PASS circuit racing tonight

Posted July 14, 2009, at 12:07 a.m.

There is a logjam atop the Pro All Stars Series Super Late Model North standings and there will be some movement tonight when a rare Tuesday night race is held at Lee (N.H.) USA Speedway.

After running the Full Fender Frenzy 75 Saturday night at Thompson International Speedway (Conn.), a race won by Derek Ramstrom from West Boylston, Mass., the drivers turn around and race at a track that was the site of the first ever PASS race nine years ago.

The racing for the PASS Bastille 200 will begin at 6.

Hallowell’s Johnny Clark leads the standings with 1,509 points but only 56 points separate the top six drivers and the top four are only 28 points apart.

“This is the tightest it’s been at the halfway point in a long time,” said Clark. “PASS hasn’t made any rule changes in three or four years which is a smart move on their part. The way the rules are, you get pretty close competition between five or six cars.”

Adam Bates of Warner, N.H., is second, 21 points behind Clark. Turner’s Ben Rowe trails Clark by 24 points and Ramstrom is 28 back. Scarborough’s Kelly Moore rounds out the top five, 40 points behind Clark.

Hollis’ Richie Dearborn is next, 56 behind Clark.

The drivers will have to adjust from the five-eighths-of-a-mile track at Thompson to Lee USA Speedway’s three-eighths-of-a-mile.

“They are two totally different racetracks,” said Clark. “Thompson is a bigger track. It has long straightaways and you use a lot of horsepower. Engines mean nothing at Lee. It’s similar to Wiscasset [Raceway] only it walls all the way around it. The pavement is worn out so it’s really hard on your tires. Whoever saves their stuff will be there at the end at Lee.”

Morrill’s Travis Benjamin, who is tied for seventh in points with Farmington’s Cassius Clark, 104 behind Johnny Clark, concurred with Clark’s assessment.

“You’re going to need [good] tires at Lee. It’s a good surface but it’s abrasive,” said Benjamin, who will change his right-side tires during a pit stop.

Clark indicated he will also likely change tires on a pit stop and he likes the fact the race teams will have to make a pit stop [for tires], although it won’t be a scheduled mandatory caution stop that occurs at other tracks.

“We pick up spots on pit stops most of the time,” said Clark.

The drivers will also probably have their crews add gas while changing tires although Benjamin said he ran a 200-lap race in Epping, N.H., last year without adding gas and “I still had plenty of gas at the end of the race.”

Benjamin said despite the differences in the tracks, the alterations in the car setups “won’t be huge.

“But it will take you all day to do it,” he said.

Benjamin called Lee USA Speedway “one of the best tracks on the tour” and, like Clark, he is looking forward to the race.

“I’d like to race every night of the week if I could,” said Benjamin, who will run the same Ford Fusion he finished fourth in at Thompson.

Clark ran one of his older Chevy Monte Carlos at Thompson, one he hadn’t raced since last August. He will run the car he has run all year, his 2008 Chevy Monte Carlo, tonight.

‘”We made up our minds we were going to race two totally different cars,” said Clark.

Bates, according to Clark and Benjamin, will have to borrow a car because he wrecked his only race car Saturday.

Tonight’s race will have a driver with Sprint Cup experience and another who is second in the NASCAR Camping World East Series according to Benjamin.

Benjamin said he learned that among the list of entrants are Aric Almirola, 44th in Sprint Cup points, and Eddie MacDonald, second in the Camping World East Series.

MacDonald’s father, Red, owns the track, according to Benjamin.

“It should be a real good race,” said Benjamin.

“This will be the first time in my career I’ve raced on a Tuesday. I’ve raced on every other day,” said Clark.

“Me, too,” echoed Benjamin.

Wallaces have busy weekend

Steve Wallace and his uncle, Kenny, will be racing Saturday night at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill., in the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race before making their way to Oxford Plains Speedway for Sunday’s 36th annual TD Banknorth 250.

Former Sprint Cup points champion Rusty Wallace, Steve’s father, will be the grand marshal for the TD Banknorth 250 and will also be at the Nationwide race Saturday because his son and Brendan Gaughan drive for his Rusty Wallace Racing team in the Nationwide Series.

Steve Wallace will enter Saturday’s race in ninth place in the Nationwide points standings thanks to five top-10 finishes in 18 races. He finished 14th a year ago and 19th two years ago.

Gaughan is eighth, 15 points ahead of Steve Wallace.

Kenny Wallace is 14th in points.

Kenny Wallace has 344 career Sprint Cup races to his credit and had his best season in 1999 when he finished 22nd in points with three top-fives and five top-10s.

His last full season in Sprint Cup was 2003 when he wound up 30th in points.

He has run 44 Sprint Cup races over the last five seasons but hasn’t run one this season.

Truex tops Camping World

Ryan Truex took over the points lead in the Camping World East Series Saturday night as the result of his win in the Full Fender Frenzy 100 at Thompson International Speedway.

MacDonald trails him by nine points.

Rookie Brett Moffitt, who drives for the Andy Santerre Motorsports Team owned by the Cherryfield native and four-time Camping World East points champion, finished 10th in the race and is now fifth in points.

The 16-year-old Moffitt trails Truex by 77 points.

There are four races remaining, beginning with the Edge Hotel 150 at the Adirondack International Speedway on Aug. 1.

lmahoney@bangordailynews.net

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