One does not simply obtain a nickname including the word “legend” easily. To earn that moniker you need to be a winner, a champion and you need to be respected by your peers. On Sunday afternoon at Speedway 95 in Hermon, Maine, “The Maine Racing Legend” Mike Rowe showed the great crowd on hand at the 1/3-mile Maine oval exactly why he’s earned that nickname.
Rowe of Turner, Maine took the lead from DJ Shaw on lap 39 and held off a strong charge from Cassius Clark in the closing laps to win the Hight Chevrolet 150. The win was his third Pro All Stars Series (PASS) North win of the 2015 campaign and the 21st of his career.
“It feels awesome,” Rowe told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I’ve got a good crew, good car and they’re doing the whole bottle of wax for me giving me a good car, and that makes a lot of difference for me.”
Clark, who pitted during the early stages of the 150-lap event, made a strong charge to the front to challenge Rowe on the final restart of the event. Working the bottom side of the race track, he was able to drive his No. 77 to the inside of Rowe to challenge for the lead but would never find enough to complete the pass on the 64-year-old veteran.
“Today we had to pit and we really didn’t have the best car but I could barely hold on running the bottom,” Clark said. “It was dead sideways and I couldn’t do anything up on the top at all, so I just had to drive my ass off the whole race really. It was sideways and they had enough tack on the bottom that I could slide in and just hook and step on the gas to pass some cars.
“I just came up a little bit short of Mike there. I thought I was going to get him on the start there and be able to clear him but he got it back there. I let the tires cool down there and made another run at him but just came up a little bit short.”
Early leader DJ Shaw crossed the finish line in third by a whisker over two-time Oxford 250 winner Travis Benjamin. New Hampshire driver Jeremy Davis backed up his solid second-place run at Thunder Road (VT) by rounding out the top-five.
“There were definitely a lot of great side-by-side battles all race long,” said Shaw, the defending PASS North champion. “Mike definitely had the car to beat on the long runs. He struggled a little bit on the short runs, but not enough.”
After having to hold off his son Ben (Rowe) to capture his latest PASS North win at Star Speedway (NH) less than a month ago, Rowe admitted that he had his work cut out once again trying to hold off both Clark and Shaw.
“I worked my butt off for the last 20 laps or so,” Rowe stated. “They liked the bottom and I like the outside, the outside is the place to be here. They just got hooked up really good, especially Cassius, on the bottom. He pulled up right underneath me, but I was able to pull away from him off the corner.”
Rowe’s win at Speedway 95 on Sunday was also the third PASS North win for the No. 7 Petit Motorsports team. Prior to the 2015 season, the Peter Petit-owned team was winless in series competition. But they’ve proven early on this season that they’ve got what it takes as an entire team to be a championship contender.
“It takes more than a driver to win these races and these guys are putting a great car under me,” said Rowe. “I’m having a lot of fun. I owe it all to the crew. They work on this thing all day, all night.”
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com/51 Network
Hight Chevrolet 150 Unofficial Results – Pro All Stars Series North
Speedway 95 (ME) – June 14, 2015
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