Cassius Clark Shows His Mastery Of Speedway 95 Again
Maine Driver Scores a Convincing Victory in PASS North
Every athlete dreams of a perfect day – one when any of his competitors can’t even challenge him for supremacy on the court, field or racetrack. Very rarely do those dreams come true, though.
Cassius was ready to lap the field until this incident involving Bill Penfold (#0) and Trevor Sanborn (#29) brought out the caution. (Jamie Williams Photo)
Clark’s dominating performance might have also inspired at least one young driver on Sunday. Rookie racer Derek Ramstrom finished a career-best sixth at Speedway 95. The 2006 PASS Outlaw champion is now looking forward to the day where his team might enjoy the kind of dominant race that Clark’s #8 team did.
“He was awesome,” said Ramstrom. “Pretty soon, I hope that we can do something like that.”
lap, thanks to the “lucky dog” rule of letting the highest running lapped car gain a lap on every caution.
There was even a green-white-checkered finish that almost allowed Johnny Clark to make a bid for the lead, but in the end nothing was going to ruin Cassius Clark’s day.
Finishing behind the Clarks were three-time PASS North champion Ben Rowe, Travis Benjamin and Richie Dearborn.
There were fireworks a little further back in the pack, though. Bill Penfold made contact with the rear of Mike Rowe’s #2 car in a battle for third place. Rowe spun out of the top 10 and Penfold was penalized two laps by PASS officials for rough driving. Rowe and Penfold were credited with the 11th and 12th positions.
Clark also had a little something to prove in Sunday’s race. In the PASS North season opener at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway the day before, he battled with Joey Porciello for the lead throughout the middle stages of the race, but faded to a ninth-place finish there after running into some mechanical problems.
“We ran the whole race at Beech Ridge on seven cylinders [due to a problem with a spark plug wire],” said Clark. “Then we lost the power steering at the end. It just irks me when you have a car that good and you can’t win with it. It’s nice when you have a dominant car to get the job done. That’s what you are supposed to do.”
Although not winning at Beech Ridge fired Clark up, it also wasn’t something that he had much time to dwell on between the two events.
“Not really,” said Clark. “We got home at midnight and then got up at four in the morning to get it put back together. We were an hour-and-a-half late going through the pit gate here and missed the first practice. There wasn’t a whole lot of time to think about it, but we did come here for revenge. Right off the trailer, the car was on rails, so we knew that we had a good day coming.”
For Cassius Clark, Sunday was one of those days. The 25-year-old Farmington, Maine, driver started fifth in the Pro All Stars Series North Super Late Model race at Speedway 95 (located near Bangor, Maine), but he didn’t waste much time taking the lead from 2006 PASS North Champion Johnny Clark.
Once Cassius Clark took the lead, he ran away with it on the way to his unofficial victory. At one point he lapped all but the second-place car and was getting ready to lap that entry, too, when the caution flag came out for a frontstretch incident between Bill Penfold and Trevor Sanborn.
“We had such a long green-flag run there, and my car was really good,” said Cassius Clark. “You have those days where the car is perfect and this was one of those. This thing was just hooked up.”
A late race stream of caution periods brought out by various bumps, spins and encounters with the Speedway 95 tire wall brought several other cars back on the lead
The victory at Bangor is Clark’s third one in the last four PASS North events held there.
“I love this place,” said Clark. “I raced Legends cars here and had success here. We won a lot of races with those. I took a liking to it the first time that I came here. When we started running Pro Stocks (Super Late Models), this was one of our best tracks. I had a top-five run going in my first race here, but had rear end troubles. So we didn’t get the finishes that we wanted here at first. It’s been a great place for us.”
Don’t call Speedway 95 “The House That Cassius Built” quite yet, though. Clark knows that in racing success can be fleeting and he is not resting on his past accomplishments – even if they are only a few moments old.
“Houses always come down, so we have to work hard to keep this up,” said Clark. “We’re looking to the next race now. We’ve got a week off. They are pulling our motor [for an comprehensive tech inspection], so when we get that back, we’ll just start working to get ready for the next race.”
Clark's #8 car. (51 Photo)
In other action at Speedway 95, Gary Norris held off Troy Morse and Jeremy McCormick for the victory in the 40-lap PASS Modified race.
The PASS North Super Late Models return to action on Saturday, May 12th, at New Brunswick International Speedway near Fredericton, New Brunswick. It will be the first of four Canadian appearances for the Super Late Model tour in 2007.
PASS North Super Late Models
Beech Ridge Motor Speedway
May 5, 2007
1. Joey Porciello
2. Jeremie Whorff
3. Mike Rowe
4. Kelly Moore
5. Dave Dion
6. Ben Rowe
7. Richie Dearborn
8. Mark Patten
9. Cassius Clark
10. DJ Shaw
11. Steve Berry
12. Johnny Clark
13. Curtis Gerry
14. Bill Whorff, Jr.
15. Gary Smith
16. Trevor Sanborn
17. Kirk Thibeau
18. Bill Penfold
19. Travis Benjamin
20. Derek Ramstrom
21. John Flemming
22. Kevin Kimball
23. Bill Rodgers
24. Rick Martin
25. Lonnie Sommerville
26. Dale Shaw
27. Jeff Burgess
28. Ralph Nason
29. Mike Parks
Cassius Clark (C), Johnny Clark (R) and Ben Rowe (L) stand were the podium finishers at Speedway 95. (Norm Marx Photo)