Thursday, January 14, 2010

PASS Champions Rowe, Clark Team Up for National Race

(From team press release)

FARMINGDALE, Me. -- 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 p.m. green flag.

(PHOTO: Ben Rowe (left) and Johnny Clark at the Northeast Motorsports Expo; photo)

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