Two objects rarely can occupy the same space at the same time with positive results. That is especially true in racing and it has been proven time and time again, most recently during the PASS North Super Late Model race last Saturday at White Mountain Motorsports Park (NH).
Trevor Sanborn was one of the two early leaders in the race, along with Cassius Clark. He looked to have more than a fighting chance at scoring his first PASS victory. Meanwhile, the chances of Steve Berry's first victory on the tour looked like they would have to wait for another night. Berry, who has shown skill and speed over the past season and a half on the tour but has been had very little in the way of good luck, was a lap down and just hoping for a solid finish with his #15 car.
While running second, Sanborn made contact with Berry, who collected his car without incident. Less than one lap later, Berry returned the favor and spun Sanborn out in turn three at WMMP. Sanborn spun and backed into the outside retaining wall. Sanborn suffered heavy damage to his #44 car and was out of the hunt. Berry found himself ejected from the race for his antics.
Afterwards, nobody was even suggesting it was just a racing deal.
“Steve slowed up a little bit and I hit him.,” said Sanborn. “I got him right square
in the bumper and didn't spin him out. He got a little sideways and I let out of it,
so he could save it. Then going into turn three, he just ran right into my door.
We backed into the wall and I think that bent the rear clip.
“He was a flounder out there. He couldn't get going. I'm sorry for getting into him,
but it wasn't intentional. I would never do that. We wrecked a $60,000 racecar.
There was no need for that.”
“Cassius caught me and I let him go.,” said Berry. “When Trevor got me, it was
in the middle of the corner. I was in the middle of the corner and I couldn't get
down any more. When we got out of the corner, I turned down. On the middle
of the frontstretch, I pulled right down just like I did for the #8 car and he jacked
So Berry took matters into his own hands - and fully admits it.
“When he got beside me, I spun him,” said Berry.
Berry's actions came from frustrations that had been boiling over for a while. Last
season, he led several races as a PASS North rookie, but got bounced around and
put out of contention on several occasions. An incident with Bill Penfold at Riverside
cost both parties a good finish and Penfold hasn't been back with the PASS Tour
since. In the PASS 300, Berry was battling with Mike Rowe for the lead as the
laps wound down when those two drivers made contact. Rowe went on to win the
race after an exhaust pipe on his car was thought to have cut down Berry's tire. Even
erry and Sanborn had an incident last season.
“Last year, when I had a tire going down while leading here, he did the same thing to
me to get by,” said Berry.
So Berry isn't going to take it anymore from anyone. It just happened that Sanborn was the first one to get crossed up with him.
“I've had enough of getting poked, prodded and spun out by about everyone out here,” said Berry. “That's enough. This is the way that it is going to be.“
Both Sanborn and Berry graduated to PASS North after cutting their racing teeth at Maine's Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, which led some to think that this incident came from an old rivalry there. According to both sides though, that wasn't the case.
“I've been nothing but polite and courteous to Trevor since he's been racing whether it was at Beech Ridge or on the PASS tour.,” said Berry. “If he's fast, I've let him go and that has happened on many occasions.
“He was always very good there,” said Sanborn. “We never had any problems."
Berry will likely run the entire PASS North schedule, while Sanborn is running a limited schedule of PASS North and South events. It is almost certain that the two parties will meet again at some point this season, hopefully this time with a better outcome for both parties.