FALMOUTH, Maine -- Championship-caliber equipment now has a championship-caliber driver to call its own. A 4-time championship driver, that is.
Mulkern Racing LLC has announced Ben Rowe, the all-time winningest driver in PASS history, will drive the Community Pharmacies No. 48 full-time on the PASS North Series in 2010. With team owner Scott Mulkern, Rowe will attempt to win a record fifth PASS North title.
"It's exciting for me all over again. Anytime you start something new, it's pretty exciting to me," said Rowe, who has 39 career combined victories in PASS North and PASS South and is coming off a season in which he won both the PASS South and PASS National championships in 2009.
"Scott's just a great guy to be around, and he knows what it takes to win."
Rowe will debut with Mulkern Racing this weekend at the Northeast Motorsports Expo at the Augusta Civic Center, where he will sign autographs both Friday night and Saturday afternoon.
Mulkern is no stranger to victory lane himself, with three career wins in PASS-sanctioned events and 19 career top-5 finishes in PASS North. He's competed part-time as a driver with his own team over the last few seasons, but this year has made the commitment to a full-time operation as an owner with his wife, Vickie.
"The real focus for us now is on Ben and trying to win a championship for Ben in PASS North," Mulkern said.
Accomplished crew chief Seth Holbrook, who has ties to both Kyle Busch Motorsports and veteran New England racers like Mike Rowe, Joey Laquerre and Tim Brackett, has been hired by Mulkern to lead the No. 48 team. Tony Ricci works full-time at the Mulkern Racing shop preparing and maintaining the team's cars.
Already, Rowe said he believes the new No. 48 is capable of contending for the PASS North title.
" I think we can go to (Speedway 95) and win the first race of the year," Rowe said of the April 18 season opener in Hermon, Maine. "Scott wants to do it, and he wants to do it right. He wants to go for the North championship, and it gets him all pumped up talking about it.
"Seeing him get so pumped up gets me wound up to get going again, too, so it's good for me. I think it's going to be a fun year."
Mulkern said the team is concentrating on racing here in the North Series, with an eye on a possible race or two in PASS South.
"We may do some," said Mulkern, who also plans to run a couple of PASS North races himself in a team car. "If everything goes well, we might run a race down south early before the North season starts."
Mulkern Racing has four cars, including a Lefthander Chassis, two Junior Hanley-prepared cars and a new Howe chassis from Distance Racing. The team will use both Chevrolet engines prepared by Butler-MacMaster Automotive and Dodge engines from Performance Automotive Machine.
(Photo by Justin St. Louis/VMM)