Rowe Rolls Off From the Rear, But Still Wins at Beech Ridge
Maine Racing Legend Pads Point Lead With Fifth Victory of Season
Mike Rowe has been spending his 2009 racing season as a Saturday night regular in the Pro Series (Super Late Models) at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME).
He's also been a regular in victory lane. On Saturday night, he cruised to his fifth victory of 2009 at the track - padding his point lead in the process aboard the Dick Fowler-owned #24.
Rowe started dead last in the 14-car field on Saturday, but wasted no time heading towards the front. By lap four, he was eighth. By lap eight, he was fifth. By lap ten, he was third.
That put Rowe right in the middle of a battle for the lead that involved defending Beech Ridge track champion Bub Bilodeau and PASS North regular DJ Shaw. Bilodeau took over the lead early in the race from polesitter Keith McKinnon. Shaw then passed Bilodeau for the spot on lap 15. Bilodeau retaliated with an attempted crossover move. That didn't work for Bilodeau, but a drag-race from the front row on a lap 16 restart did.
Meanwhile, Rowe sized up his competition and on lap 21 drove under Bilodeau and Shaw to take the lead. From there, he never looked back. While Rowe made things look easy, there was a sprinted battle for second place with Bilodeau edging Shaw at the finish line. Part-time ACT competitor Aaron Ricker finished fourth with McKinnon rounding out the top five.
After the race, Rowe posed for victory lane photos, but in continuing a custom that he's been following all season at Beech Ridge - he didn't get the winner's trophy. Instead, Rowe gave that to a random young race fan in the crowd.
“I know these kids like those trophies, so I guess that we'll just have to try and win some more,” said Rowe in victory lane.
Rowe also recalled his pass for the lead midway through the 40-lap feature.
“It looked like the #9 (Bilodeau) and the #60 (Shaw) were in the outside lane, so I just fit right under them both,” said Rowe.
Beech Ridge continues with its Saturday night schedule this coming week, as Rowe looks to maintain his point lead and win his first career Beech Ridge track championship.
Mike Rowe ducks inside of Bub Bilodeau as DJ Shaw trails in third place at Beech Ridge. (Jamie Williams Photos)
Mike Rowe in victory lane.