Quarter Master's Clutch Performance of the Week
Who Came Through in The Clutch This Time?
As Decided by the Staff of Speed51.com
Performing in the clutch is what seperates a winning driver from the rest of the pack.  Flexing muscle at the right time is something that true talents posess.  Often luck plays a big role in winning versus losing, but being able to squeeze just enough strength out at the perfect opportunity is what separates winners from losers.  Performing in the clutch doesn't necessarily mean winning, however; it's all about making the most from what you've got.

That's why Quarter Master, providers of winning clutches & driveline components to racers from Super Speedway to the Bullring, from IRL to Rally, from NASCAR to the "Weekend Warrior," is proud to honor a weekly "Clutch Performance of the Week" from the short track ranks of America.  Each week, an esteemed panel of short track industry insiders will vote on which drivers came through in the clutch.  The driver or team with the most votes will then be the "Clutch Performance of the Week."  At the end of the 2009 season, the driver or team that received the most votes throughout the season will then be the "Clutch Performer of the Year" and will be awarded a clutch kit from Quarter Master, valued at $3,500 - just like the 2008 Quarter Master Clutch Performer of the Year winner Eddie MacDonald.

This week's "Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week" goes to ...
Mike Rowe 
#24 Rowe & Sons Trucking Super Late Model

Mike Rowe has won seven feature races this year and Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME) on the way to that track's Pro Series (Super Late Model) championship.  He's done so against some tough competition too.  DJ Shaw has stopped by to run races and track regulars like Bub Bilodeau, Aaron Ricker and David Oliver are always tough.

But that is nothing compared to the level of competition on the PASS North Tour, where Rowe ran his first race of the season with this past Sunday.  Add to it, the fact that the longest race of the year so far for Rowe was one-third of the distance of the PASS 300 and the pressure was on Rowe as he entered the race.

So the fact that he ended up winning the race would have probably been enough for him to earn this week's Speed51.com Quarter Master Clutch Performance award. 

But one thing assured him of the victory.  Just 25 laps into the race, Rowe's power steering failed.

Having no power steering would have led most of today's young drivers to simply park their racecars and call it a day.  But that was a very minor problem for Rowe though - as he drives dump trucks all week long and has raced just about everything there is to run in Maine.  So power steering wasn't anything but a creature comfort to him.  Even if the failed system made him have to work much harder during a long race.

So for those reasons, our panel's choice for the Speed51.com Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week this time around was Mike Rowe.

Here were a few of our voter comments on Rowe's selection:

"I'm voting for Mike Rowe due to his return to PASS had a story book ending in victory lane,"

"Mike Rowe had a very difficult day at Beech Ridge and shouldn't have won that race.  But he not only won, but also made it look easy.  Wow!"

Here are our honorable mentions for this week:

George Brunnhoelzl, III (WSMT)- It is clutch time when it comes to the battle for the 2009 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship and George Brunnhoelzl, III came through in that clutch by distancing himself from rival Andy Seuss this past Saturday at Caraway Speedway (NC).  Brunnhoelzl won the race and opened up his point lead even further.

"This win gets him closer to his first championship," wrote one of our voters.

Korey Ruble (PLM) - Here is what one of our voters had to say about Korey Ruble's Clutch Performance this weekend:

"Korey Ruble gets my vote.  He won the Viper race, and even though it was after Augie Grill's DQ, he did it by beating Bubba Pollard who was unstoppable there.  Plus the kid had to skip a bunch of races all season long due to finances and strung up just enough to go to this one.  It was a nice feel-good story."

Billy Putney (RoC Mods) - The Race of Champions is the biggest show of the year for the RoC Asphalt Modifieds.  It attracts the best teams and drivers to Oswego Speedway (NY).  This year, nobody beat Billy Putney for the victory when the chips were down.  That kind of victory shows a definite ability to come through in the clutch.

Shawn Turple (SLM) - Shawn Turple stayed out of trouble in the Carquest Tour season finale at Scota Speedworld (NS) on Saturday night and was rewarded with the 2009 series championship.

Patrick Laparle (ACT) - Here is why one of our voters cast their ballot for Patrick Laperle this week:

"Patrick Laperle's #91 was the car to beat at ACT's Fall Foliage 300 at Airborne Speedway.  With a +9 qualifying effort, Laperle started from the pole and took little time to establish himself as a contender for the win.  His speed and maneuverability in traffic was matched early on only by Karl Allard (who was sidelined with rear end issues).  And to make sure no other driver could challenge him at the end he extended his run on initial tires and before refueling to 248 laps; as he rolled behind the pace car to get to the pits the cars sputtered out of gas.  He had to refire the engine twice as his crew slapped on some Goodyear tires and put some fuel in the car.  He would take only 10 laps to get back to the front of the field and reclaim the top spot as he marched to a third career Fall Foliage win and his 30th career victory (two in Open Late Models, two in PASS Super Late Model events, three World Series races, one Super Six Series victory, five ACT Castrol Series wins and 17 ACT Tour Series victories.

Quarter Master salutes Mike Rowe on this week’s Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week.

Quarter Master
"Clutch Performance of the Week"

1.  Mike Rowe (PASS North)
2.  George Brunnhoelzl, III  (SMT)
3.  Korey Ruble  (PLM)
4.  Billy Putney  (Mods)
5.  Shawn Tuple (SLM_

2009 Cumulative Winners

Mike Rowe (PASS North)
Brandon Ward (Pro Cup)
Paul Harraka  (CW West)
Corey Wiilliams (PASS South)
Steve Park (CW East)
Justin Lofton  (ARCA)
Eddie MacDonald (LM)
Derek Ramstrom (PASS North)
Donny Lia (Mods) 2x
Parker Klligerman (ARCA)
Brian Campbell (CRA, ASA LM)
Earl Paules (Mods)
Bubba Pollard (Blizzard SLM)
Jamey Caudill  (UARA)
Chris Wimmer (ASA MW) 2x
Jay Fogelman  (PASS South)
Ross Kenseth  (Big 8)
Ted Chriistopher  (Mods)
Eric Beers (Mods)
Aric Almirola (PASS South)
Andy Seuss  (Mods) 2x
Earl Pearson, Jr.  (WoO LM)
George Brunnhoelzl, III (Mods)
Matt Hirschman (Mods)
David Rogers  (SLM)
Matt Kobyluck  (CW East)
CLICK HERE to find out all the products that Quarter Master offers so you too can be a Quarter Master Clutch Performer of the Week

Jamie Williams Photo