Archive for September, 2001

Nason Wins PASS Finale at Star; Sessions is Inaugural Champion

Tenth Race-September 29th at Star Speedway

EPPING, NH — Racin’ Ralph Nason battled back from two spins to claim his first Pro All Stars Series victory Sept 30th at Star Speedway. The Maine racing legend took the lead from Kenny Wright on lap 128 and fended off Wright’s challenges over the final 22 laps to win the 2001 PASS season finale. Scott Chubbuck came home third in the nose–to-tail duel with Johnny Clark fourth and early leader Louis Mechalides fifth.

Sam Sessions’ sixth place finish locked up The Pro All Stars Series Championship, but his run to the crown was far from easy as title contenders Ben Rowe and Mechalides were both strong. Rowe earned the number one starting spot by virtue of his Pole Dash win, while Mechalides made his own statement in Sunoco Race Fuel time trials by beating out 42 other competitors to earn the fast time award with a lap of 13.149 seconds.

Rowe and PASS newcomer/Star veteran Babe Branscombe brought the field to the green and Rowe maintained the top spot until a lap 14 caution when his transmission gave up the ghost and sent the Mechanical Services/Hi-Tech Insulation Monte Carlo to the pit area for the night. Branscombe inherited the top spot but Mechalides was now up to second and ready to challenge. Mechalides made his move on lap 28 and was able to maintain the top spot for the next 76 circuits. Kenny Wright had been making steady progress through the field and challenged Mechalides on lap 104, taking away the lead.

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It’s Rowe at White Mountain

Ninth Race-September 15th at WMMP

N. WOODSTOCK, NH — Ben Rowe survived a lap 107 skirmish with lapped traffic and fended off challenges from Ralph Nason and Jeff Taylor to win Saturday nights’ PASS 150 presented by Kawasaki –Yamaha of Laconia at White Mountain Motorsports Park. The Turner Maine Pro Stock ace notched his sixth Pro All Stars victory of the season and tightened the PASS championship standings even further.

Larry Gelinas topped the 34-car field in time trials with a lap of 12.125 seconds, beating out Rowe for the Sunoco Race Fuel fast time award by five one-thousandths of a second. Wayne Helliwell Jr. was third fastest in Carleton Robie’s 24 with Jeff Taylor fourth and Kenny Wright’s Newmarket Sand and Gravel Machine fifth. The Pole Dash redraw saw Taylor grab the lucky number one PASS flag and he took advantage of the draw to wire the dash and earn the number one staring position. Rowe raced up from sixth to claim the second spot, followed by Scott Chubbuck, Nason, Steve Knowlton, Wright, Louie Mechalides, Gelinas, Pat Patten and Helliwell Jr.

It was Taylor and Rowe leading the field to the green for the 150-lap feature and Rowe wasted little time going to the point. A lap 24 spin by Tim Brackett and Mike Parks allowed Nason to slip by both Rowe and Taylor and take away the lead but Rowe quickly powered by Nason on the restart to reclaim the top spot. Scott Chubbuck was showing some strength early on, moving up to second when the caution flew for Mike Maietta’s contact with the turn one wall. Rowe took command on the restart and built up a straightaway lead during a 67 lap green flag stretch, but the battles for position continued throughout the field as Nason and Taylor moved around Chubbuck for second and third spots and the 88x of Steve Knowlton raced back into the top five after an early trip to the pits.

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Rowe Number One at Scotia

Eighth Race-September 8th at Scotia Speedworld

HARDWOOD LANDS, NS — Turner, Maine’s Ben Rowe took advantage of a lap 44 restart to wrestle the lead away from Louie Mechalides and earn his fifth Pro All Stars Series victory of the international Pro Stock tour’s inaugural season.

The driver of the Mechanical Services/Hi-Tech insulation Monte Carlo bested 23 other time trailers to earn the Sunoco Race Fuel fast time award, but started the C&R Auto Supply 150 in the third spot after finishing behind Mechalides and series point leader Sam Sessions in the Pole Dash.

Although Mechalides mounted several challenges, Rowe maintained the advantage and came home with a five-car length victory over Mechalides, Dave Gorveatt, Gary Smith and Sam Sessions. Larry Gelinas survived a late race spin to finish sixth. John Flemming, Shawn Tucker, Patrick Thibodeau and Northern Race Tires Rookie of the Race Richie Dearborn rounded out the top ten.

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Rowe Earns PASS Win at Speedway 95

Seventh Race-September 2nd at Speedway 95

HERMON, ME — Turner Maine’s Ben Rowe took advantage of lapped traffic to slip by Chuck LaChance and held off repeated challenges from LaChance and eventual runner-up Louie Mechalides to score a 5 car-length victory in the Pro All Stars 150 at Speedway 95. The win gave Rowe a sweep of the two PASS appearances at the Hermon, Maine oval and his fourth trip to PASS victory lane in 2001.

Pro All Stars points leader Sam Sessions topped 35 other time trialers to earn his first Sunoco Race Fuel Fast Time Award with a lap of 14.674 second, 25 thousandths of a second quicker than Larry Gelinas. The luck of the draw gave PASS newcomer Kirk Thibeau the number one spot for the Pole Dash and Thibeau took advantage, winning the 10-car shoot-out over Scott Chubbuck, Mechalides, Rowe and Sessions.

When the green flew for the 150 green flag lap feature, Thibeau took command but soon gave way to a charging Louie Mechalides. Mechalides held the point throughout a long stretch of green flag racing, with Thibeau and Scott Chubbuck in hot pursuit. Racin’ Ralph Nason put on a passing clinic in the race’s early stages, charging up from the 13th starting position to run second when the caution flew on lap 38. On the restart, moisture laid down on the backstretch sent Nason, Thibeau and Larry Gelinas spinning; all three had to restart at the tail end of the line-up. Rowe avoided the mess to move up to the second spot and took advantage of Speedway 95’s high line to power by Mechalides for the lead. Chuck LaChance also made a move on Mechalides to take over the second spot. A third turn pile-up sent Dave Avery, Phippen, and Scott Modery to the pits and set the stage for LaChance to challenge Rowe for the point. LaChance made the outside pole work to his advantage and took the lead away from Rowe, while Nason’s charge from the back ended when he failed to come back up to speed on the restart. At the halfway point LaChance held the advantage over Rowe, Chubbuck, Mechalides, Bub Bilodeau, Dave Gorveatt, Duane Seekins and Aaron St. Peter.

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September 2001
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