|White Mountain Motorsports Park - Sat., May 26th|
PASS North at White Mountain by Mike Twist
Barry Impresses, Rowe Mows 'Em, Dion Doesn't Jump and More
Mike Rowe Battles
Two Strong Opponents
to Win At White Mountain
Veteran Driver Beats His Son and Dave Dion in PASS North Thriller
NAPLES, ME (May 28, 2007) – If a victory is only as good as the racers you beat to earn it, Mike Rowe must have especially enjoyed winning the Pro All Stars Series North event at White Mountain Motorsports Park (NH) on Saturday night.
Early in the race, Rowe battled for the lead with fellow New England racing icon Dave Dion. Later in the event, Rowe had to fight a spirited battle with his son Ben for the victory. When Mike Rowe was asked after the race if there were two competitors out there anywhere who he would have rather raced against, he was quick with an answer.
“No, it’s real fun racing with Benji and Dave,” said Mike Rowe. “They both had good cars up there. It was a good race tonight.”
Dion won his heat race, started the feature from the pole and led the first 20 laps. At that point, Rowe got by on a restart for the lead. Dion didn’t fade away easily though; he stayed on Rowe’s rear bumper, even giving it a few little bumps along the way, for several laps. He also was a little bit hard on himself for letting Rowe take the lead away.
“After Mike went by I said, ‘Son of a B! I’m a lot faster than he is! You idiot, why did you let him by?” laughed Dion.
It wasn’t much longer in the race until Dion would fade back with a mechanical problem. He rebounded to finish third in the feature, but never contended for the lead again.
“Dave lost his power steering and got into the wall,” said Mike Rowe. “But I’ll tell you what, he was real stout early. It’s too bad that happened, but he still came home strong. He had no power steering and he still finished third.”
“That was a real good race,” said Dion of his battle with Rowe. “We could run with him, but then we ran into power steering problems so we dropped back and Ben came up.”
With Dion out of the picture, Ben Rowe was more than happy to step up into the role of challenger. Mike Rowe, meanwhile, tried to take a conservative approach to the middle stages of the race.
“I tried to save the car,” said Mike Rowe. “I didn’t want to get going too hard. I wanted to save the rubber a little bit. I got behind a few times, so I knew that I would have to get going. But with Benji behind me, I didn’t have to worry. I knew that he wouldn’t spin me.”
Mike Rowe was right; Ben wasn’t going to spin him out. He wasn’t afraid of racing his father hard though. With 20 laps to go, Ben went around Mike to take the lead. Two laps later, Mike repassed him down low to get it back. From there, Mike cruised to victory ahead of his son.
“We’re both here to win,” said Ben Rowe. “You can’t say that we don’t race hard. But we both came out of here in one piece. We didn’t wreck each other, but we did beat and bang. He had to go through the grass because I had the bottom blocked. He had me so crossed up then, that I had to let him go. I only had one shot and I tried. He was better than I was and he deserved to win, but I tried.”
Rowe and Kennison To
Work Together Again at White Mountain
– This Time as PASS North Teammates
Three-Time PASS Champ Won With Borrowed Car in 2005,
Both Racers Love the Track
NAPLES, ME (May 15, 2007) – Two years ago when the PASS North visited White Mountain Motorsports Park (NH) for their July event there, Ben Rowe and Chris Kennison worked together to win the race. At the time, Kennison was a weekly Pro Stock (Super Late Model) competitor at Oxford Plains Speedway who had the night off from racing. Rowe was the then two-time PASS North champion who needed a car to wheel at the track after his primary ride was damaged in a wreck the race before.
Kennison loaned Rowe his own car. It ended in victory lane.
“Brian (Burgess) was my crew chief at the time and now he is Chris’ crew chief,” recalled Rowe. “I try to help out Chris as much as I can. That year, we needed some help. We wrecked our car at Unity and he offered his car to us. He raced it Friday night at Oxford and then we took it over to White Mountain and ended up winning. It was a fun night. It’s fun to hop into someone else’s car and get the job done.”
“Brian and Ben did real well with (our car) a few years ago,” said Kennison. “We bought our first Pro Stock from that team. They were in a little bit of a jam because they had gotten into a wreck. Brian called us up to ask if we could help them out. We definitely said yes – with Ben behind the wheel and Brian working on it, how could you go wrong? They are both incredible. They put their set-up in it, went to White Mountain and won with it.”
Nearly two years later, the paths of both drivers have crossed again. Rowe is battling for another championship and Kennison is running a partial schedule of PASS North events as a driver. The May 26th event at White Mountain Motorsports Park will mark their first time as teammates at Richard Moody Racing.
“I’m pretty pumped up about racing for Richard Moody Racing,” said Kennison. “We wrecked our brand-new car at Beech Ridge and were going to build a new car to run in its place. Then they approached us and we worked out a deal to run a second RMR car. Brian is coming over to the team to be my crew chief and it’s going to be a lot less stressful than being an owner-driver. It’s a win-win situation.
“To get things started at White Mountain is perfect. It’s a sweet track and one of my favorite places to race. Ben had a history of winning there and nothing would be better than to see both Richard Moody Racing cars run well there.”
Ironically, when you ask Rowe and Kennison about the track, they both start out by using the same first four words.
“I love the place,” said Rowe. “They keep that place top-notch and I always look forward to going there. It’s a great facility. There’s a bunch of stuff to do in the area around the track. We go over to the town with the kids and make a weekend out of it. I love the place.”
“I love the place,” said Kennison. “It’s great, I would race there every Saturday night if I could. If they had a 100-lap feature every week, I would be right there. It’s a great track, it’s nice for the family and it’s a fun track to watch a race at.”
And while watching a race there is fun, driving one is even better.
“It’s a racer’s racetrack,” said Rowe. “You can drive as hard as you want and you don’t drive off the racetrack. You can really abuse the racecar and drive it. It’s a fun race and we’ll have a lot of cars over there.”
The PASS North Super Late Model event at White Mountain Motorsports Park is set for Saturday, May 26th. Practice is scheduled for 2pm with racing starting at 5pm.
Series Contact: Tommy Mayberry - (207) 693-6497
PASS Webmaster & Photographer: Norm Marx
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