|The PASS 150
Speedway 95 - Sunday, May 7th
SPEEDWAY 95 by Mike Twist
Clark Again in PASS North This Time at Speedway 95
Young Maine Driver Goes Two for Two with Dominating Performance
by Mike Twist
NAPLES, ME (May 8, 2006) Cassius Clark might have started deep in the field for Sundays PASS 150 at Speedway 95 near Bangor, Maine, but that didnt matter much in the end result. The 24-year-old Farmington, Maine, driver rocketed to the front of the pack in almost no time and dominated the second Pro All Stars Series North event of the 2006 season.
Clark also won the first race of the season, contested at Oxford Plains Speedway last Saturday night, in pretty much the same fashion. The young driver and his EJ Prescott #8 team have definitely shown their strength so far this year.
Winning at Speedway 95 should not have been easy for Clark. He started back in the seventh row at a track where it is challenging to pass to say the least. But with other drivers fighting over the outside groove, which is normally the fastest way around the track, Clark just rocketed down on the bottom to pass his way up to the front early on.
We worked our way through, said Clark. The high groove is the preferred lane, but the bottom is what is always open. They were all up there nose to tail, so we took our time and worked our way through underneath. We got up there by lap 50 or so and took the lead.
Passing down low at Speedway 95 can be an unnerving experience. A bad move can send a driver back many spots, but Clark didnt hesitate to get his job done down there early on.
You just have to bite your teeth and hang on, said Clark. You cant give up. If you arent successful, youre going to fall back a long way.
Before Clark took over to top spot, Ben Rowe showed the way. Speedway 95 has not been one of his best racetracks through the years, but Rowe still managed to win his heat race and start on the pole. He showed the way early on before yielding the top spot to Clark after a lap-50 restart.
Imagine that? I led at Bangor. Thats not right, laughed Rowe after the race. We started out front and that makes it easy. It was a good run. Theres not much that I can say. We just stayed in the top three all day.
The days best racing came after any one of eight restarts during the event. Three-time PASS champion Ben Rowe and barnstorming driver Scott Chubbuck, both of whom have won multiple races at Speedway 95 in the past, kept Clark honest and put up a good fight. Both drivers led laps, but Clarks car was just so good on long runs that he would pull away to a sizable lead once things got rolling again.
"It was a matter of who was on the outside," said Rowe of the restarts.
And without a restart in the final moments of the race, Clark rolled easily to the victory.
"A caution with two to go would have been about the only way to catch him," said Chubbuck. "The outside worked well, but only for a few laps. He was good. He was toying with us."Chubbuck finished second with Rowe, Travis Benjamin and Richie Dearborn rounding out the top five.
John Phippen was the highest finishing Speedway 95 regular. He brought his #59 car home in the 15th position.
The victory was Clarks fifth career point race victory in PASS North. It also adds to a top-10 finish against the best Super Late Model drivers in the country at USA International Speedways Speedfest in January and a dominating run cut short by mechanical problems during the PASS South Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory Motor Speedway last month.
"This just shows how awesome the team really is," said Clark. "We worked hard all winter long and had an awesome car last year. We should have won more races last year, and in the past three years, than what we did. Were always fast and always there. We always had something happen or did something stupid. Now, we are just trying to keep our heads on straight.
"The car was hooked up, just like it was last week [at Oxford] and down at Hickory. We found something down at Lakeland when the guys down there spanked us. We licked our wounds and tried what they were doing and it seems to be working out right now."
The PASS Super Late Models return to action on May 21st with their Southern Tour at North Carolinas Southern National Raceway Park. The PASS North teams will next see the track at Canaan Fair Speedway on May 27th.
|PASS North Set
to Tackle Tough Speedway 95 Track by Mike Twist
Its Off to a Drivers Track for Round Two of the 2006 Season
NAPLES, ME (May 4, 2006) When the teams of Pro All Stars Series North roll into Speedway 95 this weekend for their second race of the season, one thing will be for sure. The 150-lap race might be scheduled for Sunday afternoon, but drivers can expect anything but a Sunday drive in the race.
The track, which is located just south of Bangor, Maine, is a throwback to an earlier time in motorsports. There isnt much banking to carry you through the corners or wide passing zones. It is a track where you need to race hard just to survive, much less finish well.
We always look forward to going to Bangor because its a different kind of facility, said Corey Williams, who had two top-five finishes at Speedway 95 last year. Its probably how racing used to be. Some tracks, you can ride around, but at Bangor you need to put some wheel into it, throw the car around and have some fun. Im sure its like Darlington (Raceway in SC). You can hang it out on the outside and thats the kind of racing that I like to do.
Bangor is very tough to get around. Its got a distinctive groove to run and if you arent in that groove, youre not going to be able to go fast at all.
Once a driver figures the place out, though, they can fly around the place.
Those kind of man-handling, get-on-the edge of your seat tracks are places where Ive seemed to take a liking to lately, said 2004 PASS Champion Johnny Clark. Places like Unity, Bangor and tracks like that are where Ive done well.
Clark is still looking for his first victory at the track, but its not from lack of effort. In the last four races there, he has finished second three times and third once.
The last few races at Bangor were pretty good for us, said Clark. Last year, out of two races, our average finish was second. Weve got a pretty good track record there; its been a good place for us.
Speedway 95 is one of the odd places where the Rowe family has had a hit or miss record. Ben Rowe has three victories there, but the latest one came back in 2003. Mike Rowe finally broke through to win a race there last year, but surprisingly, it was his first-ever PASS finish better than ninth at the track.
I know if you ask either Rowe, theyll tell you that its not one of their favorite tracks, said Johnny Clark.
Cassius Clark joined Mike Rowe as the other winner at Speedway 95 in 2005. Clark won the 2006 season-opener at Oxford Plains Speedway last weekend and has to be considered one of the favorites this week as well.
Ive always liked Bangor, said Cassius Clark. We should have won both races up there last year. We ended up with first and third [in the two races there]. Ive liked the track since I raced Legends cars up there. Weve got some momentum coming out of here and we feel pretty strong about it, so we should be all right.
If a first-time winner is in the cards, it might be Williams who rises to the occasion. A finish of third at Speedway 95 was his best result of the 2005 season and his team has stepped up their program for 2006. He led at Oxford and ran strong before running into problems in the PASS South Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory Motor Speedway.
I think Bangor has a lot of potential for us, said Williams. It is where we can do well. Weve always ran decent there, and I like that kind of track.
Meanwhile, Johnny Clark might have been happy with his second-place finishes in 2005, but he wont be satisfied until he wins at the track.
Im pretty excited about getting back there and hopefully, we can improve one position, said Johnny Clark.
Another driver to watch is Scott Chubbuck, who has a pair of victories at the track. He rides into the track on the heels of a third-place run at Oxford. His Jay Cushman-owned team has a second-place finish at Speedway 95 to their credit with Louie Mechalides in 2001.
Other PASS winners at Speedway 95 have been Sammy Sessions (2004 and 2002) and Tracy Gordon (2003).
The short track battle at Speedway 95 will draw fans from throughout Northern New England, but has also been known for some international flair as well.
Its in Central Maine and thats pretty close to Canada, said Johnny Clark. We always get a lot of fans coming in from New Brunswick. Its only about three-and-a-half hours from Fredericton. To get some fans to come down from there is important to us.
Also on the racing card for Speedway 95, will be the season-opening race for the TAT/Link Belt PASS Modifieds. The growing division will start a 14-race campaign that will end with the crowning of a champion at the October 14th Canaan Fair Speedway event.
Racing at Speedway 95 is set to start at 1:30 pm and will include four regular divisions from the track - Limited, Super Streets, Strictly Streets and Sport 4s.
Series Contact: Tommy Mayberry - (207) 693-6497