Ben Rowe took advantage of a mid-race restart to take the lead and then barely held
off Sam Session to win the sixth race on the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) schedule at Star
Speedway. Rowes move to front on lap
105 came at the expense of Louie Mechalides who suffered mechanical difficulties after
leading every lap until that point. Rowe,
driving the Mechanical Services-Hi Tech Insulation Monte Carlo, pocketed the $4,000 first
prize and increased his lead in the season point standings with nine point races
skies and warm sunshine greeted the 35 cars that attempted two laps under the clock for
Sunoco Race Fuels time trials. Rowe made it
clear early on that hed be a tough man to beat by garnering his fifth straight
Sunoco Fast Time Award with a stellar lap of 13.297 seconds! Rowe was more then a tenth better then JR Baril
and Gege Gravel and raised the bar of expectations for all participants. The winner of the Pole Dash was Mechalides who was
the class of the field, putting his Cushman Competition Ford Taurus on the point for the
feature event. Scott Chubbuck had drawn the
top spot for the Pole Dash but had nothing for Mechalides who took the checkers while
pulling away. Johnny Clark was the runner-up
and would start the PASS 150 on the outside of row one.
True Value heat
race winners were Doug Averill and Star Speedways 2001 Pro Stock track champion Dan
Bezanson. The two consolation rounds went to
George Philbrick and Scott Mulkern while PASS rookie Cassius Clark transferred to the
feature by winning the B main. Chuck
LaChance and Walt Hammond earned provisional starting spots and rounded out the 26-car
dropped on the PASS 150 and an early caution on lap 2 was an indication of things to come.
Drivers struggled this night to keep the fenders off from one another and the result was
15 cautions and a constant juggling of the running order.
What didnt change much was the leader of the race as Louie Mechalides
jumped to the point early and withstood all challenges for over 100 laps. Rowe moved around Johnny Clark for second on lap
42 and realized that he had nothing for Mechalides at that point.
(Mechalides) was the class of the field, said Rowe after the event. I didnt have anything for him. This is his home track and he was good.
The driver to
watch through most of the event was Sam Sessions. The
defending PASS champion started his Auburn Metal Fabrication-Typar Housewrap Monte Carlo
in fourth position, but got shuffled back in the early going. Sessions made several charges to the front on the
outside and felt like he had a car to beat.
laps on I thought I could win, said Sessions.
I just couldnt get a break on a restart. I was junk in the inside groove, but after ten
laps, I could put it in the outside groove and get around just about anybody.
For the first
105 laps, the race was all Mechalides. The
Tyngsboro, Massachusetts driver was looking for some redemption after an incident last
week that hurt his title chances. Mechalides
was cruising out front by as much as a full straightaway over Rowe until the caution flew
for Kenny Wrights blown engine. Rowe
made the move on the restart when Mechalidess car just didnt respond.
restart I pumped the brakes on the backstretch and they bound up on me, explained a
disappointed Mechalides. They bound up
and the car just wouldnt go. I was
just trying not to beat up the car. We were
running good and then it just got away from us.
Rowe was not
crowned the winner yet, however, as Sessions also got around Mechalides and seemingly had
a car capable of going to the front. From lap
121 to lap 139 Sessions continuously worked the high groove trying to get his fender
we could get him, explained Sessions in the post-race interview. I wanted this one really bad. He (Rowe) ran really good and he took just enough
of my line away that I couldnt get to his outside.
If I could have just gotten to his rear quarter I think I may have had
something for him.
wasnt to be denied, however, and pulled away from Sessions over the last 10 laps to
take his second win of the season on a night when he wasnt the best car on the
just hanging around in second and third and I really had nothing for Louie. I figured on that restart Id get my only
chance and decided Id do a little short track driving
and then he missed a shift or something and I got by him. I told the guys on the radio that I knew the zero
car (Sessions) was coming and to just let me know where he is. I had to make the car an extra 4 feet wide at the
end to hold Sammy off, but thats Star for you.
Rowe was quick
to thank the people that got him to victory lane.
Estes (Tom and Eileen) are great car owners and I feel I have the best crew out
there is. We were a little off this week, but
I guarantee that they are already trying to figure out how to fix it.
was awarded third place after Johnny Clark received a one-lap penalty for rough driving.
The penalty unofficially moved Clark back to sixth in the final standings. Scott Mulkern
came home in fourth with Mechalides rounding out the top five. Richie Dearborn, Russ
Hersey, Wayne Helliwell Jr. and Chuck LaChance completed the unofficial top ten.
PASS heads to
Montmagny next Saturday night for its second stop at the Quebec oval where Rowe led 144
laps just a few weeks ago before losing a right front tire.
Lead Changes: 1
Leaders: (Mechalides grid-105, Rowe
106-150) Time of race: approx. 1 hour 45