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Kenny Wright Takes Second PASS Win of 2002 at Wiscasset

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Kenny Wright Takes the Checkers in Wiscasset Quik Stop 150
by Mark Truman

Wiscasset, ME - Kenny Wright bested a talent-laden field to win the Wiscasset Quik Stop 150 for the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) at Wiscasset Raceway. It was Wright's second win of the PASS season and he held off a charge from Ben Rowe with two laps remaining to earn the $4,000 payday and creep his way toward the top of the point standings with just two points races remaining on the PASS schedule.

Bright sunshine and hot temperatures greeted the forty cars on-hand for Sunoco Time Trials. Thirty-nine cars actually attempted the two qualifying laps and, to nobody's surprise, Ben Rowe earned his 10th Sunoco Fast Time award with a lap of 15.110 seconds. Wright was second fastest in the time trials, but more importantly, he drew the pole position for the Dash for the Pole race. By virtue of his victory in the Dash for the Pole, Wright earned the top spot in the feature event with Rowe, Larry Gelinas, and the surprising Peter Oakes claiming the next three starting spots.

True Value heat races featured some spirited battles for position as Scott Mulkern, Russ Hersey, and Johnny Clark claimed victories to put themselves in the feature. Consolation races were won by Daren Ripley and Richie Deaborn while provisional starting spots brought the total starting field to thirty-five. True Value 250 at Oxford winner Scott Robbins and PTM Coastal 200 winner Scott Chubbuck, arguably the two biggest Pro Stock races in the state, were both on hand and in the field of thirty-five to make this one of the toughest fields of cars anywhere in the northeast.

When the green flag dropped on the Quik Stop 150 it became clear that Kenny Wright was going to be a tough customer to deal with. Wright jumped out to an early lead and was never really challenged by Rowe or Gelinas. A lap 42 restart allowed Rowe to lead one lap but it was Wright's Newmarket Sand & Gravel Monte Carlo reclaiming the lead one lap later and rarely looking back from that point on. Only six cautions would slow the event as PASS drivers made a great account of themselves at a track that is oftentimes difficult to make passes on. The top three of Wright, Rowe, and Gelinas were never seriously threatened and only Rowe and Gelinas swapped the runner-up spot on several occasions.

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The final green flag run was a long one as the field ran the last 63 laps without incident and Wright stayed about 1 second ahead of Rowe the majority of the time. The lead would shrink as Wright passed some slower cars but the margin returned as Rowe had to deal with those same cars. Overall, lapped traffic didn't play much of a factor…until 2 laps to go. Wright got caught up behind Dave Gorveatt who was fighting to stay on the lead lap. While Wright dealt with the slower car, Rowe closed to Wright's bumper and even got a nose up the leaders left rear tire. At that point, the leader did what he needed to do to make some.

"I knew Ben was coming and I had to get going…I didn't have a choice," commented a smiling Wright after the race. "I put the bumper to him (Gorveatt) a little bit and once I got his attention he let me go."

That move would prove to be the winner as Wright took the checkers with Rowe just a car length behind. Gelinas never left the top three all day and enjoyed his second top three finish of the PASS season. However, when the dust had settled, it was the former Wiscasset Raceway champion who had the right strategy and the fastest car to win the Quik Stop 150.

"The plan was to just keep it consistent and keep the rubber on it," said Wright. "That was about all I had. Coming down to the end when you're running that hard it's going to get a bit loose."

For Rowe, second place was good enough on this night for the point leader who has a PASS title within his sights.

"I was points racing until about 30 to go," said Rowe. "When they told me 30 laps to go I thought I had something for Kenny. The problem was that when I stepped it up he did too. Kenny's team has really picked up the pace here lately and it's always fun racing him."

Race Notes:
-    Rowe was sponsored by Mechanical Services and Superior Image and Embroidery.
-    Gelinas finished third driving Richie Dearborn's backup car that had the colors of Chadwick-Baross on it.
-    Scott Mulkern and Travis Khiel rounded out the top five.
-    Scott Delano, a local campaigner, did make a nice charge from 15th to 4th before something broke in the front of the car on lap 46.
-    Ralph Nason finished 6th after starting in 24th.
-    Jim McCallum was on-hand but engine troubles kept him from attempting to qualify.

Cautions: 6         Lead Changes: 2    eaders: (Wright grid-42, Rowe 43, Wright 44-150)

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Top Three - Left: Larry Gelinas, 3rd.   Center: Kenny Wright, 1st.
Right: Ben Rowe, 2nd and race sponsor Wiscasset Quik Stop.

Official Results
9/8 - Wiscasset Raceway

1-02-Kenny Wright
2--00- Ben Rowe
3-37-Larry Gelinas
4-84-Scott Mulkern
5-24x-Travis Khiel
6-10-Ralph Nason
7-66-Andy Shaw
8-41-Peter Oakes
9-38-Chuck LaChance
10-15-Scot Chubbuck
11-85-Doug Averill
12-8-Cassius Clark
13-59-John Phippen
14-77-Dave Gorveatt
15-2-Russ Hersey
16-0-Sam Sessions
17-54x-Johnny Clark
18-1-Randy Turner
19-17-Glen Luce
20-09-Daren Ripley
21-34-Joe Sequila
22-71-David Avery
23-36-Jay Sands
24-01-Bill Penforld
25- 72-Scott Robbins
26-35-Gary Johnson
27-7-Bub Bilodeau
28-18-Bill Whorff Jr.
29-33-Richie Dearborn
30-21-Scott Delano
31-11-Scott King
32-9-Dick Houlihan
33-53-Alan Wilson
34-45-Doug White
35-Wayne Helliwell
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Series Contact:  Tommy Mayberry - (207) 693-6497

email: tnmmayberry@netscape.net

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