Two years removed from winning his first career Pro All Stars Series (PASS) North championship, Farmington, Maine’s Cassius Clark is now without a ride on the popular Super Late Model touring series. Clark, who sat third in the PASS North championship standing heading into Sunday’s race at Airborne Park Speedway (NY), was absent from the event after a mutual decision to part ways with the No. 77 Hight Motorsports team.
“We had an agreement after Beech Ridge and things weren’t working out just the way we wanted,” Clark told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “There are no hard feelings. They’re spending a lot of money and it just wasn’t working out great for either one of us. We made a mutual decision and everything is all good.”
Entering the 2015 season, the Hight Motorsports team rolled out a brand new race car in hopes of once again contending for a championship. The cost of that car, combined with the day-to-day expenses of operating a competitive Super Late Model team, did not correlate with the team’s results early on in the season. That fact alone made everyone on the team, including Clark, frustrated.
At that point, 10 races into the season, both parties decided that the best option was to part ways and stay on good terms.
“The amount of money that they’re spending on the team there is ungodly,” Clark explained. “They’ve put a lot into it. After last year they had to buy a brand new car and then everything else that they have to buy. I feel bad, too. Spending that amount of money they should definitely be running top-five, top-three and winning races.
“Nobody is going to be pumped or anything if you’re not running well especially with the amount of money and effort being put into it. I’m not saying that it’s a lack of effort on anybody’s part or anything like that. The circumstances just didn’t seem to work out.”
Following the split with Hight, it didn’t take Clark long to make preliminary plans to stay active behind the wheel of a Super Late Model. He has partnered up with car owner Rollie MacDonald to drive the No. 13 in this Saturday’s Best of the Best Pro Stock 150 north of the border at Speedway 660 in New Brunswick.
Clark piloted MacDonald’s No. 13 to wins in both the Atlantic Cat 250 at Scotia Speedworld (NS) and Auto Value 250 at Speedway 660 during the 2012 season.
He’s hoping to quickly get back to that type of success by securing a top-two finish in Saturday’s race, as that would give him a guaranteed starting spot in the Irving Oil Blending & Packaging 250 at the beginning of September.
“I’ve been talking to a few different people, but the main goal is always your next race. My next race is this Saturday night in New Brunswick and I’m looking to put that number-13 car back in victory lane,” Clark said. “They’ve got a new LFR chassis and Jeff Fultz went up and raced it there last weekend. He had a good run going before running into some trouble and ending up fourth at the end of the night. I’m really looking forward to going to do that.
“We’ve had some success with that team in the past. We’ve won a couple of 250s with it, the CAT 250 and the Auto Value 250, a couple years back. The schedule freed up so I’m more available to do that kind of stuff with them. If anything happens down the road, I’m available to race for them if they want to do something on this side of the border, too.”
Being without a full-time ride on the Pro All Stars Series circuit is disappointing to Clark, but it’s something that he’s been through before. Prior to securing the ride in the Hight Motorsports No. 77 near the end of the 2011 season, Clark only competed in two of the previous 11 events that season.
“I’ve been through this before so it’s nothing new for me,” Clark stated. “You hate sitting at home. Racing has been part of my life for a long time, so it definitely sucks not being able to do it for sure. I’m not giving up racing or anything like that by any means. I don’t have a bunch of money, so I don’t have my own car and I’m at the mercy of who I can convince to let me jump in the thing.
“I guess I was good enough to convince them to let me drive it this weekend for them, so we’ll go from there and see where we end up.”
Clark is currently searching for opportunities to run more races stateside and hopes that in the long-term that the split may be a good thing for all parties involved.
“In the long run it might be good. Maybe they’ll get someone to run PASS full-time and I’ll be able to find something to run PASS so we’ll gain another team out of the deal. It may not be a bad thing in the long run.”
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Lindsay Ellison Photography