(May 30, 2017) The Pro All Star Series is coming our way this Saturday. The PASS 150 is a wicked way to start our traditional summer night racing schedule after a couple of early season Sunday afternoon events. It’s been awhile since the all-stars have been to Atlantic Canada and we’re sure glad to have them back.
Early June, 2014 was the last time the Pro All Star Series drivers invaded the Geary Woods and what a show they gave our fans. I remember it like it was yesterday and that particular PASS race is one of my all-time favourite Speedway 660 events.
Heading into that race D.J. Shaw had won three straight Super Late Model races and had hoped to make history by winning four PASS North races in a row. But when the checkers flew, at the end of 150 laps, it was Johnny Clark who got to victory lane holding off Shaw and Joey Doiron. Clark’s win was his first on the PASS tour in two years, but fourth straight at Speedway 660. You’ll remember he won the PASS races here in 2010, 11 & 12. (Note: The PASS race scheduled for here in 2013 was rained out and could not be rescheduled)Johnny Clark (#54) and D.J. Shaw gave our fans an incredible show in the final laps of the 2014 PASS North 150. It was a classic confrontation between two of North America’s top Super Late Model drivers.
Clark started up front and gave up the lead to three different drivers, during the race, but always bounced back to the top of the leader board. First Martin Latulippe got around Clark, then later Glen Luce passed him and with less than 40 laps to go Joey Doiron got the better of Clark’s 54. But when all was said and done Johnny got the job done.
“This is my favourite track, I just love coming up here and this win is exactly what this race team needed, I don’t think we had the best car tonight but we got the win” Clark said from the Riverview Ford Victory Lane.Johnny Clark and his incredible race team rolled to victory the last time the Pro All Star Series drivers came to Speedway 660. Clark, who won the 2010, 11, 12 and 14 PASS races here, will likely be a strong contender again this Saturday night.
Doiron was really disappointed because after passing Johnny for the lead a late caution killed his chances because Clark restarted on the high groove, pinned Joey down low through turns one and two before grabbing the lead on the backstretch. Shaw then took second from Doiron and battled Clark for the win. D.J was also obviously disappointed for not making it four wins in a row.Johnny Clark (center) D.J. Shaw (right) and Joey Doiron (left) were on the podium the last time the Pro All Star Series drivers came to 660. Come on down this Saturday night for another great PASS race.
Twenty-one cars took the green flag three years ago to start the last PASS race here, including some of Speedway 660’s home grown talent. Matt Harris, Cole Boudreau and Sarah McKay finished 9th, 10th and 11th while Dustin Tucker drove home 15th, Kevin Moore finished 17th and Matt Matheson was 20th.Matt Matheson, a former Speedway 660 Street Stock stand-out, ended up on his roof in the 2014 PASS race here. Matt, who ran on the Pro All Star Series for two or three years, stopped driving race cars after suffering a serious concussion. He’s now crew chief with Richard Atkinson’s Sportsman team.
Fast forward to 2017, the Pro All Star Series drivers are headed back our way and like all fans, I can’t wait to see them roll out on the track! Let’s remember that Johnny Clark’s PASS winning streak at Speedway 660 is still intact, until at least Saturday night. Clark, who is in the top 5 in PASS North points, would love another Geary Woods win.
Ben Rowe, who we know well, because of his PASS exploits and exciting runs for “Hurricane” Hal O’Neal’s race team at SpeedWeekend, is having another banner season. Travis Benjamin and D.J. Shaw are a couple of others who could win this weekend. Ben Rowe loves coming to Speedway 660. He knows how to get around the track here and has had some podium finishes during PASS races and the McLaughlin Roof Trusses 250.
Our PASS 150 will have some local content too, which always makes things interesting and exciting. I expect to see Greg Fahey, Matt Harris, Dave O’Blenis, Sarah McKay and her Dad Andrew, Brent Roy, Kevin Moore and Matt Rodgers in the lineup. And it wouldn’t surprise me a whole lot to see a couple of other drivers come out to play.Greg Fahey’s Patterson Toyota could be a factor in the PASS 150. Greg, who has four Re/Max Group Four Realty Pro Stock championships to his credit, would love to win on Saturday night and qualify for the Oxford 250.
I’m not sure how many of the Maritime tour teams will come our way this weekend for the race. But Dylan Gosbee, who won our 50 lap feature last week, is coming and I expect Cassius Clark , maybe Cole Butcher and another driver or two to slide up here for the Pro All Star Series event. After all if you want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best!
One thing to note, originally this race was to be a 200 lapper, but after PASS and Speedway 660 officials put their heads together, they decided to make it 150 laps. That will obviously reduce expenses for the race teams, because they’ll require two less tires and with the long haul for many teams, it’ll already be a costly weekend.Cassius Clark (no relation to Johnny) knows a thing or two about winning big races at Speedway 660. Cassius, who has two McLaughlin Roof Trusses 250 wins under his belt, would like to use that experience to win the PASS race this weekend.
Don’t lose sight of the fact that the top three Americans and top three Canadians, in Saturday’s race, earn provisional starting positions in the 44th annual Oxford 250! That’s a big deal because, more often than not, 70 plus cars invade Oxford Plains Speedway, down in Maine, in an effort to qualify for their big 250.(left to right) D.J. Shaw, Wayne Helliwell Jr. and Travis Benjamin were on the podium in last year’s Oxford 250.
Saturday’s PASS 150 ranks right up there with SpeedWeekend and the McLaughlin Roof Trusses 250. It’s one of those weeks where you count down the days before heading to Speedway 660 on raceday. It’s a must see event on our 2017 racing calendar and if you like world-class short-track stock car racing, the Geary Woods is the place to be this coming weekend.
We’ll see you at the races!