Cassius Clark has been a household name in Super Late Model racing for many years now. The Farmingdale, Maine native has visited victory lane in the Northeast, Southeast and Canada, but none of his prior wins come close to matching the paycheck he received Sunday evening at Speedway 660 in Geary, New Brunswick.
Driving the King Racing No. 13, Clark started from the pole position and led all but four laps of the Irving Blending & Packaging 250 to earn a race-record $30,100.
“It makes a lot of people happy,” Clark told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “Obviously the money is good for everybody for sure. It also got me a ticket to go to Beech Ridge for the PASS 300, so that’s cool. The King Racing guys are obviously pumped up and we’ve got some good things going. We’ve run four races with them so far and we have two wins, a second and disappointing sixth at the 250 at Oxford. Things are going well and we’re really looking forward to the next one.”
Throughout Sunday’s 250-lap event, Clark had to fend off multiple challenges from other former PASS North champions such as Travis Benjamin, DJ Shaw and Johnny Clark. While leading near the lap 160 mark, the team made the decision to make their pit stop and that turned out to be a pivotal moment.
“The car was flawless and we decided to pit around lap 160,” Clark explained. “We gave the lead up there and had a great pit stop. They put us back out front of the other cars that came in the pits behind us. It was a pivotal point in the race where I got a bottom lane there.
“Three or four laps after we pitted there was a giant wreck that wiped out pretty much half of the field or more. I was lucky enough to squeak through there and (crew chief) Andrew (Hicken) was spotting for me and said, ‘Big wreck in turn one.’ The red flag came out and I looked in my rear view mirror and Johnny Clark was the only one behind me. We escaped that and that was probably the turning point in the race.”
Johnny Clark would end up finishing the race in the runner-up spot with Craig Slaunwhite, Greg Fahey and Austin Theriault rounding out the top-five.
Since mutually parting ways with the Hight Motorsports team that Clark won the 2013 PASS North championship with, the 33-year-old driver has been on fire with the King Racing team owned by Rollie and Judy MacDonald.
The team purchased a brand new LFR chassis for the season and so far Clark is very impressed with the success they’re having.
“The LFR Chassis, it’s the first time I’ve jumped into that and I’m really impressed with that,” said Clark. “They have a lot of good things going for them I think.”
Another huge factor in the team’s success is the chemistry between Clark and his crew chief Andrew Hicken, who Clark also refers to as his best friend. The two first met while working out of the same race shop in North Carolina and ever since they’ve been a force to be reckoned with anytime they team up.
“Funny story, him and I ended up going to North Carolina at the same time and didn’t know each other,” Clark stated. “We ended up in the same shop and he was helping me out after hours working on a car I was racing for those guys down there. He helped me turn that one into a fast machine when we were down south.
“He called me up a couple years ago and he relocated back up in Canada. Ever since we’ve been hooked up I think this is our fifth 250 that we’ve won in Canada together, all big races. The chemistry is really, really good and we have a good working relationship. Obviously Rollie and Judy MacDonald finance the deal there and give us everything we need and more.”
Picking up the big paycheck at Speedway 660 will also help Clark stay in the ride for a few additional races this season. The team has already made plans to compete in the PASS 300 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME) in two weeks. From there, there’s also a possibility that they may head south for a few big races if all goes well.
“I think we’re going to run that one (PASS 300) and they’ve got some stuff in Canada that maybe we can do,” Clark said. “We’re talking about heading south for one or two races later in the year when things wind down up here.
“We’ll see how we make out there and if we keep winning I think they’ll keep letting us race. Hopefully we can keep that up.”
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speedway 660