For many Super Late Model racers, Sunday's Pro All Stars Series (PASS) race at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME) is just another race on the 2017 schedule. It serves as a chance to win, a chance to run well and a chance to prove themselves against the best Super Late Model drivers in the Northeast. But for series veteran Ben Rowe, the 150-lap race will serve as a special milestone.
When he climbs aboard the Richard Moody Racing No. 4 on Sunday in Scarborough, Maine, Rowe will be making his 300th career PASS start.
Since the inception of PASS, Rowe has not missed a single PASS North points-paying race. Rowe’s 299 prior starts have come in PASS North, PASS South and PASS National standalone and non-points events.
“The first thing I think about when you tell me that is I’m old,” the 42-year-old Turner, Maine driver joked. “I love short track racing in the Pro Stocks. Thinking about 300 starts just makes me think about all the fun we have had.”
Rowe has nine career PASS titles to his credit. Four in the north, fourth on the national tour and one down south. Along the way, he has amassed 50 wins on 22 different tracks.
“I did the K&N East deal several years ago and it just was not my thing,” Rowe said. “We went back Late Model racing and have been having fun ever since.”
Rowe drove for Tom Estes for several years before getting teamed up with Richard Moody and long-time sponsor Hancock Lumber. Since then they have won several races and championships.
“Moody and all the guys that work on this car have been awesome. This year has been tough as we were leading the points four weeks ago and now we just can’t shake the bad luck,” Rowe explained. “We can’t worry about that. All we want to do is win some races before the season is over. White Mountain is coming up and that’s one of my favorite tracks.”
Rowe also plans to enter more races this year down south after the north schedule comes to a close.
“I love the opportunities that Tom (Mayberry) has given us in the PASS series,” Rowe added. “Getting to run down south is a lot of fun. Years ago we would get killed down there and now I feel we have a level playing field. I am really looking froward to the big Hickory race at the end of the year. Three-hundred laps should be a lot of fun.”
With all of his accomplishments, there are still some goals that Rowe is chasing.
“I have never won at Thunder Road,” Rowe stated. “I know we have only been running there for a few years, but I want to get a win there.”
When asked about how long he would race Rowe said until it was no longer fun. His dad is 67 and just finished fifth in the Oxford 250.
“As far as I am concerned, my old man is the best,” Rowe said. “If you give him a piece he’s going to make it work. He’s got more laps at Oxford than most people race in a lifetime. I hope I can have fun as long as he has raced.”
If Rowe is able to have fun as long as his father has, it's not unrealistic to think that he may some day hit the 400, or even 500-race mark with PASS.
-By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent - Twitter: @ElginTraylor
-Photo credit: Speed51.com / MoJo Photos