Rowes Race Each Other and Regan Smith To Decide Antigonish PASS North Winner
Mike Rowe Survives a Hard Race to Win His Second Event of 2007 Season
When you win hundreds of stock car races in the Northeast and a PASS South Super Late Model championship like Mike Rowe has, or three PASS North titles and a slew of major Super Late Model and Late Model races like his son Ben Rowe has, there are certain things that you learn.
Mike Rowe (C) and his closest pursuers at Antigonish - his son Ben (R) and Cup driver Regan Smith (L). (Norm Marx Photos)
The Rowes weren’t the only contenders at Antigonish, but they were among the few who made it to the finish. Johnny Clark, Travis Benjamin, Cassius Clark and Shawn Turple were all quick, but got collected in wrecks. Bill Penfold won his heat race, but had a mechanical problem. Former NASCAR Nextel Cup regular Ricky Craven wrecked as well.
The Rowes also had their share of trouble, but no setback was too great for them to truck on to the finish.
“We had a lot of flat tires,” said Mike Rowe. “I blew one, Benji blew a couple, Johnny [Clark] lost one and I think Cassius [Clark] did too. There were a lot of good runners who had trouble. We were fortunate enough to be around at the end to race with Benji for the win.”
“It was rough, they wrecked a lot of cars, but it was a good race,” said Ben Rowe. “We had tire problems. I lost three, my father lost one and Johnny Clark lost a couple. I got into the fence once and stoved it all up in the right rear.”
Those lessons come in handy when it comes to surviving a tough race. They especially came in handy when Mike Rowe won Sunday’s IWK 250 PASS North race at Riverside Speedway in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. They also worked out pretty well for Ben, who finished in the runner-up spot.
Even though it was a battle between father and son, there were no gifts given to either competitor by the other.
“He was trying his darnest to get by me,” said Mike Rowe. “I was trying my darnest to win the race and it worked out for me.
“He came in with about 25 or 30 laps to go and I stayed out, so I thought that I might be in trouble with him coming through the field with a new tire. I actually did block him a little bit with about 10 laps to go, but when you get that close you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. I was listening to my spotter. If he went high, I went high. If he looked low, I’d go low. It was a great race.”
“We came back to the front, but it’s hard to beat him,” said Ben Rowe. “Like I’ve said before, my father taught me everything that I know…but I think that he’s kept a little to himself.”
“We knew halfway through the second segment that cars were dropping like flies. So we held back a little bit.”
NASCAR Nextel Cup Series rookie Regan Smith almost crashed the Rowe family celebration. He battled with both drivers near the end of the race, before having to settle for third place.
“Regan Smith – I’ll tell you, we had a blast racing with him,” said Mike Rowe. “He got by me a couple of times and then I’d get by him for the lead. That was fun.”
“It was a good race there with Regan Smith,” said Ben Rowe. “He was fun to race with. I’d get underneath him and he would give me a lane. The three of us just drove away.”
All in all, the Rowes were proud of the show that they gave the fans at Antigonish.
“There were a lot of good cars to run there on the fast track,” said Ben Rowe. ”It was a good show.”
“It was a great show and the place was packed,” said Mike Rowe.
Finishing behind the Rowes and Smith were PASS North regular Richie Dearborn and Prince Edward Island driver Greg Proude.
The victory was the second of the season for Mike Rowe and his #2 PT Watts team, and while Mike Rowe won the race over Ben Rowe this weekend, Ben still leads Mike in the PASS North point standings. Dearborn unofficially maintains the third spot
The heat races at Antigonish were won by Ben Rowe, Derek Ramstrom, Bill Penfold and Cassius Clark.
The PASS North Super Late Models will return to action Saturday, July 28th at Riverside Speedway in Groveton, New Hampshire.
PASS North Super Late Models
Riverside Speedway - Antigonish, Nova Scotia
July 22, 2007
1. Mike Rowe
2. Ben Rowe
3. Regan Smith
4. Richie Dearborn
5. Greg Proude
6. Adam Bates
7. Wayne Smith
8. Frank Fraser
9. Gary Bellefleur Jr.
10. Stephen Berry
11. Shawn Turple
12. Trevor Sanborn
13. Johnny Clark
14. Bobby White
15. Dean MacInnis
16. Robbie MacLean
17. Travis Benjamin
18. Chris Duncan
19. Bill Penfold
20. Cassius Clark
21. Marty Prevost
22. John Flemming
23. Rollie MacDonald
24. Derek Ramstrom
25. Cy Harvey
26. Ricky Craven
27. Donald Chisholm
28. Daren Vanderaa
29. Curtis Gerry
30. Mike Mackenzie
While Mike Rowe (#2) and Ben Rowe (#4) decided the winner, there was a close battle between Regan Smith (#07) and Richie Dearborn at the finish line.