(Naples, ME – October 13, 2007) Championship Saturday at White Mountain Motorsports Park, N. Woodstock, NH was a repeat for one team and one better for another.
In the PASS modified 50 lap feature, all Chris Staples had to do was take the green flag and he had back-to-back championships. He did it, but there was a lot more than that to a great modified race. For Chris Smith, Jason Taylor, Mark Lucas, and Troy Morse, it could be second, third or even fifth at the end of the day since there were only 23 points separating second and fifth.
The #04 of Chad Harrison and young Scott McDaniel in the #14 brought the field to the green, with the#04 taking the lead and McDaniel settling in behind. On lap 6, Richie Morse in the #34 moved into second, but it was Jason Taylor in the #8 making his statement for second in the points. On lap 11, he was up to fifth and on lap 16 he moved into second. And on lap 18, he took the lead as the caution came out for the first time for a multi-car incident in turn four that put the #6, #1, and #01 spinning.
The #14 of Scott McDaniel ended a great run in the top five with a blown tire and a trip into the frontstretch wall on lap 22. On the restart, Taylor jumped out ahead of Richie Morse’s #34, and at the halfway mark it was Taylor, Morse, Harrison, Greg Ellis in the #29, and Mark Lucas in the #9, who was making a late charge.
On lap 40, the #01 of Ronald Godden, Jr went around on the backstretch bringing out the second yellow of the race. On the restart, Lucas was right there with Taylor and the two went side-by-side over the final ten laps. Coming off turn four, it was a toss up, but at the line Taylor took the win by two or three inches over Lucas. Richie Morse was third, Chris Smith to fourth, and Greg Ellis in a solid fifth.
Staples brought the #5 home sixth and claimed his second title in two years.
The PASS Outlaw Late Models were next up for 100 green-flag laps of action. The #66X of Mike Fowler and the #57 of Zig Geno brought the 24 car field to the green. Things almost went really badly for #44 of Jim Rosenfield as he and the #01 of Joe Decker got together coming off turn four on lap one, but both kept going without bringing out the yellow.
On lap 36, the leaders were already lapping cars, but the #72 of Brian Whitney, who was only eight points behind Rosenfield for the North Division championship, and Ryan Nolin of Georgia, VT in the Mountain Air Systems #78 in his first PASS Outlaw Series outing were not about to give up their side-by-side battle for the leaders. But, after a ten lap battle, Fowler squeezed by the two coming out of turn four and put them both down a lap.
At the halfway mark, it was Fowler, the #53 of Alan Wilson, and the #23 of D. J. Shaw. On lap 55, the leaders had to scramble into the infield grass as the #20 of Brian Henry and the #87 of Dave Bitondo tangled in turn three. Several lapped cars scrambled by the leaders as they came across the grass on the frontstretch and moved to the back of the field on the restart.
A quick spin by Mike Thomas in the #25 brought out the fourth yellow of the day on lap 58, but Thomas got it going in front of the leaders and saved himself a lap. Fowler jumped out again to the lead on the restart. Wilson took to the outside to challenge Fowler, but D J. Shaw took the open low line and took over second. Wilson doesn’t give up that easily, however, and at lap 75 he took second back from D. J.
On lap 80, Donnie Lashua in the #21 saw an end to a good day as he coasted to a stop in turn two bringing out yellow number five. Young Shaw spun in turn four on lap 82, and several cars dodged around him as the young gun kept it going but lost several spots.
With ten laps to go, it was still Fowler, Wilson, with Matt Lee in the #00 making it a three-way battle. A quick debris yellow at lap 91 saw Fowler take off again to a three car length lead. On lap 93, the great run of Wilson went bad as he and Lee tangled off turn four with several cars behind them including the #57 of Geno, the #55 of Jimmy Renfrew, and the #15 of Chris Wilk all getting caught up in the wreck. Lee drove off quickly to maintain second, but Wilson was done for the day.
Fowler went out to the lead again. Lee couldn’t catch him over the last seven laps, and Fowler claimed his first PASS Outlaw win after running well in many races, but not having the luck to close it out. This time he was the class of the field and made it all work.
Rosenfield avoided trouble after his lap one scare and brought home the PASS Outlaw Series Combo title for the Middleboro, MA veteran after he claimed the Central title last year. And, as a bonus, he also claimed the North Division title, but gave up the Central crown to Walt Hammond.
The results for both the Modifieds and the Outlaws are unofficial and since this is the final race for points are under review.