This weekend at Autodrome Chaudiere, the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) North will run it’s 200th event, counting both points events and non-point special shows. Since 2003, PASS North has been the home for Super Late Model racing in New England and it’s going strong a dozen or so year later. Here is a look back at some of the bigger moments in PASS history.
WHERE IT ALL STARTED: Things got started at Lee USA Speedway (NH) back in 2001. Dale Shaw won the first race of the season as 47 cars showed up for the first race. Also Ben Rowe raced that day and he’s run every single PASS North race, points or non-points since.
WHAT’S UP DAWG?: Still one of the richest Short Track Races to ever take place in the country. The $100,000 Big Dawg Challenge at Wiscasset Speedway (ME) in 2003 was a success before the pipeline of North vs. South racing. Sam Sessions won the race after holding off Canadian Dave Gorvett.
THE CENTURY MARK: Looking back to see who took the honors in the 100th PASS North event, we find that Richie Dearborn won the event at Speedway 95 in Hermon, Maine back in 2007. This was the third of Dearborn’s five wins which came at three different tracks.
WINNERS: 43 Different drivers have won in PASS North competition over the years. From Ben Rowe, to Kyle Busch, to Ted Christopher and Ross Kenseth, the list is long and full of great drivers.
TOP DOG: An augment can be made for who the best PASS North driver is since the inception of the series in 2001. Ben Rowe has 38 wins and four titles while Johnny Clark has 34 wins and six championships. Mike Rowe is third with 20 wins, but he has yet to win a championship.
BEST BACKDROP: Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME) has transformed into the home of the series and has produced 15 different winners in 26 races.
White Mountain Motorsports Park has hosted the most events with 30 races. Ben Rowe has nine wins at the venue.
HISTORY IN THE MAKING: Later this season PASS will add Thunder Road Speedbowl (VT) and Airborne Park Speedway (NY) to the list of tracks that the series has visited. After these two are added, the total number of tracks visited since 2001 will be at 24.
CLASSIC: This writer’s favorite moment in PASS North history came at Unity Raceway (ME) in 2005. Veterans Mike Rowe and Ralph Nason battled door-to-door, lap after lap swapping the lead four times among each other. They played restart games and ran each other wide, and got warned from the flag stand twice, but finished one-two with Rowe topping track owner Nason at the venue had dominated at so much.
After the race the two cross-state rivals shared a laugh during a TV interview each jokingly blaming each other and talking about who was over the hill. Three weeks later Mike Rowe won his third Oxford 250 to cap off the month.
THREE IS A MAGIC NUMBER: When you look at the history of the Pro All Star Series, you see success has followed so many drivers. However, no one has ever won more than three races in a row up north. That really shows the depth of talent. Ben Rowe, Sam Sessions, Cassius Clark, Johnny Clark, and DJ Shaw have all won three in a row. Ben Rowe has actually done it four times and Johnny Clark has done it twice. But no driver has ever been able to take the checkered flag in four straight races.
-By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Correspondent – Twitter: @ElginTraylor
-Photo credit: Norm Marx