An International Super Late Model Tour with events in New England & Canada
Aplenty At TAT/Link-Belt Excavators 150
(Naples, ME July 4, 2005) The fireworks show at Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday night was a fans delight, but you should have been there on Sunday for the TAT/Link-Belt Excavators 150 for the Infinity Business Group sponsored Pro All Stars Series. On Saturday, the fireworks were confined to the infield, but on Sunday, they were in the infield, in the pits, and on the track.
Forty Super Late Model/Pro Stocks took time with Mike Rowes #24 Pullen Heavy Industries #24 at the top of the chart with a 14.880 second lap, with, Richie Eaton, Ryan Moore, Peter Oakes, and Tony Ricci going home after three heats and a consi. The 36-car field started the 150 green flag lap feature with Ben Rowe in the Mechanical Services #00 and Alan Wilson in the T&K Concrete #53 on the front row after the Dash.
After a couple of quick yellows for spins in the first 25 laps, the field settled down with Ben Rowe, Wilson, Travis Benjamin in the Irving Oil #17, Mike Rowe, Johnny Clark, Bill Whorff, Jr in the #0X, Cassius Clark in the E. J. Prescott #8, Scott Chubbuck in the Cushman #29, Scott Kings #11, and Dale Shaw in the #68 in the top ten after 50 laps.
A trip off turn four by T. J Brackett in the #97X on lap 68 brought out the yellow. On the restart, Wilson and Ben Rowe went side by side for two laps with Wilson finally pulling ahead from the outside. Scott Kings trip over the banking in turn one on lap 70 brought the field back together, and on the restart Johnny Clark drove under Ben Rowe for second, shuffling Ben back to sixth as Bill Whorff Jr, Chubbuck and Mike Rowe followed Johnny through as Ben found the outside not to his liking.
At halfway, it was Wilson, Johnny Clark, Whorff, Chubbuck, and Mike Rowe the top five, followed by Ben Rowe, Travis Benjamin, Tracy Gordons #14G, Scott Robbins in the Rowe-Auburn #72, Cassius Clark, Gary Johnson in the Johnson Trucking #35, and Corey Williams.
A big tangle in turn two on lap 77 sent the #81 of Michael Ruttkamp of Wilton, CT, the #28 of Matt Eaton, and the #83 of Donnie Whitten to the pits for repairs. On the restart, Johnny Clark suffered the same fate as Ben Rowe had earlier as Whorff, Jr, Chubbuck, and Mike Rowe went by on the inside as Johnny slid back to fifth.
At the 100 lap mark, it was still Wilson followed by Chubbuck, Johnny Clark, Mike Rowe, Whorff, Jr, Cassius Clark, Benjamin, Ben Rowe, Robbins, Gordon, and Scott Mulkern in the #84.
At lap 115, Johnny Clark powered by Chubbuck for second, but a lap 121 yellow for a synchronized spin off turn one by King, Whorff, Jr, and the #51 of Ricky Rolfe put Johnny on the outside of Wilson for the restart. Chubbuck and Benjamin went by Johnny before he could fall in line again.
Benjamin was collected by the 28T of Kirk Thibeau after contact from the #8 of Cassius Clark on lap 125, with Clark being sent to the back and Thibeau and Benjamin done for the night. One lap after the restart, Wilson and Chubbuck banged wheels down the backstretch while fighting for the lead, with Chubbuck spinning off and Wilson ducking into the pits for quick repairs. Johnny Clark, Ben Rowe, and Mike Rowe avoided the spinning cars to lead the restart.
On lap 129, Mike Rowe decided it was time to go and took the lead from Clark and started to pull away. By lap 135, Mike had a ten car-length lead over Clark and Ben Rowe and looked like win number 150 at Oxford was within reach.
Richie Dearborns #33 spun coming out of turn four with help from Tracy Gordon which saw Gordon sent to the back. Tracy was not happy with the call and let everyone know with a series of smoky spins directly in front of the toes of a PASS official on the backstretch. That was it for Tracy for the night, but it didnt end there. As happens all too often, Gordons pit box was beside Dearborns and when Tracy returned to his pit stall it all erupted again much to the delight of many in the now standing crowd.
On lap 146, Mulkern and Robbins banged together in turn four as they raced hard for third with Robbins sliding up and going over the banking. On the restart it was Mike on the inside, Ben on the outside, and Mulkern in third.
With two to go, Mike had a car length over Mulkern and Ben, but the #0X, the #03 of Scott Moore, and Scott King went off in turn one setting up a green, white, checker finish. Gary Smiths #35 was solid all night in his first race back after engine troubles earlier in the season, bur he had to pit out of fourth place during the yellow for fuel, costing him a top five finish.
On the restart, Mulkern and Mike came together right at the line, shooting Scott up the track. Ben saw an opening between Mike and Scott as the three went into turn one but the hole closed and Ben and Mulkern made contact with Scott spinning off in turn one. Mulkern gathered it back up and as the leaders came back by he rejoined the fray, only to pull in front of Mike in turn three stacking up the field. Johnny Clark stayed low and took the checkers with Mike recovering for second. Gary Smith in the Uncle Henrys #75 followed Johnny to the bottom and took third, with Ben Rowe fourth, and Scott Robbins fifth. The stands then erupted as the Clark fans celebrated the surprise win and the Rowe fans booed as Mike was taken out of the win by Mulkern, who added to the noise as he spun around on the frontstretch and parked backwards in his pit stall, which naturally enough, was next to Mikes crew.
Eric Chase of Milton, VT in a 383 Fast Burn crate motor car with a 4-barrel carb and some weight breaks came from 28th starting spot, and from being sent to the back for an incident on lap 14, to record a sixth place finish in his first PASS race.
In Victory Lane, Johnny Clark dedicated the win to Vern Corbin who died last night during the race. Johnny also said, This was a surprise. Mike had the best car and should have won, but this makes up for some of the ones we thought we had won.
Series Contact: Tommy Mayberry - (207) 693-6497