51 Leftovers: PASS North at White Mountain  By Mike Twist
A Rowe, a Clark, a Floridian, a Canadian and More
IT'S JOHNNY, NOT BENJI IN SECOND PLACE

Finishing right behind D.J Shaw, you'd expect to find the king of White Mountain -
Ben Rowe.  After all, the track has been one of his best tracks though the years.

But no, it wasn't Rowe on Shaw's rear bumper cover at the end of the race.  Instead it
was Johnny Clark, who never has rated White Mountain as one of his favorite tracks
before.

“This place to me is like Wiscasset for Benji,” said Clark.  “This has just never been
a good track for me.  Tonight is one of the best nights I've ever had here.  I've been
coming here for 10 years, and other than tonight, one of the first time I ever came
here with the NEPSA tour, that's how long ago it was.  Doing what we've done with
this car, we won the 250 at Wiscasset, we've come here and run second and been
fast all day, I'm tickled.  I'm really looking forward to the 300-lap race (At Beech Ridge)
coming up.

SHAW GETS ONE AT HOME

D.J. Shaw is a former track champion at White Mountain and the track is just a short ride over the Kangamangus Highway from his home in Center Conway, New Hampshire.  Scoring his second career PASS North victory at the track was something he was very happy about.
“It's great winning here especially,” said Shaw.  “I like winning here and it's special to win here, but hopefully we can use this towards getting some wins at places we've never won before. 
“It's great winning here especially,” said Shaw.  “I like winning here and it's special to win here, but hopefully we can use this towards getting some wins at places we've never won before. 

LaVOIE LIKES PASS RACING

Michael LaVoie came down to White Mountain from Canada to “test drive” one of Dale Shaw's Super Late Models.  After finishing eighth in his PASS North debut, LaVoie went ahead with plans to buy the car - and Is pretty excited about running it in the future.

“I love it,” said LaVoie  I love the PASS Series.  Pro Stocks are different.  Every race that I do - ACT or PASS, it's a different challenge. I got some experience and it was a quick race.  I finished pretty well.  I just loved it.”

Pro Stock/Super Late Model cars are a bit of a rarity in Quebec, but LaVoie knows a few racers who have run that type of car out of the region.
“Patrick Laperle and Alexander Gringas have run Pro Stocks too,” said LaVoie.

During our interview with LaVoie, he was told that his countryman Laperle won Saturday's night's ACT race over at Oxford Plains Speedway.  LaVoie liked the sound of that.
DJ Shaw in victory lane at White Mountain.
Michael LaVoie
we have a new motor on the way.  We could have used that tonight definitely, but all in all it was a good night.” 

..BUT ROWE ISN'T HAPPY WITH THIRD

Ben Rowe finished third with his #4 machine, but he wasn't too pleased with that result.

“I'm frustrated with a third, especially at my place like this.,” admitted Rowe.  “It's just a frustrating new car.  It's not for a lack of effort.  We've changed everything and tried everything.  We just haven't gotten the hang of this car all year.  It's a brand new car. 

“We'll just keep trying.  We'll be at Beech Ridge Friday and we'll never quit.  It was a good points day today.  We lost two to Johnny, but we can afford that.  We've got to focus on gaining some on Travis[Benjamin] and we'll see what happens. 

KITTLESON AND CUSHMAN CLICK

Travis Kittleson had never been to White Mountain in his life before this past weekend.  But when the PASS North Super Late Model Series visited the quarter-mile track on Saturday night, Kittleson came, saw and almost conquered.

Kittleson started the 150-lap race on the pole and led the most laps of the race by far, before handling problems dropped him to a fourth-place finish with Jay Cushman's #20 Super Late Model.

“It was a fun place.  It's really racy and high banked.  It's got a second groove if your car is good enough for it, and I had a blast out there.  This PASS Series is so competitive, and it's a great place to race.
Travis Kittleson's #20.
“Really?  That's good for him.”

HERSEY IS HAPPY WITH SEVENTH…

Monadnock Speedway (NH) regular Russ Hersey always comes out to play in a few PASS North races and open shows every year.  This past weekend, he raced at White Mountain and came away with a seventh-place finish.

“This is kind of like home,” said Hersey.  “It's like Monadnock and it's easy for me as a driver to come here and get a handle on stuff.  The car was good all night.  It was a little bit free and you have to treat some of the other guys with kid gloves because they are running for points and you need to respect that."

One of those guys racing for points, and against Hersey on Saturday, was sixth-place finisher Adam Bates.

“I ran nose to tail with Adam forever and there was no sense getting overly aggressive.,” said Hersey.  “We weren't going for the win.  If we were in the top three, maybe we would have tried some different stuff, but in the top 10 you just have to respect everyone, keep your nose clean, pack it up and try it on a different day.”

Hersey has some big plans for the fall months with his #88 Super Late Model.

“We'll be back at Seekonk for the DAV.  We'll be at Twin State when they have their double header weekend.  Next week is Beech Ridge, but we're going to go to All-Star.  My forte is not racing on an upside down pie plate.  We'll see what happens.  The car has been decent and
“We had a good run going and thought we had one in the bag, but with about 40 laps to go, we went green and the car started to get pretty tight.  It lost quite a bit of forward bite.  Once the tires cooled off I had the bite, but the car wouldn't turn.”

Kittleson still didn't give up when his handling soured.  If he could have gotten to the side of race winner D.J Shaw, Kittleson planned to give him everything he had to win the race.  That also applied for battles with runner-up Johnny Clark and third-place finisher Ben Rowe.

“If I could have turned it and got inside of him, I would have,” laughed Kittleson.  “Eight tires…or 12…corner better than four do.”

In all seriousness, though, Kittleson was impressed with his fellow competitors.

“We had some really good battles.  Ben Rowe and I had a good battle for I don't know how many laps, and he ran me clean.  Johnny ran me fairly clean like he usually
does…fairly…but it's nothing I wouldn't do to him.  It's a blast here.  It's at least as competitive as when I ran [PASS South] in 2006, if not more so.”

Kittleson was even more impressed with his car owner and the entire Cushman Competition team.

“Jay picks up on what I'm doing, and he trusts my feel for the car.  If there is something that I suggest that sounds off the wall, he'll tell me that he thinks it is off the wall.

“We're racers.  He told me at one time that if I needed to go three wide to try and win this thing, to do it….and he's got to race this car next weekend.  He knew there was a chance that we could get torn up, but if that is what it took to win, he was all for it.”

Cushman was just as impressed with his driver and hopes that more races together will be in the future.

“Travis is awesome.  He came up and took my son kart racing at Richmond Speedway last night.  He's just so fun to be around and to work with.  We've talked now for two weeks, and we're just going to have to find a way for this to happen.  We need just a little bit of help to buy tires.  If we got that, maybe we could run some big races.  Travis gets my guys pumped up, and they all want to race when he's around.  So we'll have to see what we can do.”






Johnny Clark's #54  (Jamie Williams Photos)