Cassius Clark Howlin' at
Northern Contingent Sweeps Podium at "The Howler"
But Lawler Retains Point Lead
GREENVILLE, SC (October 29, 2007) - Under a sky that was dark as can be
and a moon that was nearly full, the Pro All Stars Series South Super
Late Model Tour has begun a new tradition on Halloween weekend. The
inaugural "Howler 150" was held Saturday at Greenville-Pickens Speedway
in South Carolina and in the end, it was Maine's Cassius Clark who
tricked the competition and earned the treat of being the first to etch
his name into the history books as the winner of this event.
It was a shootout right to the very end, as Clark took the lead from
PASS North Series champion Ben Rowe with just 16-laps remaining to grab
the $5,000 to prize in the next-to-last event on the 2007 PASS South
"We were good for the long runs," said Clark, who started the race from
inside the fifth row. "He (Ben Rowe) was awesome on the short runs. The
track is pretty worn out and we just saved our stuff in the beginning.
They jumped out to a pretty big lead there for 30 or 40 laps and I took
my time getting up through. I made all the right moves and got by the
guys I needed to get by at certain times."
The Rowes, as usual, were pretty tough in PASS competition. Father, Mike
held the number-one spot in time trials, but his son Ben grabbed the top
spot (pole position) for the race by winning the Dash, which determines
the starting spots of the top-eight qualifiers.
Both Ben and Mike would share the lead throughout the first
three-quarters of the 150-lap distance with five-time NASCAR Elite
Series winner at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, Jeff Fultz. But, during a
long green flag run in the mid-portion of the event, both Mike Rowe and
Fultz began to fade and that's when the white number-8 of Clark began to
pour it on.
With 50 laps to go in the event, Clark had worked his way up to the
bumper of Ben Rowe's number-4. The two fought hard for the top spot for
more than 30-laps. Rowe tried to hold him off as long as he could, but
with 16 laps remaining, Clark made the move that got him the win.
"We had a shootout there at the end,." said Clark. "I didn't want to lay
the bumper to him, but I was going to try like hell to get by him. I was
awesome getting into the center and pretty good off there, but with the
little motor, it was hard to get up off the corner. I have crate motors
and they have the big motors. I could get up to his rear wheel and door,
but at the tail end of the straightaway he could pull down and get back
in front of me. I knew if I kept putting the pressure on him he would
have to drive in too deep and that is what happened. We had a five or
six lap shootout there where I was on the bottom and he was on the top.
It was good clean racing and I am happy with the outcome."
Ben Rowe did everything he could to keep the lead in the late portions
of the race, but had to concede to Clark's car in the end.
"We had a good car there early on," said Ben Rowe. �We knew we had to
save tires. The crate engine car is just 200 pounds lighter than we are,
which is huge on tires. I tried to save tires and I wanted a yellow
there at the end. I knew Cassius was coming and there was nothing I
could do. It is discouraging. I could hold him off down the
straightaways, but there isn't much of an outside so when he got up
underneath me I just spun my tires. We were beating and banging and ran
side by side there for some laps. We had a good car. We were the best in
class with the big engine cars. He just had a different engine and
weight package, and that is what beat us today."
Behind the leaders, a hardcore battle for the third position in the
closing laps had the fans keeping one eye on the leaders and another
behind them. Out of nowhere, with just a few laps to go, 16-year-old
Derek Ramstrom made his move up to the third position.
"Right about 50-laps (to go) we had a bleeder get stuck on the right
rear," said Ramstrom. "It was constantly letting out air. We pulled in,
changed the tire and fixed the bleeder. It turned out to be pretty good
after that. I just hung back and let the crashes happen and some cars
get eliminated. I kept my car under me and it was there at the end."
Championship leader Ryan Lawler had an up and down day, but when it
counted at the end of the race, he crossed the line in fourth, giving
him championship thoughts heading into the final race of the season at
Concord Motorsport Park (NC).
"Man, I knew from the get go, about five or 10 laps into it, it was
going to be slick," said Lawler. "I was just hanging out saving my
stuff. We dropped back, and then people were getting bottled up so we
went to the high side and got our way back up. It is pretty unusual. I
like running the top side pretty well everywhere we go, but I have never
done it on a flat track.
"Me and Corey (Williams) had a pretty good battle there (at the end).
The 35-car (Derek Ramstrom) kind of came out of nowhere. I think he had
a tire issue though. I guess he came in and put on a right rear tire and
took some fuel.
"My guys told me on the radio afterwards that this is why we are going
to win championships. We just kept digging all weekend. I think we were
15th or 20th on the sheet the first day. We kept working on it and
working on it and got the thing pretty decent."
Williams, who ran in the top five all race, had a blast racing at
Greenville-Pickens Speedway, and was satisfied with his fifth-place
"We ended up fifth, but that is probably the most fun I have had in a
while," explained Williams. "Ryan and I raced real hard. We both raced
clean and it seemed like we were both just as out of control as the
other. We didn�t quite have the handle on the car that we needed. We
were just too loose off. We tried to save it and when it was go time we
didn't have anymore. We just couldn't keep up with that crate motor
The race was slowed a couple times throughout the race, including a
stoppage of the race on lap 15 when Shannon Mines slowed on the front
stretch and was hit in the rear by Kory Blevins. The #10k car of Blevins
took a nasty ride down the track on his side and turned over, coming to
a rest on his wheels in turn one against the wall. While both cars
appeared to be destroyed, both drivers were able to walk away from the
incident due to the safety regulation for PASS South cars.
The podium at "The Howler" belonged to drivers who hail from north of
the Mason-Dixon line, but now the southern drivers will regroup for the
biggest race of the PASS South season, the "Mason-Dixon Meltdown" at
Concord Motorsport Park on November 16th - 17th.
"We like to race," said Clark, who won the inaugural Mason-Dixon
Meltdown, held last year at South Boston Speedway (VA). "Our race season
is over up there and it is not much fun waiting for the snow to come. We
came down here to race with the big guys and sometimes we are lucky
enough to beat them."
The final event of the 2007 PASS South Super Late Model tour, the
second-annual Mason-Dixon Meltdown, comes November 16th and 17th to
Concord Motorsport Park.
Official Finish - "The Howler" - PASS South Super Late
Greenville-Pickens Speedway - Greenville, SC - Sat. Oct.
|1) Cassius Clark
2) Ben Rowe
3) Derek Ramstrom
4) Ryan Lawler
5) Corey Williams
6) Preston Peltier
7) Jeff Fultz
8) Gary Greenwood, Jr.
9) Mike Rowe
10) Randy Gentry
11) Perry Brown
12) Tim Nooner
13) Ralph Carnes
14) Heath Hindman
15) Strom Altman
|16) Zach Stroupe
17) Brad Bischoff
18) Justin Wakefield
19) Dean Clattenburg
20) Tim Pinion
21) Allen Karnes
22) Clete Caywood
23) Randy Porter
24) Mark Gibson
25) Lee Tissot
26) Ed Surrett
27) Jimmy Doyle
28) Brian Payne
29) Kory Blevins
30) Shannon Mines
12 among four drivers
Ben Rowe 1-2, Jeff Fultz 3-4, Mike Rowe 5-15, Jeff
Fultz 16, Mike Rowe 17-24, Jeff Fultz 25, Mike Rowe 26-27,
Jeff Fultz 28-32, Mike Rowe 33-35, Ben Rowe 36-81, Mike Rowe
82, Ben Rowe 83-133, Cassius Clark 134-150
Mike Rowe (19.768)
Derek Ramstrom, Lee Tissot,
Last-Chance Race Winner: