Rowe Tops the Field in PASS 150 at Star Speedway
NH – 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. Rowe’s
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 remaining.
blue 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 he’d 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.
Value heat race winners were Doug Averill and Star Speedway’s 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 field.
green 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 didn’t 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 didn’t have anything for him.
This is his home track and he was good.”
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.
30 laps on I thought I could win,” said Sessions.
“I just couldn’t 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.”
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 Wright’s blown engine.
Rowe made the move on the restart when Mechalides’s car just didn’t
the 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 wouldn’t go. I
was just trying not to beat up the car. We
were running good and then it just got away from us.”
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 alongside Rowe’s.
thought 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 couldn’t
get to his outside. If I could have
just gotten to his rear quarter I think I may have had something for him.”
wasn’t 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 wasn’t the best
car on the track.
was just hanging around in second and third and I really had nothing for Louie.
I figured on that restart I’d get my only chance and decided I’d do a
little short track driving….beating and banging…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 that’s
Star for you.”
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
Chubbuck 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.
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.
ORDER OF FINISH – Race #6 – PASS 150 – Star Speedway – Epping NH
Ben Rowe 2) 0 Sam Sessions 3) 15 Scott Chubbuck 4) 84 Scott Mulkern 5) 29 Louie
Mechalides 6) 54C Johnny Clark 7) 33 Richie Dearborn 8) 2 Russ Hersey 9 24 Wayne
Helliwell Jr. 10) 38 Chuck LaChance 11) 85 Doug Averill 12) 64 Dan Bezanson 13)
7x JR Baril 14) 37 Larry Gelinas 15) 36 Jay Sands 16) 4 Rich Eaton 17) 02 Kenny
Wright 18) 54 GeGe Gravel 19) 8 Cassius Clark 20) 34 Joe Squelia 21) 53 Bill
Rogers 22) 99 George Philbrick 23) 87 Walt Hammond Jr. 24 77 Dave Gorveatt 25)
11 Norm Wrenn 26) 55 Bobby Allen
15 Lead Changes: 1 Leaders: (Mechalides
grid-105, Rowe 106-150) Time of race: approx.
1 hour 45 minutes