Chubbuck / Rowe Bump Leads to Bigger Trouble
The one thing that had everyone talking after the PASS North race at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME) on Saturday night was a late-race incident that involved Mike Rowe and Scott Chubbuck.
The two were battling for the fourth through sixth positions along with Scott Mulkern late in the race. Chubbuck had run near the front for most of the race, but had a car that was noticeably looser than before. Meanwhile, Rowe was sporting some battle scars after getting caught in a multi-car wreck nearly 50 laps prior that left him with a flat tire and damaged right side bodywork.
On lap 132, Rowe and Chubbuck made contact. Chubbuck spun while Rowe got through without any new damage. During the resulting caution period, PASS officials penalized Rowe for rough driving and sent him to the rear of the field.
Instead of lining up at the rear of the field though, Rowe decided to park it for the night. As he sped down the backstretch to head towards the infield pit area, Rowe turned right and made further contact with Chubbuck's car. Chubbuck then pulled out of line and chased down Rowe - hitting him squarely in the rear bumper area hard enough to lift Rowe's car off the ground.
Rowe didn't want to say much after the incident. He didn't feel that the penalty was justified due to the fact that he believed that Chubbuck threw a block on him which caused the spin. He also believed that Chubbuck had been blocking for a few laps up to that point as well.
Chubbuck was a little more vocal in giving his side of the story.
“When you are on the same track as Mike, I guess you are supposed to let him go,” said Chubbuck. “I was underneath [Scott] Mulkern [when the contact was made], so how did I get into him [Rowe]? I was trying to pass a guy, so screw him if he thinks otherwise.”
The fireworks didn't end with Rowe pulling out of the race either. When the official PASS North results were released on Monday morning, Rowe was listed as being disqualified from the event.
Chubbuck Battles Back to Eighth Place Finish
Although there were only 18 laps left in the race after the Rowe/Chubbuck incident, Chubbuck refused to give up on finishing the race high in the running order. He restarted at the rear of the field after the incident and just starting picking off as many positions as he could. When all was said and done, Chubbuck finished eighth.
“I was just trying to get the best finish we could get,” said Chubbuck. “I probably would have had fourth or fifth [if the incident with Rowe hadn't happened.].”
It used to be that Scott Chubbuck didn't care for Beech Ridge but that dislike is now a distant memory for the driver who has had some very strong runs at the track in the past few seasons.
“No, I'm actually liking this place now. We have no luck, but we're running good here anyways.”
Mulkern Switches From Owner to Driver, Finishes on Podium
Scott Mulkern has been keeping busy for most of the year as Ben Rowe's car owner and that has paid off so far with a victory at Canaan Fair Speedway (NH) and a second place perch in the point standings. But at Beech Ridge, Mulkern hopped back into his own #84 Super Late Model and was rewarded with a third-place finish.
Does that mean he'll race more often now?
“I should probably, but I don't know if I will,” said Mulkern after the race. “I did have fun though.
“It was decent all day and it was really good early in the race. At the end, it wasn't as good. I just killed the right front. So I've got to still work on it if I want to win here.”
Mulkern finished six positions higher than Rowe in the Beech Ridge race, but when asked if he know at bragging rights for the week at the shop, Mulkern almost seemed to feel bad that Rowe hadn't finished better.
“No, no, no,” said Mulkern. “ Ben has done so good all year and he does such a great job driving. I hadn't gotten to watch him too much through the year because I was watching him. He just does a great job. They're on their way now. I don't know what happened to them tonight, they struggled a little bit, but that happens.”
Cassius Cops a Runner-Up Finish
When the final results from Beech Ridge were released, Cassius Clark came out of the event with a runner-up finish. He actually finished third on the track, but Trevor Sanborn was disqualified from the event and that moved Clark up a spot.
Clark had hoped to come out ahead of Sanborn and race winner Bill Rodgers on the final restart of the race with only two laps to go, but that wasn't in the cards for him.
“We started a ways back and then good some track position on the restarts,” said Clark. “I tried to get under Trevor on that last restart and make it three -wide, but I wouldn't do that without wrecking them.”
Two races, Two Very Different Results for Andy Shaw
Early in the night at Beech Ridge, Andy Shaw took his Dave and Crystal-Weir owned #66 to victory lane in the PASS Modified race. Later on, he drove the #28 Super Late Model in the PASS North show but had a very different outing. Mechanical woes sidelined that ride and left Shaw with a finish of 28th.
Still, Shaw was upbeat after the night was through.
“It was a good night,” said Shaw. “The Mod was great and the Pro Stock was pretty good too. Something started coming apart in the heat race. It just was one of those deals. Something was coming apart in the rear end. We tried to plug it for the feature and it just wasn't right. There was no need to wreck it.
“I don't think I had won a race here since my first year in a Modified, so I was ecstatic to say the least. It was great.”
Bates Okay After Hard Hit, #98 Isn't
Adam Bates tangled with the lapped car of Shane Lane on 117 - which led to a multi-car wrecked that also included David Oliver, Aaron Ricker and Scott Moore. Bates took a hard hit, but was no worse for the wear after it was all over.
“I'm fine,” said Bates.
But his #98 car wasn't. That ride was heavily damaged. This presents a challenge to the Bates team since they only have one car in their shop and the next PASS North race set for this Thursday at Thompson International Speedway (CT). Ironically, a hard wreck at Thompson last season wrecked the only car that the team was running last season - leading to having to use a borrowed car to complete the year.
Still, Bates was looking forward to racing at Thompson this week. At least “was” is the key word there.
“I was, but a little less now,” said Bates. “I honestly don't think the frame is bent but it's quite a ways from being ready for Thompson now and we have less than a week to get ready now.”
- Trevor Sanborn had crossed the finish line second at Beech Ridge, but as of mid-week, the results listed on the PASS website showed him as apparantly being disqualified from the event. No reason for the DQ was stated.
- Chris Thorn ran his first PASS North race of the season at Beech Ridge and was rewarded with a sixth-place finish. This year, he has been racing weekly at Beech Ridge with some help and support from Johnny Clark Motorsports.
- Nick Ribbe scored the best finish of his young PASS North career with a result of fifth at Beech Ridge.
- Gary Smith was a contender in the recent PASS North race at Lee USA Speedway (NH), but suffered from plenty of bad luck at Beech Ridge. Smith had a flat tire and pitted several times during the night en route to a finish of 20th.
- Former PASS North regular Curtis Gerry returned at Beech Ridge with the #7x car. His night ended early though and Gerry was credited with a finish of 25th.
- Chris Smith finished second in the Sports Series race at Beech Ridge leading up to the PASS North event and he could only blame himself for not winning. No, Smith didn't make any mistakes on the racetrack but the car that beat him, the #35 of Bobby Nadeau, was a car that Smith built and raced to a runner-up finish in the point standings a few years back. Joey Doiron, who is now a PASS North regular, also campaigned the car for a season.
- In other racing action at Beech Ridge on Saturday night, Ryan Phillips held off Tasha Dyer to win the Roadrunner feature while Randy Snow beat out Matt Hodgson and Lewis Anderson to win in the Wildcat main event.