Theriault Wins the Battle, Benjamin Wins the War in PASS Season Finale at Oxford
The P.A.S.S. North finale got a late start due to Mother Nature’s continuous showers this past Saturday morning, but it was clear sailing once the rains stopped and the fans were treated to a tremendous racing card at the newly purchased Oxford Plains Speedway. Winners on the day included Austin Theriault, Dana Reed, Carey Martin, Corey Morgan and Shawn Buffington.
A full field of thirty-two Super Late Models rolled to the line for the 150 green flag lap grind with Trevor Sanborn and Ryan Moore composing the front row. Sanborn jumped out front early and led the first nine laps before Theriault raced by on the outside on lap 10. Sanborn regained the lead on a lap 14 restart only to see Ryan Moore race to the front in a very strong pass on the outside grove. Moore continued to lead the race until Sanborn found an opening in turn four allowing he, and the 57 of Theriault to work there way past on lap 34. Caution waved again for a minor spin on lap 41 and this is where Theriault took control of the race. Theriault would go on to survive four more cautions and a rear view mirror full of DJ Shaw, Ben Rowe, Tony Ricci and Corey Bubar. The final restart came on lap 146 setting up a dramatic finish for the youngster from Fort Kent, Maine. Shaw tried a bonsai move hoping to cut off Theriault heading into turn one, but Theriault battled back in turn two and secured his first ever P.A.S.S. North victory. Shaw settled for second, followed by Tony Ricci, Ben Rowe and Corey Bubar. Sixth through tenth included Alan Tardiff, Kirk Thibault, Bobby Timmons, Joey Doiron and Travis Benjamin. Benjamin, by virtue of his tenth place finish, captured his first ever P.A.S.S. North Super Late Model championship. Benjamin took a seven point lead into the main event over Cassius Clark, but the battle never materialized as Clark struggled with mechanical problems throughout the race, and never was a factor as he struggled to a sixteenth place finish. Heat wins went to Ryan Moore, Trevor Sanborn and Theriault.
It was a jubilant victory lane celebration for Theriault as he thanked everyone in the world for his victory, and also praised the new Super Late Model package that will be used at Oxford in 2013. Theriault’s mount was a converted Late Model, one that had very few Super Late Model updates proving that the changeover next season will be quite a smooth transition.
Dana Reed chased down Scott McDaniel in the waning laps and cruised to victory in the 40 lap P.A.S.S. Modified main event. Alan Wilson rolled home in third, but saw his championship hopes go by the wayside, as point leader, Andy Shaw raced home in the seventh spot to claim the title. Rounding out the top five were Mike Carrigan and Mitch Miller. Heat checkers flew for McDaniel and Reed.
Carey Martin showed why he is the 2012 P.A.S.S. Sportsman champion as he took the lead on lap 22 from Stephen Bennett and cruised to a half track victory over Jeff Marshall, Craig Smith, Rusty Poland and Garrett Hall. Qualifying rounds went to Bennett and Poland.
Corey Morgan lead a full field of Wildcats to the green flag for their 50 lap feature event, and kept on leading the entire distance as he scored a popular victory over a fast closing Keith Stuart. Stuart caught the leader in heavy lapped traffic late in the race, but ran out of time and settled for the runner-up position. Skipp Tripp, Spencer Morse and Guy Childs rounded out the top five. Morgan and Morse collected qualifying victories.
Shawn Buffington dusted the field in the NELCAR Legends 35 lap finale. Ryan Hammar, Charlie Buxton, Terry Kirk and Allan Smith followed Buffington to the stripe. Bob Weymouth and Matthew Bourgoine were victorious in the preliminary rounds.