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Pro All Stars Series

Clark Claims Second Round Of PASS WMMP Doubleheader

The reigning champion is still within reach of another title with his second win of 2022.

Johnny Clark improved by one position to win the Saturday-night feature of White Mountain Motorsports Park's two-night PASS doubleheader. (Photo courtesy WMMP/John Raper)

One night after DJ Shaw found some needed momentum at White Mountain Motorsports Park, Johnny Clark found a boost of his own.

The reigning Pro All Stars Series North champion recovered from an early miscue to earn his second PASS win of 2022 on the second night of a double-feature of Super Late Model racing at the North Woodstock, N.H. quarter-mile.

The Hallowell, Me. veteran racer went off course early in Sunday’s 150-lap feature, throwing dirt on the high banks and miring him deep in the pack with only a few laps out of the way. But after a pit stop to set things right, Clark marched toward the front, clawing his way back to the top ten with 50 laps on the board.

Dillon Moltz started out front and showed the way early, looking to improve on a fourth-place finish the night before. “Thrillin’ Dillon” held off early challenges from Garrett Hall and Wayne Helliwell, Jr., but the strongest threat of the evening came from the tandem of Gabe Brown and Clark, who emerged shortly past halfway.

A lap-86 caution put second-place Clark and third-place Brown at Moltz’ bumper, and the seven-time PASS North champion went to work on the restart, taking the lead on lap 92. Caution flags kept Clark from getting away, but the veteran finally began to put some distance between himself and the field on lap 100.

Brown, in his own car after his Dale Drew-owned entry was torn up the night before, found a way past Moltz a few laps later, pursuing Clark in search of a second PASS win of his own. Moltz’ third-place run went away a few laps later, as Moltz and Friday-night winner DJ Shaw were caught up in a debris caution on lap 115.

Clark drove off on the restart, with Brown battling Hall for second until he blew a tire with fifteen laps to go. While Hall contended with a battery of challengers for second, the veteran Clark coasted to his second win.

Prevailing in the second-place battle was Brandon Barker, who recorded his second runner-up performance of the year. Barker was absent the night before, earning a fifth-place finish at Lee USA Speedway for Go FAS Racing in the GSPSS Keen Parts 150.

Ben Ashline, who spent the race on and off pit lane, pulled it all together at the end to earn a third-place run, backing up a sixth-place result the night before. Ashline has top ten finishes in three of his four starts since rejoining the touring series four races ago.

Ryan Kuhn finished fourth to take the unofficial points lead after nine races. Hall, who was also in Friday’s GSPSS feature at Lee, survived for a fifth-place finish, his best of the season.

Early leader Dillon Moltz, who led a total of 91 laps on the evening, was sixth, with Trevor Sanborn close behind in seventh. Joey Polewarczyk, another driver who raced at Lee Friday, was eighth. Gabe Brown recovered from his blown tire to finish ninth, while Friday-night feature winner Shaw rounded out the top ten.

Tyler Cahoon replaced father Stacy in Saturday’s feature, but was unable to match his dad’s successful PASS debut. The younger Cahoon was sidelined before the end and finished 21st.

Nineteen cars finished the race, all on the lead lap. Twentieth was Eddie MacDonald, whose title hopes took another hit at WMMP. MacDonald’s DNF left him ten points in arrears to Kuhn, with plenty of work in store to get a car ready for the next PASS event at Seekonk Speedway.

Indeed, persistence may prove to be the story of this year’s PASS points battle. Rescheduled races created scheduling conflicts that broke up one of the strongest full-time rosters in years. June’s change of a Seekonk Speedway race date ended full-time runs for Shaw, Polewarczyk, and last year’s runner-up Dan Winter. Friday’s date, moved from May after a rainout, did the same for Barker and Hall. And April’s postponement of the Northeast Classic at New Hampshire Motor Speedway was the undoing for Clark, who left the speedway early to spend Easter with family.

Clark has otherwise enjoyed the strongest season of all, with top-ten finishes in all eight races he has started and top-five finishes in five of those. Despite missing one race, Clark sits fourth in points, only 119 markers out of the lead.

Brown’s record looks similar; his 14th-place finish in Friday’s first leg of the WMMP double was his only finish out of the top ten in every race he has started. Brown was unable to take the green at NHMS after being eliminated in a heat-race crash, but the points he earned for the attempt helped the youngster climb to third in points, only 40 points behind Kuhn.

Four drivers – Kuhn, MacDonald, Brown and Ben Rowe – have earned points in all four races this year. But how the points shake out once PASS’ promised “drop race” is put into effect remains to be seen. Friday night’s conflict inspired the series to drop full-time teams’ worst race, including a no-show for Friday. The move could propel Clark, Shaw and others back into the points race.

And if it doesn’t, Clark seems prepared to chase his record eighth championship the hard way.

Unofficial Results, PASS North 150 at White Mountain Motorsports Park:
1. (54) Johnny Clark
2. (88) Brandon Barker
3. (99) Ben Ashline
4. (72) Ryan Kuhn
5. (94) Garrett Hall
6. (5M) Dillon Moltz
7. (29) Trevor Sanborn
8. (4NH) Joey Polewarczyk
9. (61) Gabe Brown
10. (60) DJ Shaw
11. (20) Joe Pastore
12. (21) David Oliver
13. (27NH) Wayne Helliwell, Jr.
14. (02) Brian Whalley
15. (12) Dennis Spencer
16. (4) Ben Rowe
17. (7B) Isaac Bevin
18. (52M) Jake Matheson
19. (14) Scott McDaniel
20. (17MA) Eddie MacDonald
21. (83VT) Tyler Cahoon
22. (1VT) Evan Hallstrom
23. (45) Mike Mayberry
24. (09) Jeremy Davis

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Jeff Brown is a contributor to Short Track Scene. A native of New Hampshire and a long-time fan of New England racing, Brown provides a fan's perspective as he follows New England's regional Late Model touring series.

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