|The Shootout 75
Thompson International Speedway - Thursday, July 13th
Clark Takes Thompson PASS North Win
Youngster Beats NASCAR Stars Spencer and Wallace,
But Receives Penalty after Tech
THOMPSON, CT (July 17, 2006) Jimmy Spencer knows his way around Thompson International Speedway (CT). The Thompson record books will prove it. Before he became the NASCAR big league winner and television personality that he is today, Spencer won Modified races at the historic 5/8-mile facility and that earned the nickname Mr. Excitement. In his first-ever Pro All Stars Series (PASS) North event at Thompson on Thursday night, Spencer did everything he could to add another tally to his win total at Thompson, but he was no match for the youngster who has been dominating PASS North so far this season.
Cassius Clark put in a classic performance over the final stage of the 75-lap PASS North event in a Mr. Excitement-esque fashion. Clark was black flagged in his heat race for rough driving and had to start at the rear of the field. Undaunted, he worked his way through the pack that included Spencer and current NASCAR Busch and Cup standout Kenny Wallace as well as the rest of the PASS stars to capture his fourth victory of the 2006 season in five races.
We kind of have them caught with their tails between their legs right now, said Clark. Weve always shown some speed. Last year about 85% of the time we were the fastest car in practice, but something went wrong or we just didnt have the car at the end. I dont mind being king of the mountain by any means.
If he is the king of the mountain, his crown was tarnished a bit after post-race tech. The engine in Clarks number-8 machine did not meet the compression regulations of the Pro All Stars Series North competition. His engine was at 12.7 compression and rules call for an engine not to be more than 11.1 compression, with no exceptions, if it is competing with a dry sump like Clarks had.
Clark and car owner Ed Chapman have been fined all winnings and 120-points for the rules violation. Clark and the team are now on probation and any other infractions this year will result in disqualification.
The number-8 car blew a motor at the Oxford event and they used another motor for Thompson, explained Tom Mayberry, owner of the Pro All Stars Series. In the view of the number-8, they thought they could run that rules package, but according to our rules, it is not allowed. They will be running the same motor at White Mountain (Saturday), with an additional 100-pounds and 56% left-side weight. They have assured us at Bangor (next event, this Saturday); the car will be 11.1 compression.
In the Nextel Fan Appreciation Night event, Clark took the lead from Ben Rowe on lap 54 and checked out from the field. His route to victory was clear once Rowe blew a tire and was sent into the wall, but the path to the lead wasnt quite as pretty. Clark was involved in an incident with Travis Benjamin in the first heat race of the afternoon. The two touched while racing for the heat race lead and Benjamin was sent into the wall. Clark was black flagged and at that juncture of the heat race he was sent to the rear. He was not able to climb back through the field and in turn started 19th in the 75-lap main event.
The thing has been hooked up here and we were just going for the lead. They have a thing now where they give five points for winning the heat race and I wanted those points. It wouldnt have mattered if I won the heat because we wouldve started 11th anyways (PASS North rules state that previous feature event winners can start the race no better than 11th). You can gain a lot of points in heat races, so we were just going maximum points and evidently his spotter didnt tell him I was under him. He went around and I had to go to the back.
While Cassius Clark had to come from the rear, 2004 PASS North champion Johnny Clark found himself in the right spot from the drop of the green flag. Clark started from the pole position in Thursdays 75-lap feature with Thompson Pro Stock division regular Fred Astle on his outside as a result of their heat race wins. Clark was in the catbirds seat in the early laps, but NASCAR Busch Series driver and SPEED television personality Kenny Wallace quickly worked his way into the lead to the delight of the packed crowd. Ben Rowe reclaimed the lead for the PASS regulars by overtaking Wallace for the top spot on lap 26.
While the leaders were clicking the laps away, Cassius Clark was quickly joining the fray. Clark made his way up to second and found himself in a torrid battle with Rowe for the race lead. Rowes chances for his first PASS North win of the season were dashed when a flat tire sent him into the outside wall.
I think the lap before I ran over something when I went high around a lapped car, explained Rowe. It started bottoming out two laps before that. We cant help it, we blew a right front. I heard it blow and locked the brakes up to save knocking the nose off it, but we had to back it in.
Rowes bad luck was exactly what Clark needed to get to the lead. Clark checked out from the field, while Wallace and Spencer were running neck-and-neck as they chased down the leader. Eventually Spencer showed that he would have the most for Clark. The 24-year-old Clark knew that the experience level behind him was going to be tough to beat, especially on the final restart of the night with just nine laps remaining.
I made my way though with Spencer and hes pretty tough, said Clark. He was using some guys up pretty good and he was pretty hard to pass, so I was a little worried about him on the restart. We dragged down into one and I kinda pulled out coming off two. It was good from there on out.
Clark cruised on to the victory, besting Spencer and Wallace, who had a classic battle of their own behind the leader.
I knew Jimmy had a real good car at the end of the race, but all I could do was get up to his door, said Wallace. That opened up the outside lane. I needed the lane that Jimmy was running, but if I ran where he was running then the guys behind me wouldve ran inside of me.
I had a lot of fun out there. These are the exact same cars that I grew up in. I ran ASA in 1986 and these are the exact cars except these guys have some different motor rules. I couldnt see over the hood very well and that bothered me a little bit but I soldiered on.
Johnny Clark hung around the top five for most of Thursday nights race and took the checkered flag in fourth. Travis Benjamin rebounded from some slight damage suffered in the heat race incident to finish fifth. PASS North point leader Scott Chubbuck finished seventh to maintain his championship lead.
|Jimmy Spencer & Kenny Wallace Enter 7/13 PASS Race
(Naples, ME June 28, 2006) On NEXTEL Fan Night on July 12th at Thompson International Speedway, E. Thompson, CT, NASCAR stars Jimmy Spencer and Kenny Wallace will be joining the PASS North Super Late Model Series stars in the 75 green-flag lap race.
Wallace will be piloting the Mulkern Racing, Community Pharmacies, American Racers, Sunoco Fuels sponsored Dodge, and Spencer will be in a car to be named shortly. Spencer may have a leg up on Wallace because he has hundreds of laps around the high-banked 5/8-mile in NASCAR Modifieds on his way to the 1986 NASCAR Modified Tour Championship, but any car prepared by Scott Mulkern car is no slouch. If you remember, it was Scott in the Community Pharmacies #84 that won the Octoberfest race at Thompson on October 2, 2004. So, we shouldnt worry about Kenny to much.
In addition, NASCARs Speed Television host John Roberts will be on hand to call all the action. This is not a two car match race. Both Spencer and Wallace will qualify against the 50 or so Super Late Model/Pro Stock drivers from throughout the Northeast and Canada expected to attempt to qualify.
The PASS North Super Late Models will be joined by the Thompson Sunoco Modifieds, the Late Models, TIS Modifieds, Limited Sportsman, and Mini Stocks in a great night of racing.
Grandstands open at 2 PM. Adults are $25, Juniors (age 6 14) $10, Kids five and under are FREE. Pit admission is $35.
Series Contact: Tommy Mayberry - (207) 693-6497