FARMINGDALE, Maine — Johnny Clark is getting an early start on the 2010 PASS North Series season.
Clark, a 4-time PASS North champion, was among the first three drivers to register with the sanctioning body for the upcoming season as he seeks to become the first driver to win five championships in the PASS North Super Late Model ranks.
“There’s no reason to believe we can’t contend for a fifth championship,” said Clark, who won back-to-back series championships in 2008-2009. “The same team is coming back, with (crew chief Robert Green) heading it up. I think it’s going to be a great year for us.”
That year kicks off this coming weekend, Jan. 8-10, at the Northeast Motorsports Expo at the Augusta Civic Center, just a few miles down the road from Clark’s Farmingdale home. Clark will be on hand to sign autographs on Friday night and again on Saturday afternoon.
The racing season begins in earnest with the opener at Speedway 95 in Hermon, Maine, on April 18.
Clark has 19 career PASS North victories to rank second all-time in the series. He’d not only like to break the 20-win plateau this season, but he’d also like to snap a tie with Ben Rowe for the most career PASS championships.
Green, of Benton, Maine, will be back as crew chief on the familiar black, red and yellow No. 54 Port City/Clark’s Car Crushing Chevrolet which won three times in 2009.
“The bottom line is that he wants to win races and that’s it,” Clark said of Green. “That’s really it. He doesn’t go to the racetrack to make friends. That’s a little hard sometimes, because it even goes for our own team, but he simply wants to win races.
“You’ve got to respect that.”
The 30-year-old Clark also won championships in the 2004 and 2006 PASS North seasons, giving him three of the last four series titles. He’s one of only two PASS drivers with multiple championships and more than 15 career wins.
He hopes that the momentum from last year will continue to right through the first half of the 2010 season. Four of the first five series races will be held at tracks where Clark has visited victory lane — Speedway 95, Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, Speedway 660 in Geary, New Brunswick, and Unity Raceway.
But winning isn’t everything on the path to the championship, Clark said.
“You’ve got to be consistent all year,” he said. “The competition is so tough on this tour that you can’t really afford to have any bad races, especially early in the year.
“We’ll be ready, for sure.”