Five-time Pro All Stars Series national champion Ben Rowe will begin his 2019 season with a new look and the same goals. The Turner, Maine native will get things started and began his quest for a sixth PASS national championship this Saturday during the Winter Meltdown 200 at Dillon Motor Speedway (SC).
Race fans looking for Rowe on the race track this weekend will no longer be looking for the traditional yellow No. 4 Richard Moody Racing machine. Instead, they’ll be looking for a white No. 4 with bright colors all over it.
“Five Star stopped making the yellow, Shamu (Derek Spencer of Five Star Race Car Bodies) told me. We had to go with the white and then put some bright colors on it just to liven it up a little bit,” Rowe said Monday morning on The Morning Bullring. “It looks pretty cool.”
Rowe will be one of many drivers who will be sporting the new Gen 6 body for the first time on the east coast. Saturday’s race will be the first opportunity for PASS drivers to test out the new bodies and the first time for race fans to see them on the race track.
“To me, that body is something we need,” he stated. “We had the same body for so many years now, it was time for an update. I think they look cool. I can’t wait to get in it and try it. We’ll have to figure out the balance and stuff the first day. I’ve talked to some people who have tested them and they’ve said there’s not a whole lot of difference.”
Rowe, who enters the 2019 season as the winningest driver in PASS history, will be looking to continue the improvement that his team began at the end of last season. Last year, Rowe broke a winless drought of over two years when he pulled into victory lane at White Mountain Motorsports Park (NH) in September.
“You start doubting everything you’re doing and that’s basically what happened,” he admitted. “We kept doing the same thing that we had been doing that we were successful with and everybody else caught up. We had to step outside of the box, regroup and bring in some help through Terry Senneker. Mike Garvey is kind of them one behind us, pushing us, answering all of our questions and going to the race track with us. He’s the one leading us in the right direction. We needed that to get back on top and get going in the right direction. I don’t think we’re there yet where we want to be, but each week out we get better and better and better. That’s all we can ask for.”
Although a majority of Rowe’s victories have come north of the Mason-Dixon Line, he has found success throughout his career competing in the south. In fact, he does have one previous victory at Dillon Motor Speedway back in 2009.
The Dillon, South Carolina facility is one that he looks forward to visiting while escaping the cold, snowy Northeast each winter.
“I usually run pretty well at Dillon, so I can’t wait to get back there,” Rowe stated. “I love coming south, getting out of the snow and the cold and just coming down here and racing with people I don’t get to race against all year.
“The facility is just one of those places that you love to go to,” he continued. “Ron Barfield keeps it up, he loves short track racing and accommodates you any way that he can. As far as coming all the way from the north, it’s one of the places we love going to.”
While Rowe and his crew will be in attendance at Dillon this weekend, he recognizes that some of his northern fans may not be able to make the nearly 1,000-mile journey. For that, he’s appreciative of the live pay-per-view broadcast of the race on Speed51.com.
“I get a lot of positive feedback from that, just because it is so far away from everyone up in the snow,” he said. “They want to keep up with not only me, but also Derek (Griffith) and other drivers coming down from the north. They want to see what’s going on and they want to get into the racing too. Doing the pay-per-view thing is cool for them because they’re all over that. I’ve heard from a bunch of people already who want to watch that race.”
Race fans unable to make it to Dillon Motor Speedway can purchase their pay-per-view ticket today for $19.99.
-Story by: Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com