Most of the Super Late Model drivers on the PASS North tour will end a seven-week hiatus Saturday night with the Southern Maine Chrysler Dodge Jeep.com 150 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough.
Rain has forced the cancellation of four tour events since a contingent of PASS North drivers ran in a 150-lap race May 18 at Autodrome Chaudiere in Vallee Jonction, Quebec.
The lengthy break in the race schedule now leaves teams with just two chances to get dialed in under race conditions for the prestigious and lucrative TD Bank 250 scheduled for July 21 at Oxford Plains Speedway.
“I don’t think the rainouts help,” said Scott Chubbock, a driver from Bowdoin who is working in the pit crew for Scott Mulkern of Falmouth on the PASS North SLM tour this summer. “Everybody would be in the flow of racing and now they’re sort of out of it.”
The PASS North’s SLM drivers should have six races under their belts at this point in the season, but the wet weather during the past two months has limited the regional tour to just three races. Rain even forced the cancellation of the makeup for one of the race dates.
“You just want to run (the car),” Chubbock said. “The more you run it the more you’re going to know what to expect and what not to expect.”
Because of the lack of racing, it’s difficult for the PASS North drivers to get a good read of each other.
“You really don’t know who is hot right not and who is not,” said six-time PASS North champion Johnny Clark of Hallowell. “I know we’re not hot right now. We’ve been struggling and we’re still struggling.”
Last Saturday night, Joey Doiron, the tour’s 21-year-old points leader from Berwick, ended six weeks of inactivity when he finished seventh in the Pro Series 100 at Beech Ridge.
“We weren’t very good last week but we were trying a few different things,” he said. “Last week didn’t really matter. It’s what happens this week is what really matters.”
PASS North’s SLM drivers will race Saturday night at the Scarborough track and again in a makeup race July 12 at Oxford Plains.
“Beech Ridge and Oxford are so similar that it’s good for us,” Clark said. “It won’t do any good for us to go to a half-mile track, then run the 250.”
The Super Late Models will run in the TD Bank 250 for the first time since 2005, when Mike Rowe of Turner won for the third time.
For the past seven years, the race has been restricted to the lighter Late Model class of car.
According to the PASS president, Tom Mayberry, drivers are hauling cars from as far south as Georgia and as far west as Washington to participate in the 40th annual running.
“One of the things we’re going to do is to have practice on Friday and Saturday before the 250,” Mayberry said. “It gives people who are traveling from a ways a chance to get on the same level playing field as everybody else.”
In the past, cars entered in the 250 have been limited to one day of practice.
PASS SOUTH driver Kevin Powell will test Woodman Racing’s Super Late Model on Friday at Oxford Plains in preparation for the 250.
Powell, who has three top-10 finishes among four starts on the regional racing tour, intends to run in Saturday night’s PASS North race at Beech Ridge.
RACING IN Oxford Plains’ Championship Series resumes Friday night with a fireworks display.
Racing is scheduled in the track’s top four divisions — Pro Late Models, Street Stocks, MiniStock and Outlaw Sportsman.
Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: