Addition of PASS race highlights Spud season

Posted Dec. 18, 2009, at 11:33 p.m.

The Pro All-Stars Series will hold its first-ever Super Late Models’ North Division race at Caribou’s Spud Speedway this coming season.

The race will be held on Aug. 21.

The tour begins its 10th season on April 18 at Hermon’s Speedway 95.

The tentative 13-race schedule has been released and it features races at 10 different tracks. One additional race is also under negotiation, according to a press release.

Scarborough’s Beech Ridge Motor Speedway will have three races, there will be two at White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, N.H., and one apiece at Speedway 95, Spud Speedway, Speedway 660 in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Lee USA Speedway in Lee, N.H., Canaan Speedway in Canaan, N.H., Riverside Speedway in Groveton, N.H., Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway and Thompson International Speedway (Conn.).

“I like the schedule. It’s similar to what we’ve had in the past. Going to Spud should be pretty neat,” said two-time defending series champ Johnny Clark of Hallowell. “I know the new owner [Troy Haney] has done a lot with the place.”

“I heard from a couple of guys who raced there that the track is fast. I love going to tracks that I’ve never raced on before,” added Clark.

“I love Spud Speedway,” said Bangor racer Gary Smith, who ran a late model race there last season. “We’ll get one of the biggest crowds we’ll have all year.”

Morrill’s Travis Benjamin recalled last being there in 1997.

“From what I remember, it’s a good little track. My father [Ron] always ran well there. It’s close enough to Canada to attract the Canadian fans. They love racing,” said Benjamin. The drivers like that the schedule involves limited travel because it reduces their expenses.

“I think my longest trip will be to Thompson and that’s about five hours,”said Benjamin.

“Its fits our team well,” said Clark. “Nothing is too terribly far away. We’ll be able to sneak in a few PASS South races, too.”

They like having three races at Beech Ridge.

“It’s one of the best, if not the best facility, in Maine,” said Clark. “It’s a beautiful place and it’s pretty special with all the history behind it. [Owner] Andy Cusack knows what he’s doing.”

“It’s a great facility and a great place to race. And a lot of the teams come from the Portland area,” said Benjamin.

There is also an unpredictability at Beech Ridge.

“You never know what’s going to happen there,” said Clark.

“It’s a tough little track. It takes you a while to find the setup and every time the setup is different,” said Benjamin.

Wiscasset drops pro stocks

Scarborough’s Beech Ridge Motor Speedway will be the last track in Maine offering a Pro Stocks class now that Wiscasset Raceway owner Doug White has decided to drop the expensive class.

Wiscasset Raceway was the first track to drop Pro Stocks in 2004 and Unity Raceway (2005), Oxford Plains Speedway (2006) and Speedway 95 (2007) followed suit.

White bought the track in 2007 and re-instituted the Pro Stocks.

“Unfortunately, I had to make a decision between the Pro Stocks and the Late Models,,” said White. “We couldn’t afford to keep both of them. The payouts were around $4,000 for each class per race.

“We were getting 10-12 Pro Stocks and 20-plus Late Models, so we went with the [class with the] higher car counts,” explained White.

White also said he intends to move his race cards from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon next season.

The two closest tracks to him, Unity and Speedway 95, race on Friday and Saturday nights, respectively.

“This opens up more options for the race teams,” said White.

He noted that drivers and fans have a lot of family functions scheduled on Saturday nights while Sunday is “more of a free day.”

And he said they could race two or three times on weekends if they want to.

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