Cassius Clark and the Chapman Racing Team
two photos by Chris Roy
NE DODGE DEALERS 150
Oxford Plains - Saturday, April 29th
Dash, Feature, & Lap Chart at http://PASS2006.mylaps.com/
Cars and Parts,
Watson Racing Heads
T K & Sons Concrete
Moody & Sons
Construction Co. LLC
Khiel Logging & Chipping, Richard Moody & Sons Construction Co. LLC
Truck & Trailer
North Opener At Oxford To Cassius Clark
(Naples, ME April 29, 2006) The 2006 season
opener for the PASS North Super Late Model Series at Oxford Plains Speedway, Oxford, ME
drew a field of 40 of the best super late model/pro stock racers in the New England and
Canada for the New England Dodge Dealers 150.
The new PASS qualifying procedure of heats only -- and no time trials -- put some of the
big names at the back of the four heat races while Dale Shaw, Rollie MacDonald of Pictou,
Nova Scotia, Oxford regular Ricky Rolfe, and Corey Williams of Boothbay all parlayed good
draws into solid first place finishes in the four heat races.
The first consi brought Travis Benjamin, Curtis Gerry of Waterboro, ME, John Flemming of
Halifax, Nova Scotia, 2004 PASS champion Johnny Clark, and Chris Kennison of Oxford into
the fold. The Whorffs, father Bill and son Jeremie of Topsham, ME, Eric Chase of Milton,
VT, Travis Khiel of Denmark, ME, and Billy Penfold of Yarmouth, ME rounded out the field
from the second consi. The two PASS provisionals went to Chuck LaChance and Gary Smith,
and the two Oxford provisionals went to Andy Shaw of Center Conway, NH and Scott King of
Jay, ME to fill out the 34 car field.
The winner of the second heat and outside poll sitter Rollie MacDonald withdrew from the
race. Since the field was already set, by rule, the outside line moved up and the winner
of the fourth heat Corey Williams brought the 34 cars to the green alongside pole sitter
Shaw led the first lap in 2006 in front of a big opening day crowd with Williams settling
into second. On lap four, the #0 of Whorff senior, the #66 Andy Shaw, and the #72 of Scott
Robbins of Dixfield, ME all slid off turn one. Shaw and Whorff were able to continue, but
Robbins had a mechanical problem and was done for the night.
By lap 17, Williams had faded to fourth behind Cassius Clark and Scott Chubbuck in the
Cushman #29 Ford, and the #51 of Ricky Rolfe of Albany, ME, another Oxford regular who is
always tough when the tour comes to town, started to challenge the front runners.
The Magic Goup put down in the outside grove was working and there was plenty
of grip in the second grove that led to some terrific side-by-side racing as Shaw and
Rolfe went door to door for a dozen laps until lap 35 when Rolfe took the lead at the
line, only to have Shaw battle back to lead the next lap. By lap 40, the two had swapped
the lead several times, but Rolfe took over for good on lap 40.
Mike Rowe was falling back from his eighth place starting spot and took advantage of
several yellows to pit for adjustments as Shawn Tucker of Killarney, New Brunswick in the
#52 slowed on the track on lap 21 and a spin by the #7 of Curtis Gerry on lap 25. On lap
28, Gary Smiths #55 got booted off turn four and destroyed the right front after
contact with the turn four wall. Unfortunately, the #55 is Garys son Jessies
car that he runs at Speedway 95 weekly.
At the 50-lap mark, it was Rolfe, Scott Chubbuck, Shaw, Cassius Clarks #8, and Jeff
Taylor in the #00, the former Ben Rowe ride. At lap 63, Clark started working on
Chubbucks outside and completed the pass for second on lap 66.
At halfway, it was still Rolfe at the point, followed by Clark, Chubbuck, Shaw, Taylor,
Gary Drew in the #71, Tim Bracketts #60, Radical Rick Martin of Westport, MA in the
#14, Johnny Clarks #54 quietly arriving in the top ten from his 27th place start,
Gary Johnson in the #35, and rookie contender Alan Tardif in the #8T knocking on the door.
On lap 95, Cassius went to the outside of Rolfe as they got into lapped traffic and took
the lead. Mike Rowes shifter stuck on a lap 115 restart and everyone scattered to
avoid. Mike got it unstuck but lost a lap in the process.
With 25 to go, it was still Clark, Shaw now second past Chubbuck, followed by Taylor,
Johnny Clark, Brackett, Ben Rowe in the beautiful Moody #4, Martin, Alan Wilsons #53
back from a lap down courtesy of the Lucky Dog, and Travis Benjamins #17 back to the
top from an early spin.
On lap 134, turn two saw the big one as Rolfe, Ben Rowe, Eric Chases
#40, and the #28 of Kirk Thibeau of Fort Fairfield, ME all got tangled after contact from
behind sent Ben around. Thibeau was able to drive to the pits, but Rowe, Chase, and Rolfe
all went off on the hook. Alan Wilson drove directly to the back pits with a mechanical
problem under the caution ending his night, and Jeff Taylor had to dive into the pits on
the restart, only to lose several laps and ending a top five run.
Cassius pulled away from Shaw to stretch out his lead over the final laps. At the line it
was Cassius, Shaw, Chubbuck, Brackett, Johnny Clark, Benjamin, Martin, Gary Johnson and
Chuck Lachances #38 there at the end into eighth and ninth, and Corey Williams in
April 29th New
England Dodge Dealers 150 Could be Anyones Race
There are some venues in the sporting world where tradition and history rule. Fenway Park
for baseball, Darlington Raceway for NASCAR Cup racing or Lambeau Field for NFL fans are
just a few examples.
When it comes to Super Late Model (also referred to as Pro Stock) racing in New England,
Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, Maine, is such a place. That makes it the perfect venue
to begin the Pro All Star Series North season with the running of the New England Dodge
Dealers 150 on Saturday, April 29th.
When you think of Pro Stock racing in Maine, you think of the Oxford Plains
Speedway, said 2002, 2003 and 2005 PASS champion Ben Rowe. Thats where
my father came from, where Ive come from and most everyone who has won a Pro Stock
race has called Oxford home. Theyll fill the stands and its fun racing in
front of that home crowd. Its fun to go to a home track and race in front of your
home fans. Its just a nice facility.
Oxford is an awesome place to start the year, said 2005 Speed51.com Most
Popular Driver in PASS North, Travis Benjamin. Its a great track with great
competition. It will be a fun place to start out.
The track is really special for me, said Cassius Clark, who won one of the two
PASS events at Oxford in 2005. When I was a kid, I used to go there every Saturday
night and watch my old man [NASCAR North standout Billy Clark] race. Its kind of the
home for local area Pro Stocks and they have a good field of Pro Stocks racing there
weekly. Theres some good competition there and some good guys. Its definitely
going to be one of the more stout races.
Theres no doubt that fans at Oxford will be treated to a special show. Neither PASS
race at Oxford in 2005 was decided until the closing laps. Johnny Clark came out on top
after a green-white-checker finish at the track in July, while Cassius Clark was scored
the winner after a grueling test of a three-segment competition made up of 50-lap
mini-features in June.
Who is going to win at Oxford this time? Thats a tough call to make.