NAPLES, ME (May 28, 2007) – If a victory is only as good as the racers you beat to earn it, Mike Rowe must have especially enjoyed winning the Pro All Stars Series North event at White Mountain Motorsports Park (NH) on Saturday night.
Early in the race, Rowe battled for the lead with fellow New England racing icon Dave Dion. Later in the event, Rowe had to fight a spirited battle with his son Ben for the victory. When Mike Rowe was asked after the race if there were two competitors out there anywhere who he would have rather raced against, he was quick with an answer.
“No, it’s real fun racing with Benji and Dave,” said Mike Rowe. “They both had good cars up there. It was a good race tonight.”
Dion won his heat race, started the feature from the pole and led the first 20 laps. At that point, Rowe got by on a restart for the lead. Dion didn’t fade away easily though; he stayed on Rowe’s rear bumper, even giving it a few little bumps along the way, for several laps. He also was a little bit hard on himself for letting Rowe take the lead away.
“After Mike went by I said, ‘Son of a B! I’m a lot faster than he is! You idiot, why did you let him by?” laughed Dion.
It wasn’t much longer in the race until Dion would fade back with a mechanical problem. He rebounded to finish third in the feature, but never contended for the lead again.
“Dave lost his power steering and got into the wall,” said Mike Rowe. “But I’ll tell you what, he was real stout early. It’s too bad that happened, but he still came home strong. He had no power steering and he still finished third.”
“That was a real good race,” said Dion of his battle with Rowe. “We could run with him, but then we ran into power steering problems so we dropped back and Ben came up.”
With Dion out of the picture, Ben Rowe was more than happy to step up into the role of challenger. Mike Rowe, meanwhile, tried to take a conservative approach to the middle stages of the race.
“I tried to save the car,” said Mike Rowe. “I didn’t want to get going too hard. I wanted to save the rubber a little bit. I got behind a few times, so I knew that I would have to get going. But with Benji behind me, I didn’t have to worry. I knew that he wouldn’t spin me.”
Mike Rowe was right; Ben wasn’t going to spin him out. He wasn’t afraid of racing his father hard though. With 20 laps to go, Ben went around Mike to take the lead. Two laps later, Mike repassed him down low to get it back. From there, Mike cruised to victory ahead of his son.
“We’re both here to win,” said Ben Rowe. “You can’t say that we don’t race hard. But we both came out of here in one piece. We didn’t wreck each other, but we did beat and bang. He had to go through the grass because I had the bottom blocked. He had me so crossed up then, that I had to let him go. I only had one shot and I tried. He was better than I was and he deserved to win, but I tried.”
“It’s awesome to race with your son,” said Mike Rowe. “It was a lot of fun and a good race. He got by me there, but we had an awesome car tonight, so we just went back by him.”
The victory was Mike Rowe’s first for Massachusetts car owner Paul “P.T.” Watts, since they joined forces late in the 2006 season.
“The crew did a heck of a job for me and we were able to break through,” said Mike Rowe. “It’s awesome to be with Paul. He has given us everything that we need and the crew is doing a good job, so we’re hoping to get a few more wins.”
It was also Rowe’s first PASS North victory since the Pullen Heavy Industries 300 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME) in September, 2005. In 2006, Rowe did not win a PASS North feature race, but he did collect two PASS South victories and that tour’s inaugural championship.
Dion finished third with rookie Stephen Barry finishing a career best fourth. Defending PASS North Champion Johnny Clark rounded out the top five finishers.
Dion, Barry and Joey Porciello won the heat races at White Mountain.
With his second-place finish, Ben Rowe added to his points lead three races into the 2007 season. Rowe is already a three-time PASS North champion and is now looking southward to add even more accomplishments to his resume.
“It was a good points day for us here,” said Ben Rowe. “So now we’ll head down south [Rowe is planning to run the full PASS North and South schedules this season] and see if we can keep up with those big boys down there.”
The PASS North Super Late Models will now take a few weeks off before returning to action June 16th-17th at Unity Speedway (ME) for the DNK Select 150. In the meantime, the PASS South Super Late Models will run back-to-back events at Anderson Speedway (SC) on Saturday, June 2nd and Orange County Speedway (NC) on June 9th.
The 2007 PASS Super Late Model schedules will be highlighted by two major fall events. The PASS 400 weekend at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME) is set for September 23rd-24th and the Second Annual Mason-Dixon Meltdown is scheduled for Concord Motorsport Park on November 16th-17th.
For more information on the PASS South Series, contact Jeremy Troiano at (704) 788-2134; for information on the PASS North Series, contact Mike Twist at (207) 499-2565, and for technical and rules information on all of the PASS tours, please contact Scott Reed at (207) 625-3230. To find out more about marketing and sponsorship opportunities with PASS, please contact Steve Perry at (207) 468-0561.
PASS North Super Late Models
White Mountain Motorsports Park
May 26, 2007
1. Mike Rowe
2. Ben Rowe
3. Dave Dion
4. Stephen Barry
5. Johnny Clark
6. Rick Martin
7. Travis Benjamin
8. Kirk Thibeau
9. Joey Porciello
10. Curtis Gerry
11. Richie Dearborn
12. Mark Patten
13. Derek Ramstrom
14. Cassius Clark
15. Gary Smith
16. Gary Bellefleur
17. Bill Penfold
18. Adam Bates
19. Chris Kennison
20. Trevor Sanborn
21. Mike Parks
22. Kelly Moore
23. Jeremie Whorff
24. Kevin Kimball
DNS Sam Sessions