GEARY, New Brunswick – Johnny Clark of Hallowell, Maine, returned to a familiar place on Saturday night — Victory Lane at Speedway 660 in Geary, New Brunswick.
Clark took the lead for good on a Lap 124 restart and then held on to win the PASS North Series 150, his first win of the 2014 season. It was Clark’s fourth consecutive PASS victory at the .333-mile oval and his fifth in his last six starts there.
“It’s the best combination we’ve had this year, in terms of how the car was and the way the race played out,” said Clark, who is also a two-time winner of the Auto Value 250 at Speedway 660. “With the car handling like it was, it was really good on the outside. It’s definitely a two-groove race track, and we were lined up on the outside with 26 laps to go. We got out front, and the other guys tried and tried to get under me and couldn’t get it done.
“It may not have been the best car I’ve had all year, but it was good enough to win.”
The victory snapped a nearly two-year winless drought for Clark, the longest of his PASS career. Now, though, the No. 54 Clark’s WESTSIDE/Butler MacMaster Performance Engines Chevrolet has two runner-up finishes and a victory in the last three series races.
He believes it’s only the beginning as he makes his claim on a record seventh series championship.
“That’s the thing about it — it’s been a solid year for us since we’d even had a Top-3 finish, and now we’ve gone second-second-first in our last three races,” Clark said. “This is what we needed. Everybody’s been really working hard in the shop and at the track, and to see it all pay off is what we needed to keep firing forward.
“Sometimes it’s hard when you’re putting everything into it and not seeing the results. But the way we’ve been running the last few weeks, and getting a win, it makes you want to start working harder and take it to another level.”
Clark started fourth before winning his qualifying race to earn the pole position for the 150-lap event. He rode comfortably inside the Top-2 throughout the feature, patiently waiting to capitalize in the late stages of the race.
That opportunity came on the race’s final restart with 26 laps remaining.
“Honestly, you probably do get to save your stuff a little more when you’re running at the front,” Clark said. “You only have to go as fast as the guy behind you. I really saved a lot for the end, and I had enough when I needed it. I ran the 25 hardest laps I’d run all night for those last 25 laps.”
With a win and five Top-5 finishes in six races this season — and no finish of worse than sixth — Clark has closed the gap to just a handful of points on the lead atop the standings.
The PASS North Series is off until June 28, when it invades Autodrome Montmagny in Montmagny, Quebec, for a 150-lap event on the quarter-mile.
Find out more about Johnny Clark by visiting JohnnyClarkMotorsports.com.
-Johnny Clark Motorsports Press Release. Photo Credit: Lindsay Ellison Photography