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Hallowell’s Johnny Clark has just one top-three finish in 10 Pro All-Stars Series Super Late Model Northern Division races this season.
But, with two races left, he finds himself leading the points. He is 10 points ahead of Turner’s Mike Rowe entering Saturday’s Riverside (Speedway) Fall Foliage 250 in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.
The series will conclude the following weekend at Unity Raceway.
“This is definitely the closest race the PASS tour has had,” said Clark. “We have to be on our game and finish in the top three in the last two races to secure this thing.”
Clark won the title in 2004 and feels he can’t be conservative with the veteran Rowe breathing down his neck.
“I can’t race defensively, not with just a 10-point lead. If I had a 10-point lead heading into Unity, I might race defensively and try to make sure I don’t finish more than five points behind Mike. But with two races left, it’s far too early to race defensively. I feel like it’s the beginning of the season right now. I need to get more points,” said Clark.
There is a two-point gap between each place but drivers also receive points in heat races this season on a 5-4-3-2-1 scale for the first five finishes in each heat race.
“It would be nice to pick up a couple wins in the final two races to put an exclamation point on the season,” said Clark.
He knows holding off Rowe will be a difficult task.
“Mike’s a great competitor and he’s on top of his game right now. I wish I had more than a 10-point lead,” said Clark who acknowledged he will know where Rowe is on the track “at all times.”
Rowe and Clark have tangled in the past but Clark said they have ironed out their differences.
“We’ve put it behind us. We race each other pretty clean now,” said Clark who used to watch Rowe race when he was a youngster.
“I followed him,” said Clark. “I saw him win a few Oxford 250s. It’s fun racing with him. He’s taught me a lot over the years.”
When Clark won the points title two years ago, he had 10 top-three finishes in 15 races.
He has a victory to his credit and has six top-fives this season.
“If you looked at our season, you’d think we’d be in fourth or fifth place right now,” said the 26-year-old Clark. “This shows you how much consistency is worth. We’ve had top five or six finishes instead of the top threes or wins we had in the past.”
His win came at the Atlantic Cat 250 at Scotia Speedworld in Halifax, Nova Scotia on Aug. 12 and he sees that as a positive entering this weekend’s races.
“Canada has been good to us,” said Clark.
Clark said he and his team are going to take a simplistic approach to the final two races.
“We’re stepping back. We’ve tried different stuff with our setups all year. We’re going back to basics,” said Clark.
Riverside Speedway will provide a challenge for all the drivers because the track has been redone, according to Clark, who has never raced there.
“I’ve seen a picture of the track on the website. It looks really nice,” said Clark.
Wallace, St. Clairs head to Conn.
Winterport’s Ernie Wallace and the family trio of Dave St. Clair, Puncin’ St. Clair and Josh St. Clair will be heading south to race this weekend.
They will be racing at Thompson International Speedway during the World Series of Speedway Racing today and Saturday.
“The St. Clairs will be racing in the Late Models and I’ll be racing in the Mini-Stocks,” said Wallace, who drives in the Sport-Four class at Hermon’s Speedway 95 and will be making his fourth trip to the Thompson event.
“It’s incredible,” said Wallace, who was involved in a wreck last year on the ? of a mile oval.
The St. Clairs race at Wiscasset Raceway.