared up for the PASS North opener at Beech Ridge on April 21st.



“We’re getting ready for the season,” said Kennison.  “We’ve hired Brian Burgess and are building a new car.  We’ve been pretty busy and wish that we could be even busier, but we’re waiting on the new car.  We just sold are other car to Kyle Busch, so right now we don’t have anything race-ready.”

Kennison is looking forward to moving on to the tour.

”Those guys are so great to race with,” said Kennison.  “I’m excited to go race with them.  I’ve never even seen a lot of the tracks that we are going to race on yet.  Speedway 95, Groveton (Riverside Speedway) and the Canadian tracks will all be new to me.”

Kennison is a former Pro Stock competition at Oxford Plains Speedway, which dropped the class in favor of Late Models for 2007 and beyond.  The changes weren’t a factor in his decision to move up to PASS, but they will keep him from running the 250 with his Pro Stock/Super Late Model equipment.

“We were planning on doing this [moving to PASS North] anyways, but we still planned on being able to run the Oxford 250.  It’s a bummer that we won’t be able to, but we’ll be at Antigonish [for a PASS North race at Nova Scotia’s Riverside Speedway] that weekend and we’ll put on a good show up there.”
The #29 Ford (Top - Norm Marx Photo) will have Trevor Sanborn behind its wheel in '07.  (51 Photo)

CASSIUS NAMED AS DRIVER OF THE YEAR

Following in some big footsteps, Cassius Clark was named as the Maine Touring Series Driver of the Year this week.  The honor is voted on by members of the media and awarded at the Northeast Motorsports Expo in Augusta, Maine.

Clark earned the award after winning five PASS North events in 2006, notching another three runner-up finishes and winning the inaugural Mason-Dixon Meltdown Super Late Model race at South Boston Speedway. 
Todd Bowser will be among the ARCA regulars taking on Daytona.
car and also to get a job in a race shop to get more experience working on cars,” said Williams. “I got a job with Andy Santerre and he has given me a great opportunity to work onhis cars during the day and work on my car at night so that I can race PASS South next summer.”

Having Santerre as a teacher has already been a big plus.

“Andy has been great.  He’s been keeping an eye on
what I’m doing and has been giving me pointers.  He’s
got so many great ideas and he’s a great mentor.”

Just because he is working on racecars doesn’t mean
that Williams is giving up on his own driving career. 
He’s planning a busy season of running his own Super
Late Model quite a bit.

“Hopefully, there will be a good PASS South schedule
coming out, and maybe we’ll run some CRA races too. 
We’ll try to get the car best prepared as we can and hit
the big shows.  I think that we still might try to run a few races up North too.  We’ve got two cars up there that they might try to get ready to race.  I’d like to go up and play around with them.”

BRACKETT READY TO GO ON TOUR
The young driver is appreciative of the award and the history behind it.

“All the big names have gotten it – the Rowes, Johnny Clark and Ricky Craven,” said Clark.  “Those are some good names and it is great to be with them.  We had a good year and I think that we definitely deserve it.”

One great racer from Maine not on the list of former winners is Cassius’ father Billy Clark, who now turns the wrenches on the #8 EJP Ford. 

“He probably didn’t get all of the same chances that I have,” said Cassius.  “This PASS Tour here gives up good exposure.  My Dad was pretty good with his Busch [North]
deal, but he wasn’t always with the best teams.  Sometimes, it was more show than go {on the teams that Bill drove for] and he didn’t have the best equipment under him.”

PASS RELEASES NORTHERN SCHEDULES

Also at the Northeast Motorsports Expo, PASS announced their 2007 schedules for the PASS North Super Late Models, PASS Outlaw Late Models, PASS Modifieds and the new PASS Sportsman Series (Speed51.com will have more on that new tour later this week in Northern Exposure).  Click here to view all four schedules.
WILLIAMS HEADS SOUTH

After the Mason-Dixon Meltdown was held at South Boston Speedway (VA) on Thanksgiving, the PASS North teams and drivers mostly headed home to prepare for 2007.

Corey Williams kept going South.  He relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina and knocked on doors before finding an opportunity to work with the NASCAR Busch East Series team of Andy Santerre Motorsports and driver Sean Caisse. 

“I made the move down to North Carolina to work on my
The word on the street is that former Oxford Plains Speedway Pro Stock champion Tim Brackett has landed on his feet after that track replaced the division with Late Models for 2007. 

Reportedly, Brackett will drive the Rick Lockwood-owned entry that was wheeled in 2006 by Gary Drew, Mike Maietta and Trevor Sanborn.

Brackett finished second to Jeff Taylor in Pro Stock points at Oxford Plains Speedway in 2006.