ROWE TOPS PASS AT NEW BRUNSWICK
FREDERICTON N.B. - Ben Rowe combined a very fast race car with a heavy dose of racing luck to score a come from behind victory Saturday in the inaugural PASS 150
at New Brunswick International Speedway in Fredericton New Brunswick Canada.
Rowe earned the Sunoco Race Fuels Fast Time Award, edging local favorite Dave O’Blemis by just one-thousandth of a second. Rowe’s lap of 13.152 established a new track record for the 1/3-mile semi-banked speedway.
Louis Mechalides led the 29-car field to the green by virtue of his win in the Pole Dash with O’Blemis’ starting alongside. Mechalides put the Cushman Competition Ford Taurus out front in the early stages, surviving a rash of yellows that ended the day early for Scott Mulkern, GeGe Gravel, George Philbrick and Randy Turner. Mechalides kept the point for the first eighteen stanzas but slipped high on a lap eighteen restart, allowing Rowe to power underneath for the lead. Sam Sessions continued his charge to the front from his ninth starting spot to claim second with Kirk Thibeau, Johnny Clark and Canadian Shawn Tucker all battling it out in the top five. Mechalides continued to fade with a deflating right front tire that went totally flat on lap 29, sending him to the pits but not before losing a lap to the field. Rowe maintained the lead for the next 26 laps but Sessions began to slide back through the field with tire problems of his own. The 2001 PASS Champion brought his Sud’n Racing Monte Carlo to the pits under a lap 54 caution to replace a flat and picked up the tail end of the field on lead lap. The restart saw leader Rowe falter and hand the lead to Kirk Thibeau with Kenny Wright taking over the second spot after racing his Newmarket Sand and Gravel 02 up from the 22nd starting position. Rookie Challenge candidate Wayne Helliwell Jr. worked his way up to third with Nova Scotian John Flemming fourth and Johnny Clark fifth. Wright got knocked back several spots on the restart, and Rowe found himself backsliding through the field. Racing luck was on Rowe’s side this day as a lap 52 caution allowed him to head for the pits and change a flat right rear, rejoining the field as the last car on the lead lap. Thibeau’s RH Foster Chevrolet held the point for the restart with Helliwell second, Flemming third, Johnny Clark fourth and Wright now fifth. But all eyes were on Rowe as he began his march to the front. Flemming snatched the lead away from Thibeau on a lap 96 restart while Rowe moved up to third, worked his way under Thibeau for second on lap 108 and made his trip to the front complete when he passed Flemming on the outside on lap 113 for the lead. Rowe built a comfortable margin during the green flag run to the checkers, but the action behind him was fast and furious. Sam Sessions was mounting a charge of his own, taking 4th away from Wright on lap 126, passing Flemming for third on lap 130 and getting by Thibeau for second on lap 132. At the checker it was Ben Rowe’s Mechanical Services/HiTech Insulation Monte Carlo by a straightaway over Sessions, Thibeau, Flemming and Wright. Wayne Helliwell drove Carleton Robies’s 24 to sixth, earning the Northern Race Tires Rookie Challenge Award. Johhny Clark came home seventh, with Shawn Tucker, Doug Averill, Dave O’Blemis and Dave Gorveatt rounding out the top ten.
The Pro All Stars travel to Unity Raceway on Saturday June 1st for the D.N.K. 150. Grandstands open at 4 PM, Sunoco Race Fuels Time Trials get underway at 4:30 and the first race gets the green at 5:30 PM sharp. For more information, please log on to www.proallstarsseries.com
OFFICIAL ORDER OF FINISH - Pro All Stars Race #2 - PASS 150 - New Brunswick International Speedway - Fredericton N.B. 1) Ben Rowe 2) Sam Sessions 3) Kirk Thibeau 4) John Flemming 5) Kenny Wright 6) Wayne Helliwell 7) Johnny Clark 8) Shawn Tucker 9) Doug Averill 10) Dave O’Blenis, 11) Dave Gorveatt 12) Cassius Clark 13) Richie Dearborn 14) Chuck LaChance 15) Walt Hammond 16) Kevin Moore 17) Gary Smith 18) Chip Keene 19) Garry Johnson 20) Louie Mechalides 21) Bobby Allen 22) Russ Hersey 23) Bub Bilodeau 24) Scott Alexander 25) GeGe Gravel 26) Larry Gelinas 27) Scott Mulkern 28) George Philbrick 29) Randy Turner