Clark Beats Sanborn and Mother Nature to Win at White Mountain
Threats of Rain and Snow Don’t Spoil the Show as Ben Rowe Secures ’07 PASS North Title
When he lined up 19th for Sunday’s Pro All Stars Series (PASS) North Super Late Model feature at White Mountain Motorsports Park (NH), Cassius Clark knew that he would have plenty of obstacles to dodge if he wanted to get to victory lane.
radio and we were convinced that I could get back to the front,” added Sanborn. “We went for it and I got back up to second, but just couldn’t get a break. Cassius and I were dead even and on that last restart, Mike got the jump and it’s hard to get around on the top.”
Still, Sanborn isn’t crying over what could have been.
“You can never say it might have been this or that. I was running behind Cassius, just like Cassius was running behind me before I spun out, so you never know what could happen. On that last restart, I was going to try to do anything I could to get him, but Mike got up in there and came down. So he took second and I took third.”
Clark also knows a thing or two about bad luck. He’s been fast all season long and has been in the wrong places at the wrong times when it had come to being involved in wrecks or having mechanical failures. The White Mountain victory is his second win of 2007.
precipitation was on the minds of all competitors when it came to way the way that they approach the race.
“That was something,” said Clark of the rain. “Every time the sun came out, it started raining. So that was definitely in the back of our heads. You don’t want to give one away because of the rain; so we just went for it.”
Also on Clark’s mind was the performance of Trevor Sanborn in the #29 car. Sanborn passed Steve Berry for the lead on lap 37 and Clark closed up to his rear bumper to try and take the top spot at the one-third mark in the race.
For the rest of the race, Clark and Sanborn were the class of the field. Clark edged his nose ahead briefly on lap 75 to peak at the lead, but Sanborn soon retook the spot. On lap 93, Sanborn spun out of the lead after getting into some oil on the track in turn one. He dropped his car in gear and only lost four spots in the incident, but that gave the lead to Clark.
“He had a good race,” said Clark. “He’s been going pretty good this year. It stunk passing him when he got in the oil, but we were right behind him and working him over, waiting for the end. I think on the longer runs, we had a little bit of a better car and would have driven away a little bit.”
Sanborn was down, but not out. He came back to second place and contended for the lead again. On the final restart, he dropped back to third behind Mike Rowe and finished in that position, which capped a fine rookie season in PASS North.
“When we got in the oil and spun out, [car owner] Jay [Cushman] talked to me on the
Cassius Clark (C) is joined by runner-up Mike Rowe and third-place finisher Traveor Sanborn (L) after the White Mountain race. Norm Marx Photo)
150 laps later, the 25-year-old driver had dodged them all – from staying out of the way of championship contenders to just being able to make it to the advertised distance of the race without having nearby rain and snow showers spoil the show. When all was said and done, it was Clark who was able to win his second PASS North feature of the 2007 season.
Clark started 19th after having to run a consolation race to earn a spot on the starting grid. Once the feature began, he went right toward the front. Within 27 laps, he was already in the top five with a bullet of a racecar.
“Some of these races here, they get so spread out. We’ve run a lot of races here without many cautions, so I just got a little nervous with that,” said Clark. “So if I can pick them off, I’ll pick them off. I don’t want to beat the car up doing that, but the car was pretty much flawless. I knew in the heat race that we had a good car. We just had people stopping and spinning in front of us. So we went out and won the consi and knew that we’d be all set. From the time that they threw the green, we just moved forward.”
Gray skies threatened to end the race at any time after the halfway point. There had been two rain delays during practice earlier in the day and any reappearance of
“We’ve had some tough luck,” said Clark. “We’ve been fast, but there have been things that have happened, so it’s nice to get back in victory lane.
“We started out like gangbusters and never really fell off. We were fast all year, but our luck kind of fell off in the middle. We were there every week – we probably should have had more of these [victories]. Sometimes, things just don’t work out.”
Ben Rowe finished fifth and secured the 2007 PASS North championship by a thin margin over his father Mike Rowe, who finished second. Rowe finished in the top three in half of his 2007 PASS North starts this season. He is now a four-time PASS North champion, along with many of his loyal crew members. This is the first time though that he has won the title though for current car owner Richard Moody.
“This same bunch of guys have been with me for all of them,” said Rowe. “Rick came
Cassius Clark's #8 (51 Photo)
on as my car owner last year. He wanted to run for the championship and he gave us everything that we needed for that. It was just up to us to do it. All of the equipment is here. It’s just a matter of getting the right people around it and having fun. If you have fun, you’re going to win races. That’s what we do. We come to the racetrack and have a lot of fun.”
In other action at White Mountain on Sunday, Dan McKeage won the PASS Pullen Heavy Industries Sportsmen feature and clinched the first-ever championship in that division. Mike Landry and Clyde Hennessey Jr. finished second and third.
Oxford Plains Speedway (ME) Strictly Stock drivers swept the podium in the Wildcat/Strictly Stock open event, with Mike Short taking the victory over Skip Tripp and Tommy Tomkins.
The PASS North season is now complete, but that doesn’t mean that all of the teams are done racing for the year. Several competitors, including Cassius Clark, Ben Rowe, Mike Rowe, Trevor Sanborn and Derek Ramstrom are expected to enter at least one of the two PASS South events that are left on the 2007 schedule.
“There are some big races coming up at the end of the season, so now we’ll see how we make out with those,” said Cassius Clark after winning at White Mountain.
Those final two races will be the Howler at Greenville-Pickens Speedway (SC) on October 27th and the second annual Mason-Dixon Meltdown, which will take place at Concord Motorsport Park (NC) on November 16th-17th.
PASS North Super Late Models
White Mountain Motorsports Park (NH)
October 14, 2007
1. Cassius Clark
2. Mike Rowe
3. Trevor Sanborn
4. Johnny Clark
5. Ben Rowe
6. Derek Ramstrom
7. Adam Bates
8. Alan Wilson
9. Matt Lee
10. Curtis Gerry
11. Bill Rodgers
12. Steve Berry
13. Gary Bellefleur
14. Joey Porciello
15. Tom Sculley
16. Donnie Lashua
17. Gary Smith
18. Russ Hersey
19. Danny Bubar
20. Josh Cantara
21. Travis Benjamin
22. Mark Patten
23. Richie Dearborn
24. DJ Shaw
25. Edward Biro
26. T.J. Brackett
Trevor Sanborn's #29 (51 Photo)