Mike Rowe Continues Family Tradition on PASS 400 Weekend
Berry, Benjamin, Shaw, Clark and Moore Also Contend for Beech Ridge Victory
During the inaugural PASS 400 weekend at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME) in 2005, Mike Rowe emerged as the big winner. He captured the 300-lap PASS North Super Late Model event and put the exclamation point on a great season that consisted of a total of five PASS North victories.
Mike Rowe in victory lane. (Norm Marx Photo)
Rowe’s strongest competition late in the race came from the #15 car of Berry. The former Beech Ridge regular, and PASS North rookie, put up a strong fight for the lead with Rowe. The two swapped the lead several times and were running side-by-side while battling for the top spot with 20 laps to go. That is when Rowe slid up into Berry’s car, who cut down a left front tire. Berry spun off the turn four banking with the flat and was left with a finish of 13th.
“That was just wicked hard racing,” said Rowe. “Steve and I were running ragged and that sort of thing happens sometimes. It was one of those deals and I hope that we can iron things out. He’s a really nice guy.” [Speed51.com will have more on this in leftovers later this week.]
In 2006, it was Mike’s son, Ben Rowe, who won the 300-lap SLM event at Beech Ridge. On Sunday, the race victory once again stayed in the family, but it was the father who knew best this time around again, with Mike Rowe taking the $10,000 victory in his #2 PT Watts machine.
Mike Rowe has no problem with the trend that is emerging with the biggest race on the PASS North schedule.
“That’s good,” Rowe laughed. “Benji can go and win it next year. I’ll finish second.”
Because of the fact that the Rowes have teamed up to win each season, you might think that the competition is only between those two drivers. That was hardly true on Sunday though. Mike Rowe might have become a two-time winner of the race, but he had plenty of competition for the victory.
DJ Shaw, Kelly Moore, Ben Rowe, Travis Benjamin, Steve Berry and Cassius Clark all led laps in the SLM feature on Sunday afternoon. Mike Rowe did lead laps before the halfway mark, but did not appear to have anything close to a dominant card early on.
“There were a lot of good cars out there,” said Mike Rowe. “I was a little tight on the first set of tires. I came in and the crew loosened it up a little bit. They did a good job. It was a little bit too loose then, I came back in and they adjusted it. After that, it was awesome. It worked out well.”
Another really nice guy was then left to give Rowe his final challenge. Low-buck racer Alan Wilson, the 2005 PASS North Rookie of the Year, charged through the field with his #53 to battle with Rowe at the end. The laps clicked down too quickly for Wilson though, and he was left with a second-place finish.
Teenager Derek Ramstrom filled out the podium after starting at the rear of the field with a provisional. He was followed to the finish by Cassius Clark and Trevor Sanborn, who also started deep in the pack with the other PASS North provisional that was awarded after Saturday’s qualifying races.
Rowe was one of four feature winners on Sunday. J.R. Baril held off Tony Ricci by just inches to win the 100-lap PASS Outlaw Late Model feature, former Beech Ridge Super Sportsman champion Chris Smith won the 50-lap PASS Modified feature. Terry Merrill was awarded the victory in the PASS Pullen Heavy Industries Sportsmen 100-lap feature after Mike Landry crossed the finish line first, but was disqualified for an unapproved engine part.
The PASS North Super Late Models return to action in two weeks, with a visit to All-Star Speedway in Epping, New Hampshire on October 6th.
PASS North Super Late Models
Beech Ridge Motor Speedway – Scarborough, ME
September 23, 2007
1. Mike Rowe
2. Alan Wilson
3. Derek Ramstrom
4. Cassius Clark
5. Trevor Sanborn
6. Richie Dearborn
7. Scott Chubbuck
8. Kirk Thibeau
9. Travis Benjamin
10. Rick Martin
11. Ben Rowe
12. Dale Shaw
13. Steve Berry
14. Dave Dion
15. Donnie Lashua
16. Jay Sands
17. Gary Bellefleur
18. Joey Porciello
19. T.J. Brackett
20. John Fleming
21. Mike Fowler
22. D.J. Shaw
23. Katie Hagar
24. Donnie Whitten
25. Bill Rodgers
26. Kelly Moore
27. Johnny Clark
28. Bill Whorff, Jr.
29. Danny Bubar
30. Bub Bilodeau
31. Dan McKeage
32. Adam Bates
33. Chris Kennison
The fans got to see a great finish between winner JR Baril (#58) and runner-up Tony Ricci (#84) in the Outlaw Late Model race. (Jamie Williams Photo)