Scarborough, Maine — Travis Benjamin was smiling on the podium following his triumph in the Southern Maine Chrysler Dodge Jeep 150 Pro All Stars Series Super Late Model race at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough Saturday.
Benjamin, of Morrill, could not even force a smile the last time he was a top-three finisher driving the Huot’s Restaurant / 99 Restaurants Petit Motorsports 7, after finishing behind Wayne Helliwell after leading the most laps in last month’s HP Hood Oxford 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway.
On this day it was Benjamin who prevailed, with only DJ Shaw of Center Conway, New Hampshire able to keep the eventual winner honest while driving his Precision JLM 60. Shaw’s runner-up finish certainly did no damage to his perch atop the Pro All Stars Series Super Late Model Championship standings.
Curtis Gerry of Waterboro, who recently wrapped up his first NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Pro Series title at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, earned an impressive third-place finish against the touring series invaders. Jeff Taylor was a frontrunner all day long and was in fourth position when the checkered flag flew.
Ben Rowe of Turner, a four-time PASS Super Late Model champion, rounded out the top five, but clearly he was one of the afternoon’s outstanding performers. Rowe started 29th after technical inspection issue in qualifying, later needing to bounce back from multiple altercations to earn his fifth-place finish. Rowe clearly passed more cars than any of his rivals to earn his place in the finishing order.
Cassius Clark of Farmington dominated the early stages of the 150-lapper aboard Rollie MacDonald’s King Racing 13, winning the reprised battle of the Clarks, with six-time series titlist Johnny Clark of Farmingdale chasing Cassius under the checkered flag. Scott Robbins of Dixfield, Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. of Hudson, New Hampshire and Manchester’s Reid Lanpher rounded out the top ten.
Nick Sweet of Barre, Vermont dominated the American-Canadian Tour 150-lapper, winning by over 11 seconds in a race that went the final 109 laps caution-free. Sweet, holding a narrow lead in the championship standings for the Late Model touring series, outgunned his chief points rivals early and often aboard the Eric Chase 40.
Eddie MacDonald of Rowley, Massachusetts and Milton, Vermont’s Scott Payea swapped the early lead before Sweet took command ten laps before the halfway point. MacDonald was the runner-up when the checkered flag waved, with 13th-place starter Jason Corliss of Barre, Vermont earning his third-place trophy after a spirited drive aboard the Burnett Scrap Metals car.
Dillon Moltz of Waterford, Connecticut and Hinesburg, Vermont’s Bobby Therrien rounded out the top five. North Haverhill, New Hampshire’s Ryan Olsen was the only other finisher on the lead lap.
Massachusetts competitors Anthony Nocella of Woburn and Jon McKennedy of Chelmsford shared the spotlight, each posting a 50-lap triumph in Valenti Modified Racing Series action. Nocella clearly had the best night amongst VMRS competitors, earning runner-up honors to McKennedy in the second race after acing the opener.
Richard Savary of Canton, Massachusetts led a good chunk of the first race before Nocella took over. Savary and Todd Annarummo of Swansea, Massachusetts picked up the non-winner’s hardware in victory lane, with the top five filled out by Woody Pitkat of Sturbridge, Massachusetts and McKennedy.
McKennedy appeared to have the dominant card in the second 50-lapper, outrunning Nocella to victory lane. Annarummo finished third to join only Nocella in the two-trophy club on this night. Connecticut’s Les Hinkley and New Hampshire’s Donnie Lashua rounded out the top five.
Andy Shaw of Center Conway, New Hampshire ended a recent dry spell with an impressive score in a 40-lap race for PASS Modifieds. Shaw cranked it up in the outside groove once a long logjam allowed an attempt and chased down Bruce Helmuth, who had built a good lead in the opening laps.
Helmuth, of Wales, chased Shaw until the checkered flag waved, claiming runner-up honors, denied his first series victory by the six-time PASS Mod champ. Dana Reed of Shapleigh picked up the third-place trophy. New Gloucester racers Ron Henry and Ben Tinker rounded out the top five.
Windham’s Clyde Hennessey, Jr. prevailed in a 50-lap special event for local Sport Series cars. Hennessey was chased under the checkered flag by Buxton’s Frank Wear, who recently wrapped up his first NASCAR championship at the historic Scarborough oval.
Hennessey and Wear were joined on the podium by Richard ‘Bubba’ Pelton, about as local as a Beech Ridge legend can be. Chad Munro of North Waterboro and Buxton’s Mike St.Pierre ended up with top-five finishes courtesy of an extended battle between Matt Dow and Sally Gherardi that didn’t end well for either racer.
The Pro All Stars Series North Super Late Models next see action in a Saturday, September 24 event at White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, New Hampshire. For more information visit proallstarsseries.com or call (207) 539-8865.
-Pro All Stars Series Press Release
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com