Experience Pays Off For Johnny Clark at Wiscasset
Former Track Regular Grabs Victory in PASS North Return
When the Pro All Stars Series North Super Late Models visited Wiscasset Raceway (ME) on Sunday for the first time since the 2004 season, fans in the packed grandstands saw some things that were different. There were some new paint schemes, new driver and team combinations, a new track owner in Doug White and new faces on the Tour.
“It’s a lot of fun [to race with Johnny Clark], except when he brings up stories of watching me race when he was young,” chuckled Chubbuck after the race. “It makes me feel old.”
Young, old or somewhere in between, Clark just likes racing with Chubbuck.
“We had the car on a rail,” said Clark. “[Crew chief] Bobby [Clark] said that it looked like DJ Shaw’s car when he won the Coastal 200 here. He was on a rail and just glided around. He was just on a ride and that is basically how they had the car for me tonight. I was just along for a ride. The car was so good and you only get one of those a couple of times each year.”
“He races people with respect if they show him respect,” said Clark. “He’s one of the best racecar drivers in the state, that’s for sure.”
Clark started the race in the 12th position because PASS rules dictate that a winner from this current season cannot start a feature race in a top-10 position. He wasted little time working through the pack as Rick Martin and Steve Berry both led laps early on.
“It worked out good,” said Clark. “You always say that you don’t want to start that far back and that you hate the rule, but I totally understand the rule. It makes for a better race. I enjoyed coming up through.”
Just before halfway, Clark took over the top spot and never looked back from there. Chubbuck could stay on Clark’s bumper, but he never took the lead.
Steve Berry (#15) and Rick Martin (#14) led laps early at Wiscasset. (Jamie Williams Photo)
However, one thing had not changed in three years, or longer even. That was the fact that it takes experience to be able to wheel a racecar successfully around the coastal Maine oval and when it came to experience in the field for this event, nobody could top former track regulars Johnny Clark and Scott Chubbuck, who finished first and second in the 150-lap PASS North feature.
Clark got his start in racing driving a Strictly Stock at Wiscasset in 1994. At that time, Chubbuck was one of the top guns in the Pro Stock [now Super Late Model] division.
So for Clark to beat Chubbuck to take this victory was a major accomplishment.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Clark. “I grew up watching him race, but I don’t want to make him sound old because he’s not old. I was in Strictly Stocks when he was in Pro Stocks. I always looked up to Scott Chubbuck and I still do today. We get along real good and we race each other really clean. When I first started racing, I made a couple of bonehead moves and got into him, but that is behind us now.”
Clark and Chubbuck go wheel to wheel at Wiscasset. (Norm Marx Photo)
That fact was not lost on Clark’s fellow competitors.
“Johnny was just better than everybody, but he’s always good here,” said third-place finisher Ben Rowe. “He’s definitely got this place figured out.”
Clark knew that he had a great car after he won Saturday night’s 50-lap weekly Pro Stock/Super Late Model event. Still, he didn’t let the pressure of having to perform get to him.
“Not at all. I took a nap a few hours before the race and just rested up,” said Clark. “They looked the car over. We’ve been so strong since we’ve come here for the two 50-lappers. I know that they are only 50 laps, but the car was just so good when the sun went down, that I was really grinning when the sun went down. That is when the car was really on a rail.
“We were joking last night that we had just won the Busch race and now we had to go and win the big race. We went out and did that.”
Finishing behind Clark, Chubbuck and Rowe were Travis Benjamin and Mike Rowe.
Clark waves the winning flag at Wiscasset. (Norm Marx Photo)
With his top-five finish, Ben Rowe unofficially maintains the PASS North point lead over his father Mike Rowe.
In the PASS Modified division, Chris Staples held off Troy Morse and Chris Smith to record the victory. In PASS Sportsmen, Wiscasset regular Adam Chadbourne beat Dan McKeage and Jerry Harrison to win over a strong field of entries.
The PASS North Super Late Models will return to action Sunday, August 26th, at Speedway 95 near Bangor, Maine.
PASS North Super Late Models
Wiscasset Speedway – Wiscasset, Maine
August 19, 2007
1. Johnny Clark
2. Scott Chubbuck
3. Ben Rowe
4. Travis Benjamin
5. Mike Rowe
6. Steve Berry
7. Stan Meserve
8. Adam Bates
9. Alan Wilson
10. Alan Tardiff
11. Scott Moore
12. Richie Dearborn
13. Curtis Gerry
14. DJ Shaw
15. Kelly Moore
16. Derek Ramstrom
17. Bill Whorff, Jr.
18. Dave Dion
19. Katie Hagar
20. Trevor Sanborn
21. Mike Parks
22. Gary Smith
23. Joey Porciello
24. Rick Martin
25. Donnie Whitten
26. Cassius Clark
27. Scott King
28. Charlie Colby
29. Sam Sessions
30. Gary Bellefleur