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Contact: Vickie Mulkern - vmulkern@me.com
2010
THE MASON-DIXON MELTDOWN
NEWPORT SPEEDWAY - 10/16/10


TOP THREE at the MASON-DIXON MELTDOWN:
L to
R: #48 Ben Rowe (3rd), #98 Justin Wakefield (1st),
#29 Andy Loden (2nd)
Friday, Sept. 17th
5th for Ben at WMMP
With his fifth-place finish in the season finale at White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, N.H., last weekend, Ben locked up a second place in the 2010 PASS North Series final standings. The finish marked Rowe's eighth in the Top-2 at season's end in the PASS North Series, and the winningest driver in series history (36) has never finished worse than third overall. This marked his first season with Mulkern Racing.

PASS NORTH SERIES - FINAL POINTS POSITION: 2nd

BEN, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE SEASON YOU JUST COMPLETED?

It went well. I think anytime you have two wins and finish second in the points, it's a good season. I figured all year long we were a second-place car behind (Johnny Clark), and that's right where we ended up.

Obviously, everyone wants to win more races and win the championship -- but I think the year was as good as any of us could have expected. Everything about the team was totally, totally new -- new team owners (Scott and Vickie Mulkern), new crew chief working with a new driver.

WHEN YOU LOOK BACK, ARE YOU GOING TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT THE EFFORT THIS SEASON?

I am. Johnny has been with all of the guys on his team for so long, it's like second nature for them. We did a lot of testing this year -- a lot -- and we still couldn't quite get on the same page. It's not just about setups. It's about communication and spending time working together.

WHAT NEEDS TO BE DIFFERENT NEXT YEAR IN ORDER TO WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP?

I thought we were better at the end of the year. Right up until we went to Beech Ridge (for the PASS 300), I thought we were making pretty good strides.

The biggest thing for us is to get things in order as soon as we can (in the offseason). I really feel like we have to have things rolling along by the time the first race (of 2011) gets here, so we don't go to North Wilkesboro in April still trying to figure things out.
White Mountain Motorsports Park Race Preview
4-time PASS North Series champion Ben Rowe attempts looks for an unprecedented ninth career victory at the track when the series heads to the PASS 150 at White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, N.H., on Friday night, September 17. Rowe owns a PASS-record eight career victories on the high-banked quarter-mile as he heads into the PASS North Series season finale. A solid second in the series standings, Rowe is looking for his 10th Top-5 finish in 13 races this season.

BEST CAREER WHITE MOUNTAIN MOTORSPORTS PARK FINISH: 1st (8 times; most recenty: May 2009)
LAST RACE AT WHITE MOUNTAIN MOTORSPORTS PARK: 5th (May 2010)

WHAT: Season Finale -- PASS North Series PASS 150
WHERE: White Mountain Motorsports Park, North Woodstock, N.H. (.25-mile oval)
WHEN: 6 p.m., Friday, September 17

PASS NORTH SERIES - POINTS POSITION: 2nd
 
BEN, YOU OBVIOUSLY LOOK FORWARD TO ANY TRIP TO WHITE MOUNTAIN.

I can't wait to get to White Mountain. I love White Mountain. It's a great place. It's a Friday night deal, and hopefully a lot of people come up from (NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway) to check it out.

I love that place. It's one of the race tracks you can actually race on, and I've had a lot of success there.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE TRACK THAT YOU'VE TAKEN TO OVER THE YEARS?

A place like Beech Ridge is all finesse. You've got ot be really easy on the throttle -- but at White Mountain, you don't have to worry about the race track. You go and drive the car, basically. That's probably why I get myself in so much trouble at Beech Ridge. I try to take too much -- but up there, you 've got a little bit of banking to hold you.

Ever since I showed up there, I love the place. It's probably all in my head, but whatever works.

DO YOU HOLD ANY HOPE OF ADDING A FIFTH PASS NORTH CHAMPIONSHIP TO YOUR RESUME THIS WEEKEND?

(Johnny Clark) basically wrapped it up. But a championship isn't won on one race and it isn't lost on one race. It's what you do all year long. I feel he's had the better car all year long.

We chased him, chased him, chased him -- and we kept it close as long as we could. It was fun, and we'll go to White Mountain and we'll try to go out and win it.

Broken Lift at Beech Ridge - The Clark Motorsports hauler is backed up
to the Mulkern hauler to transfer two cars and lower them to the ground as a front end loader supports the broken side of the lift.
Thanks for the rescue!
       
       

 
SCOTT 5TH in the PASS 300
Scott finished fifth in the PASS North Series PASS 300 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Maine, on Sunday, September 12. Mulkern, who also owns the No. 48 for driver Ben Rowe, posted his second Top-5 of the season in just his third 2010 start in part-time competition. (3rd at Beech Ridge on July 17th.)

Mulkern's pit stop for tires and adjustments to the car on Lap 177 helped give him both track position and a car good enough to run with the leaders over the late stages of the event.

STARTED: 25th - FINISHED: 5th

SCOTT, HOW DID YOUR DAY GO?

It was a good finish. We started out real tight, so we came in and took a spring rubber out of the right front and changed the stagger. I thought it was driveable if we didn't get lapped. It wasn't too bad -- we put the new tires on, and it was decent.

It's hard to pass out there. I started to pass some cars on the bottom, but you can only do that so much. Then towards the end, you can't even pass lapped cars on the bottom

It's fun. I like racing here. A lot of people complain about the syrup and stuff here, but I think the traction compound makes it interesting. You can go out and search around on the race track. I had fun.

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO LEAVE WITH A TOP-5?

Good, but I don't think about it too much. I still think I can win when I go out there. I don't care if I only race once a year -- but it's hard. I've raced three times this year, and that car's run really well every time. I'm usually conservative with it, because I don't want to mess things up... But you've got to race all the time to be able to keep up with things.

The car was good, so what else can I say?


 
BEN 28TH in the PASS 300
Ben finished 28th in the PASS North Series PASS 300 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Maine, on Sunday, September 12. Rowe's day ended with more than 70 laps remaining in the event, after he pulled behind the wall with mechanical woes. With just one race remaining in the PASS North Series season, Rowe now trails leader Johnny Clark by 71 points.

STARTED: 20th - FINISHED: 28th

NEXT RACE: Friday, September 17, White Mountain Motorsports Park, N. Woodstock, N.H. (.25-mile oval)

BEN, WHAT CAN YOU SAY ABOUT YOUR DAY?

It was a long day, but it ended early. We were off in the beginning. We got way too tight. We changed tires, and the right rear was flat. We'd tightened it up to make up for it. Then it started skipping at high RPM -- which, I'm almost certain, it was a battery. I've had that happen before. Luckily, it wasn't anything serious with the engine.

We knew it would be a gremlin. We've been great all year on stuff like that. This is racing. That's why that stuff happens. We'll pack it up in the trailer and go back to the next one.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE CHAMPIONSHIP PICTURE AFTER TODAY?

(Race winner Johnny Clark) basically wrapped it up today. But a championship isn't won on one race and it isn't lost on one race. It's what you do all year long. I feel he's had the better car all year long.

We chased him, chased him, chased him -- and we kept it close as long as we could. It was fun, and we'll go to White Mountain and we'll try to go out and win it.

Beech Ridge Motor Speedway Race Preview
Ben Rowe of Turner, Maine, joins the PASS North Series for its longest race of the season -- the PASS 300 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Maine, on Sunday, September 12. Rowe won the event in 2006 and heads into this weekend 13 points behind leader Johnny Clark in the PASS North standings with two races remaining. A four-time PASS North champion and the defending PASS National Series champion, Rowe is third in this year's National standings heading into the 300 -- the fourth of five National Series events. Rowe won the most recent PASS National event -- the PASS 75 at Thompson International Speedway in July -- and has two wins, nine Top-5s and 10 Top-10 finishes in 11 PASS North races this year.

WHAT: PASS North Series PASS 300
WHERE: Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, Scarborough, Maine. (.333-mile oval)
WHEN: Qualifying -- 2 p.m., Saturday, September 11; Race -- 12 noon, Sunday, September 12

PASS NORTH SERIES - POINTS POSITION: 2nd
LAST RACE: August 21, Spud Speedway, Caribou, Maine (5th-place finish)
NEXT RACE: Friday, September 17, White Mountain Motorsports Park, N. Woodstock, N.H. (.25-mile oval)
POINTS POSITION: 2nd

BEN, HOW WOULD YOU ASSESS YOUR PASS NORTH CHAMPIONSHIP HOPES WITH TWO RACES REMAINING?

We've got to keep doing what we're doing. Neither of us has shot ourselve in the foot yet, and hopefully neither of us will. We just need to get to the level that they're at. We were getting there slowly, a couple races at a time, and then he put us back to reality (by winning at Spud Speedway in August). Johnny''s been good all year. We gained some points, but only a few at a time here and there.

Anything can happen at Beech Ridge. This is going to be the tell-tale race. If I can't gain a whole lot at Beech Ridge, then it's going to be really tough going into White Mountain next weekend. But anything can happen. There will be lots of cars we don't usually race with there this weekend, and it's kind of a wild card race.

YOU WERE PRETTY FRUSTRATED WITH YOUR LAST RACE AT BEECH RIDGE. ARE YOU BETTER NOW THAN YOU WERE IN EARLY JULY?

I tested all day (Thursday) to get ready -- all day with both cars at Oxford (Plains Speedway). We just struggle on the flat tracks. I left Oxford feeling pretty good, but (Friday) is a whole different day, and it's Beech Ridge. I've gone there and run decent, but I've also been there and not been very good.

We've done a lot of changing, a lot of testing (this season). We've done everything we can. I think we can go down there and run up front. I want to beat Johnny, but I want to beat him fair and square, too. I don't wish him any trouble or anything like that.

No matter what, I guarantee you that at some point we'll be running nose-to-tail on the track during that race. It's always that way for us at Beech Ridge.
Rowe Keeps Title Hopes Alive With Top-5 Finishes
FALMOUTH, Maine -- Ben Rowe sits just a handful of points out of the PASS North Series championship lead as the tour barrels down the homestretch.

Rowe, of Turner, Maine, posted back-to-back Top-5 finishes at Seekonk Speedway in Seekonk, Mass., and Spud Speedway in Caribou, Maine to position himself just 13 points out of the PASS North Series lead with two races remaining.

"Everybody's still working really hard," Rowe said of the No. 48 Community Pharmacies team. "We're getting close. And we're still in the hunt for the championship -- so we may not be quite where we want to be, but we're not that far off, either."

Rowe finished fourth at Seekonk Speedway on Aug. 14. Just one week later, he ran fifth in the series' inaugural visit to Spud Speedway.

In both cases, Rowe said he had a competitive car early on.

"The car seems to be really fast for the first few laps, but it drops off pretty quickly for some reason," said Rowe, who has two wins and nine Top-5s through the first 11 races of the year. "Obviously, if we can figure out why that happens and fix it, we're going to be really good."

The series returns to action in the PASS 300 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Maine, on September 12 -- the longest race of the season -- and concludes with a final PASS 150 at White Mountain Motorsports Park on September 17.

The PASS 300 is also the fourth of five PASS National Series events. The 4-time PASS North champion Rowe sits third in the National standings, just 27 points out of the lead in that series. He is the reigning PASS National and PASS South Series champion.
5th at SPUD SPEEDWAY
Caribou, Maine
Saturday, August 21st

4TH at SEEKONK on 8/14
After a smooth first heat won by Johnny Clark in cruise mode, Heat 2 for Ben was a disaster by comparison. A full oil down of the track required a 35 minute red flag for a cleanup that left speedi-dry and water from a street sweeper on the track. Shooting to get back into the lead, with all the cars slipping, sliding and spinning, Ben got into the back of Richie Dearborn, and Richie spun in front of #48. The #33 climbing over the front fender of the #48 let Derek Ramstrom win with Ben in third. So Ben lost two points to Johnny.

In the feature, Ben and Johnny started 11th and back as past 2010 winners. Ben moved up as the first 102 laps ran fast but caution free. After three quick yellows in a row, Ben had pulled ahead of the #54 but Johnny got back alongisde to challenge. But by lap 120 Ben was solidly in fourth with Johnny a half dozen car lengths back in fifth as Seekonk weekly racer Dave Darling #52 headed for the checkers.

Ben clawed back the 2 points loss from the heats to remain ten points back (1971 to 1961 markers) as the PASS Tour heads to Spud Speedway on Sat. August 21st.
4TH at RIVERSIDE on 7/31
 
 
Ben finished fourth in the PASS North Series Summerfest 150 at Riverside Speedway in Groveton, N.H., on Saturday, July 31. Rowe started 12th in the 18-car field and worked into the top-10 before the 50-lap mark on the high-banked, quarter-mile track. He benefited from a lap 81 restart, gaining a few spots' worth of track position before running comfortably inside the top-five for the remainder of the event. Unofficially, Rowe gained five points in the title chase on leader Johnny Clark and now trails by just nine points heading into the final four races of the year.

STARTED: 12th - FINISHED: 4th - LED: 0 times for 0 laps

NEXT RACE: Saturday, August 14, Seekonk Speedway, Seekonk, Mass. (.333-mile)

BEN, YOUR THOUGHTS ON A TOP-FIVE FINISH AT RIVERSIDE?

We're happy. To come out of here top-five at Groveton, to me, is like a win. We gained some points on Johnny. I know it's slim, but we're on the upper hand of it. We gained a little last week, a little more this week. That's what you need to do. We've got to capitalize on it when he falls off. Good points night for us -- that's about it.

THAT LAP 82 RESTART OBVIOUSLY HELPED OUT.

Here, (the leaders) get squirted away so bad that you need a couple restarts. I'd like to see a couple more at the end -- bunch us all back up and let us go. The lapped cars were really tough... Once we cleared them, it wasn't bad. It was just at the end it got so free, I couldn't do anything with them.
 

Riverside Speedway Preview

Ben Rowe of Turner, Maine, is the PASS North Series' most recent winner as the series heads to the Summerfest 150 at Riverside Speedway in Groveton, N.H., on Saturday, July 31. Rowe took round three of the PASS National Championship Series by winning the PASS 75 at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway last week for his second win of the season. He's never won at Riverside Speedway -- one of the few PASS tracks where he's never visitied victory lane -- but has closed to within 14 points of leader Johnny Clark atop the standings with five races to go. In eight starts this year, he's yet to miss the top-10 and has seven top-five finishes.
BEST CAREER RIVERSIDE SPEEDWAY FINISH: 3rd (June 2005)
LAST RACE AT RIVERSIDE SPEEDWAY: 4th (July 2009)

WHAT: PASS North Series Summerfest 150
WHERE: Riverside Speedway, Groveton, N.H. (.25-mile oval)
WHEN: 5 p.m., Saturday, July 31

PASS North Series - POINTS POSITION: 2nd
LAST RACE: July 22, Thompson International Speedway, Thompson, Conn. (1st)
NEXT RACE: August 14, Seekonk Speedway, Seekonk, Mass. (.333-mile oval)

BEN, YOU HAVE MOMENTUM ON YOUR SIDE HEADING TO RIVERSIDE.

To win that first one (at Canaan Fair Speedway), and then to come back and win again a few weeks later -- especially after running so bad at Beech Ridge -- it really felt good. We've won with both of the cars we've raced this year, and as far as competing for a championship, that's pretty good for the team. If we wreck one of the cars, we know we've got another good one ready to go the next week.

HOW DID YOU GUYS COME TO THE DECISION TO BRING YOUR THOMPSON CAR TO THE TIGHT QUARTER-MILE AT RIVERSIDE?

Just because we won with it and want to try and ride the flow, basically. Last time out with the other one was at Beech Ridge, and obviously that didn't go the way we wanted. That's why we took this one. It's totally different. This one is an old Junior Hanley car he had for himself 10 years ago. Once you get one that works, it's hard to change.

WHAT'S THE KEY TO RACING AT RIVERSIDE?

Beat (three-time Riverside winner Johnny Clark) for one -- he's really good there.

It's really tight, and you've got to stay out of trouble, basically. You can get some traffic, especially off of turn four with the way the wall is right there, but you can also really go there if you can get around lapped cars. It's the kind of place where you can get up on the wheel and really drive it -- but you've got to be there at the end to make a run for it.
SLM TOP THREE - L TO R: Preston Peltier #26, 2nd;
Winner Ben Rowe #48; and Johnny Clark #54, 3rd.
BEN THE WINNER AT THOMPSON on 7/22
Ben won the PASS North Series PASS 75 at Thompson International Speedway in Thompson, Conn., on Thursday, July 22. Rowe passed Preston Peltier with five laps remaining to take his third career PASS victory at Thompson, the largest track on the series' schedule. The win marked the second win in the last four races for Rowe, a four-time series champion. A combination PASS North/PASS National Championship event, Rowe gained ground on both Peltier and Jay Fogleman in the PASS National standings as he tries to defend his 2009 championship in the PASS National ranks.

STARTED: 11th - FINISHED: 1st - LED: 1 time for 5 laps

NEXT RACE: Saturday, July 31st, Riverside Speedway, Groveton, N.H.

BEN, HOW BIG A WIN WAS THIS FOR THE TEAM?

This is just huge for us because we ran so bad last week. I mean, I was ugly last week about the way we ran at Beech Ridge.
For this team to work so hard and bring a whole different car to this race and go out and win, that's a big deal.

BY MAKING THE PASS FOR THE LEAD ON LAP 71, WERE YOU WORRIED YOU'D WAITED TOO LONG?

I was. And then when I got by Jay Fogleman for second, Preston (Peltier) squirted out there a little bit and got away from us. But I could see that if I settled in and just drove, I was catching up to him a little bit.

I was going to get a run off four on him, and he slipped up. I slammed my nose under him, but he just pulled me down the straightaway with his motor. I went into turn one, and he was blocking the high line. I just headed for the bottom, I outbraked him -- and I wasn't going to lift until I got beside him. I just held that line and could kind of dictate his line off the corner once I had the lead.
Thompson International Speedway Race Preview
Ben Rowe of Turner, Maine, is the highest-ranking PASS North Series driver as the PASS National Championship Series heads into its third race of the season -- the PASS 75 at Thompson International Speedway in Thompson, Conn., on Thursday, July 22. Rowe is in contention for both championships, one year after winning both the PASS National Series and PASS South Series titles -- as he sits second in the PASS North standings and third in the PASS South points behind North Carolina drivers Preston Peltier and Jay Fogelman. Rowe owns two career victories at Thompson and has posted a top-five finish in six of the season's first seven races.
BEST CAREER THOMPSON FINISH: 1st (2 times; most recently July 2008)
LAST RACE AT THOMPSON SPEEDWAY: 9th (July 2009)

 
PASS National Series  POINTS POSITION: 3rd
LAST RACE:
April 3, Hickory Motor Speedway, Hickory, N.C. (8th-place)
NEXT RACE: Sept. 12, Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, Scarborough, Maine (.333-mile oval)

PASS North Series  POINTS POSITION: 2nd
LAST RACE: July 17, Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, Scarborough, Maine (9th-place)
NEXT RACE: July 31, PASS 150, Riverside Speedway, Groveton, N.H. (.25-mile oval)
 
BEN, WHAT MAKES THOMPSON THE KIND OF PLACE WHERE IT SEEMS EVERYBODY WANTS TO RACE?
 
(Laughing) You go fast! The faster the better for me.
 
You really notice the speeds there because it's got tight turns. You can go to Loudon and not really know how fast you're going, but you know you're hopping down the straightaways when you're at Thompson. I think a lot of young guys don't see the banking, but when you get to the end of that straightaway, there's a 90-degree turn waiting for you.
 
WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT FOR YOU THIS WEEK, THE PASS NORTH SERIES STANDINGS OR THE PASS NATIONAL STANDINGS?
 
We'll see how this week goes. We're quite a bit behind (28 points in the PASS National), but if we could come out of here with a shot at the next two races we'll go for it.
 
Right now, it's just a bonus for us, because we're third (in the standings). If we were leading, we'd play more on the defensive side. Now we need every point we can get -- whether it's heat races or not. We need max points at every race. That's probably why you see us driving and doing some crazy things in heat races probably -- we need to make up points wherever.
 
YOU WEREN'T HAPPY WITH THE WAY THINGS WENT AT BEECH RIDGE LAST WEEKEND, EVEN THOUGH YOU CAME OUT WITH A 9TH-PLACE FINISH. IS IT A BLIP ON THE RADAR OR ARE YOU GUYS STILL NOT WHERE YOU WANT TO BE AS A TEAM?
 
We don't know what happened -- but that race was horrible for us by anybody's standards. I told (team owner Scott Mulkern) they should fire us all.... To run that bad, everybody was all upset. We'll have a different car down there this weekend, and hopefully we'll rebound.
 
The biggest thing is that we can't afford to give away points like that, especially when (points leader Johnny Clark) is off. When he's not good enough to win a race, we have to be right there. We have to get those points when we can if we're going to make up ground.
3rd Scott in the #84 - 9th for Ben in the #48
After a scoring revision and the DQ of the #44 of Trevor Sanborn
at tech, Scott moves up to 3rd and Ben takes 9th.
Ben now stands 2nd in points with 1519 to Johnny Clark's 1538.
 
 Third in the PASS North Series Bastille 200
Ben finished third in the PASS North Series Bastille 200 at Lee USA Speedway in Lee, N.H., on Tuesday, July 13. With the effort, Rowe continues to be the only driver in the series to have posted top-5 finishes in each of the series six events. After struggling in the back half of the field for most of the first half of the 200-lap event, Rowe gained 13 spots on pit road during a lap 101 stop for tires and adjustments and emerged in the fifth spot on the restart. He then climbed to as high as second place with 50 laps remaining before relinquishing second to his father and eventual race winner Mike Rowe.

WHAT: PASS North Series Bastille 200
WHERE: Lee USA Speedway, Lee, N.H. (.333-mile oval)

STARTED: 12th - FINISHED: 3rd - LED: 0 times for 0 laps

NEXT RACE: Saturday, July 17th, Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, Scarborough, Maine

BEN, YOUR CAR CAME TO LIFE AFTER THAT PIT STOP AND HELPED MAKE FOR A GOOD NIGHT.

We started off real bad. I don't know if it was a bad tire or what, but we adjusted for it. We swapped tires and then we were too tight -- so we think it was just a bad tire right from the get go. The last run we adjusted for it. We made a big air pressure adjustment and changed two right side tires and gained a ton of spots on pit road.

HOW CRUCIAL WAS THE EFFORT OF YOUR PIT CREW?

It got us back up to fifth after we'd come in like 15th or 18th. They gained more spots on pit road than I did on the race track. That's a big deal for a makeshift crew to come out here and change tires and do that for us.

YOUR THOUGHTS ON RACING AT BEECH RIDGE JUST FOUR DAYS FROM NOW?

Beech Ridge is not one of my favorite tracks, but we'll see when we get there what happens, I guess.
Beech Ridge Motor Speedway 7/10 Preview
Ben Rowe of Turner, Maine, rides the hot hand as the PASS North Series heads back to Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Maine, for the PASS 150 on Saturday, July 10. Rowe snapped a winless streak dating back more than a year to June of 2009 by finding victory lane at Canaan Fair Speedway last weekend. It was Rowe's first win for Mulkern Racing, and it also marked his fifth top-5 in as many races this season. Rowe, who finished third at Beech Ridge back in May and has a win on his resume at the track in 2006, sits second in the series standings -- just eight points behind Johnny Clark -- as he vies for a record fifth PASS North title.
BEST CAREER BEECH RIDGE FINISH: 1st (September 2006)
LAST RACE AT BEECH RIDGE: 3rd (May 2010)

LAST RACE: July 3, Canaan Fair Speedway, Canaan, N.H. (1st-place)
NEXT RACE: July 13, Bastille 200, Lee USA Speedway, Lee, N.H.
POINTS POSITION: 2nd
 
BEN, WHAT KIND OF MOMENTUM DID YOUR TEAM TAKE FROM WINNING AT CANAAN LAST WEEK?
 
Well, right now momentum is definitely in our corner, and we're planning on riding it as long as we can. I think momentum is a week-to-week thing in this sport. Look at what Johnny (Clark) did -- he won that first race (at White Mountain in mid-May) and then they went off and won a couple more right after that. When you get on a run like that, you know that your cars are good and if you just go and do your job, you're going to win.
 
That's where we're at right now. We know we can beat the best teams out there. Everybody's upbeat, everybody's positive and everybody wants to work hard to keep winning. Ninety percent of this team is volunteer -- and a win just boosts their spirits and everybody wants to get involved and do stuff to help the team. I'll tell you what, this is going to be a fun weekend.
 
HOW DO YOU FIND SUCCESS AT BEECH RIDGE?
 
I'm not really sure. It seems to be a real hit or miss place for me. Trevor (Sanborn) goes really good every time he races there, and it's the same for my father (Mike Rowe). But even my father, as good as he was there last year he's struggled some there this year.
 
I don't know what it is. I wish I did.
 
IS THIS THE HARDEST TRACK THE SERIES VISITS TO GET A FIRM
HANDLE ON?
 
Yeah, it's probably the worst of all of them. Oxford's getting to be a little like it, but we don't race there, so this is probably the worst for the PASS tour.
 
It's so flat and round. It's very, very easy to overdrive Beech Ridge and get yourself in trouble. Maybe that's what we all want to do there -- too much. You look at the guys that have had success there -- guys like Adam Bates -- and they all seem to be guys that came from go-karts and learned not to overdrive the track.
The WINNER at Canaan Fair Speedway - July 3rd 
Ben won the PASS North Series Firecracker 150 at Canaan Fair Speedway in Canaan, N.H., on Saturday, July 3. The victory was the 33rd career PASS North win for the four-time series champion and his first in the Mulkern Racing No. 48 Community Pharmacies Chevrolet. Rowe led on two occasions, taking the lead for good from series points leader Johnny Clark shortly after a restart near the halfway point of the event. It was Rowe's fourth career Canaan Fair Speedway win.

STARTED: 2nd - FINISHED: 1st

BEN, HOW GOOD DOES IT FEEL TO GET THIS FIRST WIN WITH YOUR NEW TEAM?

It's huge -- but (team owner Scott Mulkern) wasn't even here to see it, because he was up at camp this weekend. That's too bad.

But whenever you get that first win it's great, because everybody's upbeat now. We know that we have the stuff to get it done, and tonight we went out and showed ourselves that we can.

WHEN JOHNNY CLARK PASSED YOU FOR THE LEAD EARLY IN THE EVENT, WERE YOU WORRIED THAT TONIGHT MIGHT NOT BE YOUR NIGHT?

I was thinking that when I saw him move into second behind me. But I figured I'd pulled away from him a little bit right before the caution came out, and I knew that I was pretty good on the bottom and could probably get by him. Once I did, track position was just huge.

It was that way for everybody. It just seemd that everyone was pretty much done at the end.

TALK ABOUT HOW GOOD YOUR CAR WAS TONIGHT.

It's a lot easier starting up front, I know that. We started out in practice and we weren't that good, but we kept working on it and working on it and by the time they dropped the green in the feature, we were really good.

After that, it was just a matter of saving it all for the end of the night.
 
Canaan Fair Speedway
7/3 Race Preview


4-time PASS North Series champion Ben Rowe of Turner, Maine, heads to one of his favorite stops on the circuit this weekend with the running of the Firecracker 150 at Canaan Fair Speedway in Canaan, N.H., on Saturday, July 3. Rowe has 3 career victories at Canaan, including a sweep of the two PASS stops there in 2005. The all-time winningest driver in series history with 32 wins, Rowe is looking for his first win in the Mulkern Racing No. 48.

BEST CAREER CANAAN FAIR SPEEDWAY FINISH: 1st (3 times; most recently: September 2005)
LAST RACE AT CANAAN FAIR SPEEDWAY: 7th (May 2006)
PASS NORTH SERIES
LAST RACE: June 20, Unity Raceway, Unity, Maine (3rd-place finish)
NEXT RACE: Saturday, July 10, Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, Scarborough, Maine
POINTS POSITION: 2nd

BEN, TALK ABOUT CANAAN FAIR SPEEDWAY?

It's definitely fun to race there. It's a fast track, and I like it. It's a lot like Speedway 660 (in New Brunswick), so we should be fast there. It's pretty fast and has a lot of grip -- and it's one of the tracks I actually look forward to going to.

Everytime we go there, we're pretty decent.

YOU'RE THE ONLY SERIES DRIVER WITH A TOP-5 IN ALL FOUR RACES THUS FAR IN 2010. HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO THAT FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON?

We're just 'that much' away from winning. I keep telling everybody that once we get it all figured out and learn how to win together, we're going to win a bunch of races.

We're just knocking on that door right now.

DO YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO FINALLY BREAK THROUGH AT CANAAN?

I think so. We're going into this weekend knowing we can run good enough to win. We know the things that we're running and we know the things that are keeping us just a little off, so there's no question we can win.

We just have to raise our standards to (points leader Johnny Clark), because he's obviously running really well right now. We're almost there.

SUN. JUNE 20TH - 3 PM

 
BEN 3rd at UNITY
Ben Rowe of Turner, Maine, finished third in the PASS North Series Father's Day 150 at Unity Raceway in Unity, Maine, on Sunday, June 20. Rowe is the only driver to finish in the top-5 of all four PASS North events this season after turning in another solid performance on Sunday. After starting third, Rowe never dropped out of the top-5 in the running order at any point in the event, holding off Donnie Whitten for third as the two battled for position for almost the final 50 laps of the event.

WHO: Ben Rowe, Turner, Maine
TEAM: No. 48 Community Pharmacies Chevrolet
WHAT: PASS North Series Father's Day 150
WHERE: Unity Raceway, Unity, Maine (.333-mile oval)
 
STARTED: 3rd - FINISHED: 3rd - LED: 0 times for 0 laps

NEXT: Saturday, July 3, Firecracker 150, Canaan Fair Speedway, Canaan, N.H. (.333-mile oval)


BEN, IT WAS ANOTHER GOOD DAY FOR THE 48 TEAM.


A top-3 for me here is a win. It's all about keeping it on the track and keeping it in one piece. We've been working on this thing day in and day out. We're getting better.

We're getting the top-3s now. It won't be long, we'll be up there with (race winner Johnny Clark). It just takes time for everybody that hasn't been together, to put a new team together. I can't wait (to start winning), we're getting better and better every time.

DID THE MORE THAN 3-HOUR RAIN DELAY PLAY A FACTOR IN YOUR RACE?

I don't think so. We were really good in the heat (race) and then right at the end (of the 150) I got too tight to do anything. We got this place dried out, the fans stuck with us and we came out here and put on a show.


Ben Rowe: Unity Raceway Race Preview

4-time PASS North Series champion Ben Rowe of Turner, Maine, returns to one of the toughest tracks on the circuit this weekend when the series visits Unity Raceway in Unity, Maine, for the PASS 150 on Sunday, June 20. Rowe finished 5th last weekend at Speedway 660 near Fredericton, New Brunswick, and is the only driver to post a top-5 finish in each of the first three PASS races of the season. Rowe has won twice at Unity in his career and is looking to put his new Mulkern Racing No. 48 in victory lane for the first time this season.

BEST CAREER UNITY RACEWAY FINISH: 1st (2 times; most recently: October 2006)
LAST RACE AT UNITY RACEWAY: 3rd (August 2009)
BEN, IT WAS ANOTHER SOLID RUN FOR YOU LAST WEEKEND NORTH OF THE BORDER.

Another top-5, so I can't complain. It's what we need to do. When I first started with (owner Tom) Estes -- and it was the same when I started with (Richard Moody Racing) -- it took us a while to hit on things and we never won a race until end of the year. And where we are now is way ahead of all that. We just need to get a little bit better, and then things will be really good.

I was really happy with the car in practice. The first segment (of the 200-lap race), the car bottomed out really bad. It was dragging, and we tried to make up for it in second segment but we just kind of overdid it. We were closer than we have been this year, though, and I'm happy about that.

ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GOING TO UNITY RACEWAY THIS WEEKEND?

It's fun place to race during the actual race, if you can get around the right people. It's really fun racing guys like Johnny (Clark) there or Randy Turner. Those guys are a lot of fun to race with.

I used to go there and totally hate it, and I'd run terrible. Now, I just try to keep it on the race track. My whole thing is just stay on the asphalt for 125 laps and then race at the end. We've had some really good races there doing that. The track puts on some good racing, and hopefully we'll be right there with 25 to go.

SAT. JUNE 12TH - 7 PM
 
5TH PLACE AT 660 

Ben Rowe: Speedway 660 Race Preview

4-time PASS North Series champion Ben Rowe of Turner, Maine, attempts to win for a second straight time at Speedway 660 in Fredericton, New Brunswick, when the series competes in the Pro All Stars Series 200 on Saturday, June 12. Rowe won this race a year ago with his former team, and he aims to put Mulkern Racing in victory lane for the first time this season. He's won twice in series history at Speedway 660 and enters this weekend third in the PASS North standings -- one of only two drivers with top-5 finishes in each of the season's first two races. His father, Mike, is the other.

WHO: Ben Rowe, Turner, Maine
TEAM: Community Pharmacies No. 48 Chevrolet
BEST CAREER SPEEDWAY 660 FINISH: 1st (2 times; most recently: June 2009)
LAST RACE AT SPEEDWAY 660: 1st (June 2009)

WHAT: PASS North Series Pro All Stars Series 200
WHERE: Speedway 660, Fredericton, New Brunswick (.333-mile oval)
WHEN: 7:05 p.m., Saturday, June 12

PASS NORTH SERIES
LAST RACE: Saturday, May 22, PASS 150, White Mountain Motorsports Park, North Woodstock, N.H. (5th-place finish)
NEXT RACE: Sunday, June 20, Unity Raceway, Unity, Maine
POINTS POSITION: 3rd
BEN, THIS SEEMS TO BE ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE TRACKS THAT DRIVERS EITHER LOVE OR HATE. THERE'S NO IN-BETWEEN.

It's a nice track, and it's a lot of fun to drive -- kind of like Oxford or Beech Ridge. I think it's a fun little place, the fans really get into it up there, and it makes it worth the long trip getting there.

I like Fredericton. It's kind of round and it's got a lot of grip if you get the car right. I think you can race two-wide there in these cars, and it puts on a lot of good races.

ARE YOU READY FOR THIS NEXT STRETCH OF 5 RACES IN 6 WEEKS?

I hope so. We're testing again (Wednesday) at Beech Ridge, just trying to get where we need to be as we get ready for this stretch. We've got three or four cars that could be ready to race in a day's time if we need them, so equipment-wise we're ready. We're just not quite ready speed-wise.

IN YOUR MIND, WHERE IS THE TEAM LACKING AFTER JUST TWO RACES TOGETHER?

I'm not quite sure. It's something very tiny. Maybe it's just me getting too fussy with things, but I know there's more there for us to pick up. We know everyone else is working hard to get better, and we are, too. That's why we've done so much testing and we keep on testing, so we can try and get this thing as good as it can be.

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010
5th Place at WMMP



Photos by Norm Marx
RACE REPORT - Started 10th - Finished 5th
NORTH WOODSTOCK, N.H. -- Multi-time PASS North Series champion Ben Rowe posted a 5th-place finish in the PASS 150 at White Mountain Motorsports Park on Saturday, making him one of just three drivers to post a top-5 in each of the first two events of the season. Rowe started 10th at the track where he owns eight career wins, and he ran as high as third in the second half of the race.

BEN, YOU NEVER SEEMED TO HAVE THE CAR JUST THE WAY YOU WANTED IT.

Right from the drop of the green, we were just too tight on entry. We came here and tested and had a really good car -- thought we were going to be really good. Just as the track kept getting more and more rubber on it, it just kept getting tighter and tighter in the center.

IT'S A GOOD SIGN THAT THE TEAM IS DISAPPOINTED IN A 5TH-PLACE FINISH, THOUGH, ISN'T IT?

To be disappointed with a fifth coming out of here, it's because we have high expectations coming here. This is a place that I'm supposed to gain points on (race winner Johnny Clark), not lose them. But like I said, two top-5s (to start the season), we're happy. We'll figure out what happened and we'll go from there.

NEXT RACE: Saturday, June 12, PASS 200, Speedway 660, Fredericton, N.B.

Ben Rowe: White Mountain Motorsports Park Race Preview

4-time PASS North Series champion Ben Rowe of Turner, Maine, attempts to add to his decorated resume in the PASS 150 at White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, N.H., on Saturday night, May 22. Rowe owns a PASS-record 8 career victories on the high-banked quarter-mile and is the defending champion of this event. A recent test at the track with with his new team at Mulkern Racing suggested he's still one of the favorites at a track owned by the Avery family -- which, ironically, fields an ACT-legal Late Model in which Rowe races part-time.

BEST CAREER WMMP FINISH: 1st (8 times; most recently: May 2009)
LAST RACE AT WMMP: 2nd (September 2009)

PASS NORTH SERIES
LAST RACE: Saturday, May 1, PASS 150, Beech Ridge, Scarborough, Maine (3rd-place finish)
NEXT RACE: Saturday, June 12, Speedway 660, Fredericton, New Brunswick
POINTS POSITION: 1st


BEN, WHAT IS IT ABOUT WHITE MOUNTAIN THAT YOU LOVE SO MUCH?

I don't really know. The first time I ever was there, I thought I was flying around there and then my father went by me and I figured I was about 3-tenths of a second too slow. I just couldn't quite get it figured out, and then he got into my car and came back in and said, 'That's what it's supposed to feel like.' Ever since then, I've tried to have that feeling in the car.

I love the place. It's just a great place where you can actually race each other. There's plenty of room, there's two grooves, and you can pass people.

MOST PEOPLE DESCRIBE THE PLACE AS BEING VERY UNIQUE. DO YOU AGREE WITH THAT ASSESSMENT?

Yeah, I do. It's weird. The other quarter-miles we go to -- (Riverside Speedway) and All-Star Speedway -- they're tight and narrow. They don't suit me at all. I'm sure if you talk to Johnny (Clark), he loves those other places.

You always seem to find one of those places you do well at, and fortunately for me this has been one.

THIS IS THE FIRST TIME YOU'VE BEEN TO WHITE MOUNTAIN WITH SETH HOLBROOK AS YOUR CREW CHIEF. ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC?

Absolutely. We tested up there last Thursday with both cars, and we had a really good test. I can't wait to get back there for the race. I was so happy with everything, that I just can't wait for this weekend.

Me and Seth, we grew up racing with each other, so it wasn't like it was a matter of him and I getting along. (Tony Ricci) has been great to work with, too, and (car owner Scott Mulkern) gives you everything you need. We go to the race track, and we laugh and have a good time together. It's been a lot of fun with this team so far.

Saturday, May 1st, 2010
3rd for Ben and 20th for Scott
at the PASS North Opener
4-time PASS North Series champion Ben Rowe of Turner, Maine, finished 3rd in the season-opening PASS 150 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 1. He led on one occasion for a total of nine laps in the Mulkern Racing Community Pharmacies No. 48 Chevrolet, his PASS North debut with his new team and crew chief Seth Holbrook.

Team owner Scott Mulkern finished 20th in a second Mulkern Racing car, the #84, after spending much of the day trouble-shooting Ben's car. The #48 engine was randomly shutting completely off. Giving up his own practice sessions, Scott went through the fuel and electrical systems of the #48 to discover the cause(s). Only in the last tire scuff session did Ben realize that the motor died whenever he pushed the radio talk button. Tearing into the dash, Scott realized the radio controls were wired right next to the tachometer. Pushing the talk button caused the tach to shut off the ignition circuit. It was fixed just in time for the heat.

In his heat Scott was caught up in one of the multiple tangles with the pole car and finished out of the transfer spots. In his consi, the #84 had a great side-by-side battle with the #2 of eventual race winner Mike Rowe.

In the feature, Scott was running with a pack of cars heading for the top five when a spin without a yellow knocked Scott a lap down and out of a top ten finish.


BEN -
STARTED: 6th - FINISHED: 3rd - LED: 1 time for 9 laps

BEN, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON YOUR PASS NORTH DEBUT WITH MULKERN RACING?
Third-place with this team, like I said, I can't thank (car owners Scott and Vickie Mulkern) and Community Pharmacies enough, and all the people that's kind of behind me in this whole deal. It's a lot of fun, and I can't wait for White Mountain next.

WHAT WAS THEY KEY TO THE RACE FOR YOU?
I learned a lot from Adam (Bates). I kept going over to him and talking, and he just said, 'Don't get on the gas around here and ride.' I thought I was pretty good, and there was about 20 to go and I got pinched down behind that lapped car and they got away from me.
It's just too bad. I got on the bottom and couldn't get going.

SCOTT - FINISHED: 20th

CAR OWNER SCOTT MULKERN ON TEAM'S FINISH AT BEECH RIDGE:
I want to see Ben do good, and I just don't want to get in the way of that. We did all right. Ben finished third and I'm happy. We've got a little work to do to get him happy in that car, but we're gaining. I'm happy, for sure.

WHAT ABOUT YOUR RACE?
It was hot and cold. Everybody was in the same boat. The car wasn't that great, but it had its moments. I kind of like this track -- it's a fun track -- but you never know what you're going to get.

NEXT RACE: Saturday, May 22, PASS 150, White Mountain Motorsports Park, North Woodstock, N.H.
    RAINOUT
Speedway 95
Sun. 4/18
Race Previe
w
 
4-time PASS North Series champion Ben Rowe of Turner, Maine, opens the 2010 north season with the PASS 150 at Speedway 95 in Hermon, Maine, on Sunday, April 18. Rowe will make his PASS North debut with Mulkern Racing, where he signed to drive the No. 48 during the offseason. He is trying to become the first 5-time PASS North Series champion and first driver to reach 40 wins in PASS Super Late Model history.

WHO: Ben Rowe, Turner, Maine
TEAM: Mulkern Racing/Community Pharmacies No. 48
BEST CAREER SPEEDWAY 95 FINISH: 1st (August 2003)

WHAT: PASS North Series PASS 150
WHERE: Speedway 95, Hermon, Maine. (.333-mile oval)
WHEN: 1:30 p.m., Sunday, April 18

BEN, YOU'VE WON TWICE AT SPEEDWAY 95 IN THE PAST, BUT NOT SINCE 2003. WHAT'S THE SECRET THERE?


I've won there a few times, but I don't know how. It's just one of my tracks that I just dislike. It's just a tough track.

You can't really race the other competitors there, you just worry about not running off the race track. Once you get racing it's fun. Practice and the heats, the place is just tough. It's not bad once you get spread out in the race, because then you can go.

At the end there, it always comes down to who's on the outside. Guys on the inside can just run you off the race track, but it's hard to do. You just can't go on the bottom at all.

HOW EXCITED ARE YOU ABOUT GETTING TO WORK WITH NEW CREW CHIEF SETH HOLBROOK FOR THE FIRST TIME THIS WEEK?

I can't wait. Seth was really good there with Staples last year, and then they went and won at Beech Ridge the week after that. Hopefully he'll be good enough to make up for where I'm not as a driver.

IS THIS NO. 48 TEAM GOOD ENOUGH TO WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP IN 2010?

I think so. Right now, the cars I have been running (in PASS National Series races), are the older equipment that Scott's had. Now we've got all the eggs in one basket with a brand new car -- putting together everything that I've used and Seth's used in the past.

It's kind of foreign to (car owner Scott Mulkern), but if we can get together and have it 100 percent, don't see why we can't compete right out of the gate.
 
 
8th Place at the Easter Bunny 150
 - Persistence Pays Off
 
Easter Miracle For Ben Rowe at Hickory 
HICKORY, N.C. -- In his own words, it was a miraculous performance from Ben Rowe at Hickory Motor Speedway over the weekend..

"It was a long, long night," Rowe said after finishing eighth in the PASS Easter Bunny 150 on Saturday. "To come home where we did, it was a miracle. It really was.""

Rowe battled lost brakes, a flat tire and damage to the race car all night to charge from 28th starting position in the 32-car field and end up in the top-10 by the time the checkered flag fell in his No. 48 Community Pharmacies Chevrolet..

Rowe, the 2009 Easter Bunny 150 winner, knew that his team would be in for a battle even before qualifying began for the second event in the five-race 2010 PASS National Series..

"We time trialed horrible and had to take a provisional," Rowe said. "But we knew that would probably happen. We were just running a little crate engine..

"So we started at the back, and I think we were in every accident there was. We kept pitting and pitting, trying to make it better, and once we got all the way back up (to the front) but had a flat tire..

"It's just hard to come from the back with that crate engine there, because you get bogged down behind people and get stuck for a couple of laps.""

Getting stuck behind other cars -- both at speed and when they were spinning -- was a problem..

"It's just that kind of place," Rowe said. "Everybody was side by side all night, two by two. When a couple of leaders get tangled up, everybody just piles into them..

"Just to finish -- Johnny (Clark) and a lot of other good cars wrecked early or whatever -- so really just to finish was a good deal.""

Rowe did say that the race served a purpose for the team, though, as he continued to build the working relationship with team owner Scott Mulkern..

The Turner, Maine, driver signed with Mulkern Racing this offseason. Hickory marked just his second race with the team, which will open the PASS North Series season at Speedway 95 in Hermon, Maine, on April 18. They finished 14th in the Winterfest 150 at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway in January..

"It was good for me and Scott to be together, to get on the same page about what I need," Rowe said. "When I say we need a 'lot,' he doesn't always know how much a 'lot' is to me and vice versa. Any chance to get on the same page and get talking is good for us."

ROWE TAKING AN EASTER VACATION
FALMOUTH, Maine -- Ben Rowe decided Easter weekend was a perfect time to take a road trip.

Rowe will defend his 2009 Hickory Motor Speedway victory when he returns to North Carolina for the PASS Easter Bunny 150 at the storied track on April 3. The defending champion of both the PASS National Series and PASS South Series is the all-time winningest driver in PASS history with six total championships and 39 career victories.

The decision to participate in the second of five 2010 PASS National Series events was a last-minute one.

"Things have been kind of slow at work, and my father (inaugural PASS South Series champion Mike Rowe) decided we should go racing," Ben Rowe said. "I figured, 'Why not?' He kind of got the whole thing rolling."

One year ago, Rowe led the final 34 laps to claim the checkered flag in the Easter Bunny 150. Perhaps not coincidentally, both Rowes -- Ben and Mike -- are champions of the event.

I don't know what it is about that track," Ben Rowe said. "I just like it. I really don't know what it is. It's old and there's a lot of history there. The track (surface) is pretty worn out, so I think that brings the driver's ability into effect a little more.""

The Easter Bunny 150 marks Rowe's second start with Mulkern Racing, the team he signed with in the offseason. He led at the halfway mark of his first race with the team -- the Winterfest 150 at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway in January -- before being caught up in a pair of wrecks and finishing 14th.The Easter Bunny 150 marks Rowe's second start with Mulkern Racing, the team he signed with in the offseason. He led at the halfway mark of his first race with the team -- the Winterfest 150 at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway in January -- before being caught up in a pair of wrecks and finishing 14th.

Mulkern Racing will field a completely different car than it did at New Smyrna, bringing a Lefthander chassis with a crate engine to Hickory..

"Anytime we can get out and do this before we get our season started up here in the north, it's a good thing," said Rowe, of Turner, Maine. "Just getting a chance to be around the guys, work as a team and get to know each other better is only going to help us.""

The PASS North Series season begins April 18 at Speedway 95 in Hermon, Main
e.

After time-trialing in 7th and drawing the 8th starting spot, Ben ran in the top 3 to top 5,
taking the lead from Southern Star Jeff Choquette at one point. After the mid-point
mandatory caution for tire changes for all cars, the race fell into a series of cautions.

On lap 104, Ben wound up in the middle of a tangle in turn one, sitting on the hood
of the #08 of Joey Gase. With some quick tape work in the pits, Ben was back on
track. But at the restart, a tag in the right rear sent the #48 into the bottom wall
of turn one. With substantial damage the #48 returned to the pits behind a wrecker.
Ben was scored with a 14th place finish.
Florida Trip Brings Rowe,
Team Together
NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- Ben Rowe could have left Florida in a bad mood. Instead, he left encouraged.

A twice-wrecked race car during the 4-time PASS North Series champion’s first voyage with Mulkern Racing did cast a mild pall over the trip to New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway last week, but Rowe saw the silver lining.

"I’m really happy, and I can tell you I’m excited about the season," Rowe said after finishing 14th in the Winterfest 150, the first of five races in the PASS National Series for 2010. "We had a good run going, the entire team worked really hard and we’re going to be ready for the start (of the PASS North season)."

Rowe was fastest in the final practice, qualified eighth in the 22-car field and was the leader of the race at the halfway break -- all in his first race with his new team and in his first race at New Smyrna’s fast half-mile track.

He took the lead in the No. 48 Community Pharmacies Chevrolet on lap 65 and held it until a lap 76 restart.

Rowe, of Turner, Maine, watched as leaders Johnny Clark and Brad Leighton moved ahead early in the second half of the event, planning to let them burn through their equipment while waiting to make a late-race run for the lead. Instead, he was caught up in a wreck on lap 104 that was a harbinger of things to come.

Rowe saw Leighton wave his hand out the window to indicate he was slowing down for an apparent caution flag -- but as Rowe checked up, he was hit from behind and ended up in the turn one wall.

"It was just miscommunication between (Leighton) and his spotter," Rowe said, noting that the race director never called for a caution. "I talked to Brad after the race, and he felt bad. He thought he’d been told there was a caution out."

Just three laps later, after restarting at the rear of the field with what was largely cosmetic damage, Rowe was involved in a second incident -- this time a much harder hit into the frontstretch wall that ended the No. 48’s day.

"I was just racing with guys I should never have been back there racing with," Rowe said.

Still, after the disappointment of seeing a possible winning car sidelined, Rowe was excited.

"I was real happy," said the reigning PASS National and PASS South champion. "The entire team -- Tony Ricci, Scott Chubbuck, Mark Lyden, Shawn Plowman, every single one of the guys -- all worked their tails off… There wasn’t anything anyone could have done different, it was just one of those deals that happens.

"But I’m really, really looking forward to going to the track again with those guys."

When that will be exactly Rowe isn’t sure.

"There’s some things we want to do to the car," he said. "It was my first time in a Junior Hanley car. My first time with bump stops like that. Maybe we can get to another (National or South) race before the North season starts, but we’ll just have to see how much we can get done."  
A Big Thank You to the New Smyrna crew for their hard work and time:

- Tony Ricci (who worked especially hard to get the car together and fitted for Ben
 in the weeks prior to the  race given the "last minute" decision to go)

- Scott Chubbuck - Shawn Plowman - Mark Lyden

Thanks to John and Johnny Clark for transporting the race car

Thanks to Ben for making the trip and his effort, competitive spirit and commitment behind the wheel. We look forward to the upcoming season!

PRACTICE FOR THE PASS WINTERFEST 150
 NEW SMYRNA SPEEDWAY - 1/29/10
Multi-Time Champs Team Up For
PASS Winterfest National Race
 
FARMINGDALE, Maine -- With 10 championships between them, Maine racers Ben Rowe and Johnny Clark are teaming up for a winter road trip.

A long winter road trip -- to Florida.

Rowe, who has four PASS North Series championships as well as PASS South and PASS National championships on his resume, and Clark will field a joint effort for the inaugural PASS Winterfest 150 at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway on Jan. 29-30. The event is the first of five PASS National Championship races scheduled for the 2010 season.

"We wanted to go down and support this race, because we think it could grow into something really big in the future," said Clark, a four-time PASS North champion, including the last two series titles. "If everything goes well, we should both have a chance to win this one."

Clark's race hauler will carry both his familiar Clark's Car Crushing No. 54 and Rowe's new Community Pharmacies No. 48. The deal to pool the resources of Johnny Clark Motorsports and Mulkern Racing was finalized at last weekend's Northeast Motorsports Expo held at the Augusta Civic Center.

Rowe was named Touring Series Driver of the Year at the Expo.

"I think it's going to be a lot of fun," said Rowe, who will debut with his new team and new crew chief, Seth Holbrook, at New Smyrna. "Me and Johnny have never teamed up before, so it's going to be a blast."

Of the two drivers, only Clark has New Smyrna experience, having competed on multiple occasions in the annual New Smyrna World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing held each February.

He compared New Smyrna's high-banked half-mile layout to Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway, a track familiar to PASS North Series competitors.

"It's a lot like Thompson," Clark said. "It's big and fast, and it's definitely a fun and challenging track. It's extremely hard on brakes, and you need one of the biggest motors you can find there."

Rowe said he'll take Clark's word for it, having never raced at New Smyrna himself. He has, however, watched a number of races there from the pit area.

"It does race a lot like Thompson -- at least that's what Johnny tells me," Rowe said. "Hopefully he'll help me out when we get there and we can go from there.

"We're going to take a bunch of guys from the north down there and see what we can do together."

Teams hit the track on Friday, Jan. 29 for an extended practice session. Qualifying and feature racing will be held on Saturday, Jan. 30. The Winterfest 150 is tentatively scheduled for a 7:30 PM green flag.
 
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