There isn't much that Johnny Clark hasn't done in Super Late Model racing.
The Mainer has won four PASS North championships, the DNK 250 at Unity Raceway (ME), the Peterbilt 250 at Speedway 660 (NB), the PASS 300 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME), the Tundra 250 at Wiscasset Raceway (ME) and has qualified for the Snowball Derby. He finished second in the Oxford 250 when that was still a Super Late Model race and he's collected nearly two dozen PASS victories along the way.
But going into this past weekend, he had never won a race at one of the staple tracks on the PASS North schedule - White Mountain Motorsports Park (NH). In fact, Clark had never really even been close to winning at the high-banked quarter-mile oval.
That all changed on Saturday night though. The race didn't start out in Clark's favor, he lined up 17th on the grid, but when the green flag flew, Clark steadily worked his way towards the front. By lap 100, he was in second place - following in the footsteps of early leader Richie Dearborn. On a lap 111 restart, Dearborn and Clark did battle with each driver nosing ahead for a lap at a time to share the lead. That battle was short-lived though as the two made contact and Dearborn dropped out of the running with a flat tire. From there, Clark held off the charges of Louie Mechalides and went on to win the show.
It wasn't just another victory for Clark.
“12 years….12 years….I don't want to say it was worth the wait, but this is great,” said Clark. “We just never have had anything like this happen here ever. I've never even had a car that was going to win and got wrecked out or anything like that. We have always just been, at best, a second-place car. But man, we were awesome tonight.”
With such a full resume, was winning at White Mountain one of Clark's biggest goals at the beginning of the season? You bet it was.
“Absolutely!” said Clark. “Here and Thompson have been two places where we have wanted to win. Those are two racetracks where we just never have found exactly what I need. You know, I never understood if the car just wouldn't go here or the track didn't fit my driving style.”
Early in the race this time around though, Clark was definitely feeling that his driving style was working at White Mountain - and shared his thoughts with crew chief Robert Green.
“When Robert came over the radio on the first caution and said, 'it looks like you've got a good piece,' I came back and told him, 'it almost looks like I know what I'm doing here!” said Clark. “He told me not to say that yet, because it usually doesn't look like I know what I'm doing here. Everything just fell into place for us.
“We were good from right when we unloaded and we just made one minor little change right before the feature and it was unbelievable just how good it was.
“I started 17th and then rode in fourth for a little bit. I got to a place where I felt really comfortable racing the guys that I was around. I wanted to save the car because the history of this place is that there is usually a restart within 10 laps to go, so I was trying to save everything I could and take them when we had restarts if I could. We didn't have many cautions and I'm certainly glad that we didn't have one inside 30 laps to go because Louie was definitely stout.”
Louie Mechalides, Trevor Sanborn, Mike Rowe and Ben Rowe rounded out the top five. Speed51.com caught up with all of those drivers, as well as several others, after the race and will bring you their thoughts with our upcoming 51 Leftovers - coming soon.