PASS North Champion Johnny Clark Heads to His Favorite Track for Unity’s DNK 150
Site of Clark’s Biggest Victory is Also a Place for Some Great Super Late Model Action
Before he was a two-time PASS North champion…actually, before he was even a single-time champ, Johnny Clark won a big race at a small track in Maine. The year was 2004, and Clark came out on top of the heavily-promoted DNK 250 at Unity Raceway.
Three years and many racing accomplishments later, Clark still describes the victory as the biggest one so far in his career. Now, with PASS North returning to the track for the June 17th DNK 150 there, Clark can’t wait for the next race on his schedule.
time the PASS Super Late Models come to town. In the last four PASS North races at Unity, there have been four different winners – Clark, Mike Rowe, Ben Rowe and Patrick Laperle.
In those races, there have also been some epic battles. Last year, Johnny Clark, Cassius Clark and Ben Rowe took part in a three-way dogfight for the victory. Mike Rowe and Ralph Nason exchanged doughnuts on the side of their racecars to decide the victory in 2005’s Budweiser 250. Johnny Clark and Mike Rowe have traded plenty of paint there too. Those battles are typical of any SLM race at the track.
“You never, ever, ever see anyone run away with a race there,” said Clark. “You always see good racing. You see guys race side by side. There are two good grooves there. There is an outside groove. It’s a fun track to go to and I think that the PASS cars put on an excellent show there.”
As for Clark’s big victory at Unity, he still can recall the race fondly.
Last year, Ben Rowe (#4), Cassius Clark (#8) and Johnny Clark (#54) fought hard for the victory at Unity. (51 Photo)
“Now we’re going back to the DNK 150. We’re going back to Maine’s finest racetrack for it and I am so excited.”
Unity is a throwback to the good old days of racing. It is a challenging place to get around for some drivers, and it is not always a track that is well-loved by competitors. But Clark is dead serious when he brags about the place.
“I mean that. It’s my favorite place to race,” said Clark. “You can say what you want about the track – it is what it is, but there is some great racing there. You can really get up on the wheel and drive that place. That is what’s so much fun. If the car breaks a little bit sideways in the middle of the turn, you just turn right and give it some gas. It’s almost like racing 12 or 15 years ago, but instead of driving an old street stock, we’re driving $40,000 or $50,000 racecars. It is a really good time to race at Unity.”
And it’s not just a good time behind the wheel. Fans are treated to some great action each
“It was my first 250 win,” said Clark. “A month or two later, we went and won the Atlantic CAT 250 up in Halifax. It was a good year. The DNK 250 was the first time that I ever made 25 grand in one race. That was good.”
Clark believes that his success at the track can be attributed to spending his youth there watching a few of the guys that he now races against, get around there quickly. Clark was paying attention and is now one of his generation’s best racers at Unity.
“I’ve seen Ralph Nason, Stan Meserve and Mike Rowe race at Unity and all those guys put on good races there. I grew up watching those guys race there and I think that is part of why we run so well at Unity. When you are running by yourself, there is one really quick way around that place and a few of us, myself, Scott Chubbuck and some other guys, have figured that out. It’s just such a fun place. I love running there.”
The DNK 150 at Unity Raceway is scheduled for Sunday, June 17th. The event will feature the PASS North Super Late Models, PASS Outlaw Late Models, PASS Modifieds and PASS Pullen Heavy Industries Sportsmen. Saturday, June 16th will be an optional practice day for all teams.