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 2010 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 and the 2009 winner Jeff Fultz.

This week's "Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week" goes to ...
Mike Rowe
#2 PT Watts Chevrolet Super Late Model

It's hard to tell exactly when "clutch time" was the most for Mike Rowe during the PASS North season opening weekend at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME) a few days ago.

Was it on Friday during open practice, when his Super Late Model wouldn't handle?

Was it later that night when a combination of his PT Watts-owned PASS North team and the Dick Fowler team that he runs at Beech Ridge for thrashed in the shop past midnight working to make it better?

Was it on Saturday when after a heat race skirmish, Rowe had to rely on making it into the field through a consi race since he had no provisional available?

Was it early in the race when he had to start near the rear of the field and make it to the front within 150 laps?
Was it later on, when Trevor Sanborn seemed to be running away with the race until Rowe passed him with just 30 laps to go?

Was it right up to the checkered flag, when PASS young gun Adam Bates tried to chase Rowe down?

We don't know exact when Mike Rowe came through in the clutch the most by winning at Beech Ridge, but our panel agreed overwhelming that this week, he had a winning performance worthy of our award.

That performance allowed Mike Rowe to be named as the winner of this week's Speed51.com Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week award.

Here is one of our panelist comments on Rowe this week...

"Mike Rowe - 28th to victory lane in a tough PASS North field at Beech Ridge - The legend races on!"

While Rowe won by a landslide, there were actually a near record eight nominees from all over the place this week that were considered for the award.


Here are our honorable mentions for this week:

Chase Elliott (PLM) - Chase Elliott was going to run in the CRA Super Series race at Winchester Speedway (IN) this past weekend.  But rain canceled that show on Friday, so his team's hauler turned around and headed back to their Georgia race shops.  Changes were made to get a Pro Late Model race-prepped and Elliott headed to Montgomery Motor Speedway (AL) for the Show Me The Money race instead.  When Augie Grill had a flat tire, Elliott came through in the clutch and won the event. 

Here is one of the panelist votes for Elliott...

"Chase Elliott...wasn't even planning to race at Montgomery...made the switch and won!"

Ross Kenseth (ASA MW) - Ross Kenseth earned notice from our panel for his runner-up performance in the ASA Midwest Tour season opener.  One voter in particular really, really, really thought Kenseth should win the award this time around:

"LOL....DUH... Ross Kenseth finishing second in his ASA Midwest Tour debut in the Joe Shear Classic 136.  The 16-year-old started seventh in the 136-lap event, right behind Steve Carlson.  The young driver followed the short track veteran to the front and never left his bumper.  Good start for the third generation driver."

Nick Sweet (ACT) - There was a lot of pressure on Nick Sweet to win his first ACT race and a full field of veterans were hungry to win when the season began Sunday at Thunder Road Speedbowl after two rainouts.  But Sweet didn't let that pressure paralyze him and he went on to hold off none other than Brian Hoar to win on opening day at T-Road.

Steve Carlson (ASA MW) - Steve Carlson didn't feel the pressure of trying to defend a championship on Sunday when the ASA Midwest Tour season started at Madison International Raceway.  He just came through in the clutch and won the race.

Rowan Pennink (WMT and MRS) - On Saturday afternoon, Rowan Pennink finished fourth in the rain-delayed NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Stafford Motor Speedway (CT).  He then hopped out of that Modified and headed to Monadnock Speedway - two states away in New Hampshire - where he got into another Modified and finished fourth again during the evening.  Two top fives in two states over the course of just a few hours?  Now that is coming through in the clutch for sure!

Bobby Santos, III (WMT) - During the Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway (CT), Bobby Santos, III got spun by a lapped car after leading the first 54 laps.  He got his car pointed back in the right direction though and came back to finish second.

Tim Brown (Mods) - With a standing room only crowd on hand, the physical beating and banging that Bowman-Gray Stadium is infamous for and the fame brought on by being a star of the "Madhouse" television program, Tim Brown felt plenty of pressure no doubt when he began his title defense in the Modifieds at Bowman Gray this past Saturday night.  But Brown rose to the occasion and won the race anyways.


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

Quarter Master
"Clutch Performance of the Week"

1.  Mike Rowe (PASS South)
2.  Chase Elliott (Pro Late Models)
3.  Ross Kenseth (ASA MW)
4.  Nick Sweet (ACT)
5.  Steve Carlson (ASA MW)

2010 Cumulative Winners

Preston Peltier  (2x)
Fadden Racing
Billy Moyer
Jeff Choquette
Wayne Anderson
Jeff Fultz
Andy Seuss
Justin South
Darrell Wallace, Jr.
Bobby Santos, III
Johnny VanDoorn
Mike Rowe
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