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PASS Super Late Models, Mods, Sportsman return to Speedway 95 Sunday

Michael C. York | BDN
Michael C. York | BDN
A member of the track personnel at Hermon's Speedway 95 checks on Hollis' Bobby Nadeau, who rolled his race car duing the PASS Sportsman feature on April 19, 2009.
By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff

HERMON, Maine — The last time the Pro All-Stars Series held a Super Late Model race at Hermon’s Speedway 95, Farmingdale’s Johnny Clark took the checkered flag with Farmington’s Cassius Clark winding up second. Scott Chubbuck was third.

It was April 19, 2009.

The PASS tour will return to Speedway 95 on at 2 p.m. Sunday for the Hight Chevrolet 150 PASS SLM North race and the Clarks, who are not related, will be two of the favorites. Cassius Clark won races in consecutive years at Speedway 95 in 2005 and 2006.

The PASS Mods and Sportsman will also be on the schedule.

“It has been quite a few years since we’ve raced there. It’s one of my favorite tracks,” said Cassius Clark. “I’ve had quite a bit of success up there. I’ve won a few and I’m always in contention.

“I’m really looking forward to going back up there,” added the 32-year-old driver, who annexed his first PASS points championship a year ago. “There’s usually a pretty good turnout. Hopefully, there will be a good turnout and we’ll put on a good show so we can keep going back there.”

Johnny Clark, who is currently leading the PASS points, loves 95’s one-third mile oval because “it’s a driver’s track.

“You can get up on the wheel and go. I like tracks where you have to muscle the car around it and [Speedway 95] is one of them,” said Johnny Clark, who has won six PASS SLM points championships which leads all drivers.

“I remember first racing there with the Super Late Models in 1996. I’ve always enjoyed going there. It’s one of those tracks where you have to flirt with disaster to be fast and I like that challenge,” added Clark.

“It should be a very good race,” said Morrill’s Travis Benjamin, the 2012 points champion and one of two drivers who has won multiple races this season (2).
“It’s exciting. It’s close to home for me. A lot of my friends and family will be coming up from the Belfast area,” said Benjamin. “It’ll be a good thing for this area.”

Benjamin practiced on the track last week but said it was “hard to judge” just how good the car was without other cars on the track to run with.

“I thought things went pretty well. The car felt real good on the top and pretty good on the bottom,” he offered. “It was the same as I remembered it. The preferred line is still on top. You’ve got to be real good on the bottom if you’re going to pass a lot of cars.”

Track owner Del Merritt began applying a traction compound to the low groove in 2010 to give cars more grip and enable them to pass on the inside.

“Passing on the inside might be a little easier than it used to be but there won’t be a huge change,” predicted Cassius Clark.

Johnny Clark expects Benjamin to be among the contenders for the victory. Benjamin has won the last two Oxford 250s.

Cassius Clark feels there are probably 10 drivers who could take the checkered flag.

“The key is to put yourself in position [to win] at the end. There always seems to be cautions at the end there. The guy who wins it will make his move in the final 20 to 30 laps. Nobody is going to lead the whole race and win it. You won’t see someone running away with it,” said Johnny Clark, who will enter the race with a seven-point lead over D.J. Shaw of Center Conway, N.H.

Turner’s Mike Rowe is third, 33 points behind Clark. Berwick’s Joey Doiron and Cassius Clark round out the top five. They are 54 and 105 points adrift of Johnny Clark, respectively.

In the Mods race, Newburgh’s Scott Alexander will try to take over the points lead from Harpswell’s Mark Lucas, who had a one-point lead thanks to his three wins in nine races.

Andy Shaw of Center Conway, N.H. is third, 16 points behind Lucas.

The Sportsman points chase features Gorham’s Joe Pastore and Dan McKeage, who are separated by just 15 points, and Windham’s Rusty Poland, who is 18 points behind leader Pastore.

Ticket prices will be $15 for adults (13 and over), $5 for children (6-12) and free for any child 5 and under.


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