PASS Super Late Model driver Ben Rowe just cannot stay out of the headlines and the rumor mill. The Maine racer made history back a few weeks in the series by being the only driver to lead the North, South and National division points titles. Even though he lost the top spot in the North after last weekend’s race at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME), Rowe still has a grip on the South and National points lead, but that was about to change dramatically this weekend.
Rowe and his Richard Moody Racing team was entered into the double-header race weekend in the South, first at Greenville-Pickens Speedway (SC) on Friday, July 3rd, then at Hickory Motor Speedway (NC) on Sunday, July 5th. However, less than a week from the races, Rowe learned that his car owner was not going to pull south for the events.
“Monday evening, we found out Rick Moody didn’t want to go,” said Rowe. “That kind of left me scrambling.”
Rumors swirled that Rowe wasn’t going to make it down to the Carolinas to race in the South events, which would crush his chances at the 2009 PASS South Super Late Model championship. Knowing that, Rowe and a few friends decided to make the trek anyway by digging out a fossil to race.
“I am coming down,” Rowe told Speed51.com Thursday morning, one day prior to the first of the two South races of the weekend. “I am just about to head out of the shop.
“My father had a car that has been sitting in our barn for about four years, so I dug it out and fired up the motor. It ran, so we threw a set-up in it and half painted it. We are going to borrow a trailer from my brother-in-law, load it up and head out. It was towed to the track as a back-up car for a year or so (prior to being stored), so it has been four or five years since it has been on the track.”
A few weeks back, Rowe and the Moody team decided to stay up north to run a PASS North event instead of the South event the same weekend. The North event was rain cancelled, but Rowe was able to fly down south and race a Bubba Pollard back-up car to maintain his South point’s lead. With this new development, it might seem like there is trouble in paradise between Rick Moody and Rowe, but that is not the case.
“He (Moody) is just trying to concentrate more on the North right now,” explained Rowe. “He wants to win the North championship. We weren’t even going to run the whole south series. We didn’t think I was going to be in this predicament leading the points (in the South). He (Moody) said he would do the north and if I can get something together to run the south, then I would do that.
“The plan is that I will run my own stuff down there (in the South). I know he (Moody) is committed to running the two South races down there. He might also go to the South Boston (VA) race. As of right now, the other ones, if I can’t pick anything up with a ride in the South to save on costs, I will take mine down – if I am leading the points. If I am up in the points, I will be down there for the races.”
Even though the car will still don the #4 Rowe uses under the Richard Moody Racing banner, his new, or should we say, old car will not look anything like the yellow car he is used to driving in Pro All Stars Series competition. However, motorsports isn’t a beauty contest. Drivers only get scored points based on where they finish, not how their car looks on the track.
“The front fenders and hood are all brand new,” explained Rowe. “The nose is black and the fenders and hood are white and the rest of it is red. It is kind of an ugly looking duck, but if the car is halfway decent, it will be good.
“I think our chances are good as any. Anytime I go to the race track, I think we can finish in the top five or top 10. If we can do that, it would be pretty neat. This is something that we just threw together. It is a car that is kind of like ours. We have a bunch of people helping us get down there and I can’t thank everyone enough. Hopefully we can get a couple of crew members down there to help there. The plan is to run both races – run at Greenville on Friday, tinker with it on Saturday and run it on Sunday at Hickory.
“If we go down there and come out with the points lead again, we will go to the next one. To me, it is just a challenge.”