NEW ENGLAND RACERS REMEMBER A CANADIAN FRIENDby Mike Twist
Scott Fraser Was a Familar Face at PASS Events and Open SHows
The New England racing community was stunned this weekend to hear of the death of Canadian Super Late Model driver Scott Fraser in a snowmobile accident. Fraser was a familiar face in the northeastern racing community with a limited, but successful, schedule of PASS races and open shows. In 2003, he started four PASS events and logged three top ten finishes - including a victory at the New Brunswick International Speedway. He also won the 2002 PASS Octoberfest 200 at Thompson.
Clark remembers Fraser as being helpful to his competitors.
"He was an excellent car builder and racer," Clark said. "He was the type of guy that if you asked him a question about the car, he'd answer you. Some guys always give a polite way of not answering any questions, but you could always count on Scott to give you a true answer."
Open shows were a specialty of Fraser's. He had a strong run in 2003's one-off Big Dawg Challenge at Wiscasset (ME) Speedway. He led before late race problems took him out of the 400-lap event. Also, in recent seasons Fraser had become one of the stars of the historic Oxford (ME) 250.
"Last year at New Brunswick, I wasn't happy with the way that my car was," said Clark. "I talked to Scott about 20 minutes before the feature about what the car was doing and then made a few final adjustments. The race ended up running green the whole way and only took 37 minutes to run. At the end, I had moved up to third and Scott won. He came over to me after his victory lane and joked with me. 'I thought that you said you weren't going to be that good', he told me."
Mulkern recalls racing with Fraser at the Big Dawg Challenge.
"Scott wanted to run a two barrel carburetor for the race," Mulkern
said. "His carb had trouble passing tech inspection, so he asked to borrow my spare. I told him that he was welcome to it, but that if I had trouble with the one on my car, I'd need it back. We'll sure enough, around 125 laps in my motor started skipping. We had a halfway break and I ran out of my car and over to Scott's to get it back. I stuck my head in his window and told him that I needed it back and then jumped under the hood and started pulling it off. His
team needed to put theirs back on. About 20 laps later, my motor blew and my day was over. I looked up and Scotty was leading the race. He fell out later and came over to me laughing. He told me if he had won, we'd both have to go over to the tech shed and explain a few things."
The loss of Scott Fraser will be felt hard on both sides of the border.
"This is going to be a huge loss to the fans up there," said Clark. "They don't have NASCAR in Canada and Scott was their Dale Earnhardt. Racing is huge and they really get into it. Losing Scott Fraser is going to be really tough."
Fraser finished third in the 1999 running of the event and possibly had the car to beat in 2002. He led 88 of the first 90 laps that year before getting tangled up with a lapped car. It still wasn't time for him to give up though, as he stayed on the lead lap and was fighting back to the front when a mechanical problem occurred fifty laps later and took him out of the race.
"It's just a shock," said PASS regular Scott Mulkern. "He was a threat to win everywhere he went and was a tough competitor. He was a good clean guy to race with and you didn't have to worry about going wheel-to-wheel with him."
"Scott was a true racer," said 2003 PASS point runner-up Johnny Clark. "I do this for the competition and love running against the best guys out there. Scott was one of those guys. I really need to thank him for getting me to grow as a driver every time I raced against him. It's incredible that he's gone."
Fraser earned praise from his competitors off the track as well.
"Scott built his own cars and he really knew about the chassis," said Mulkern. "You've really got to respect him for that."
"Scott was lightning fast that day and was probably going to win if he didn't have trouble," said Oxford track promoter Bill Ryan, Jr. "He was a real nice guy and it was a pleasure to have him race here. My limited interaction with him was entirely favorable. He was such a Canadian fan favorite and a huge contingent of fans would come down to see him race every year."
Even though he wasn't a series regular, the PASS racers have a few favorite memories of racing against Fraser.
Scott Fraser was a fan favorite in two countries. He'll be missed. (Norm Marx Photo)
(L-R) Johnny Clark, Scott Fraser and Ben Rowe share the podium at New Brunswick International Speedway in 2003. (Norm Marx Photo)