June 7, 2013

Rowe returns and at age 62, remains as competitive as ever

- DRIVER STANDINGS

PASS North Super Late Model

1. Joey Doiron, Berwick, 684 points

2. Travis Benjamin, Morrill, 638

3. Cassius Clark, Farmington, 635

4. D.J. Shaw, Center Conway, N.H., 631

5. Ben Rowe, Turner, 413

NEXT RACE: Saturday, 150 laps at Speedway 660, Fredericton, New Brunswick

ACT Late Model

1. Brian Hoar, Williston, Vt., 380 points

2. Jimmy Hebert, Williamson, Vt., 369

3. Wayne Helliwell, Dover, N.H., 354

4. Ray Parent, Tiverton, R.I., 330

5. Brent Dragon, Milton, Vt., 300

NEXT RACE: June 15, 150 laps at Canaan Fair Speedway, Canaan. N.H.At an age when a lot of people are contemplating retirement, veteran driver Mike Rowe is getting back into auto racing in a big way.

Last Saturday night the 62-year-old Rowe won the 50-lap feature in the Pro Series division in the opener for weekly racing at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway.

On May 4, Rowe finished third in PASS North's 150-lap race at Beech Ridge despite losing the power steering

For the past two years, Rowe, who lives in Turner, raced part-time on the PASS tour.

"I just love the sport and my health is still good," he said. "Some people love to hunt and fish. I love to race."

Rowe's renewed interest in auto racing followed the tragic death of Jason Fowler, his former crew chief.

The eldest son of Dick Fowler, owner of Rowe's car, Fowler died in a traffic accident last November at age 29.

"When this thing happened to Jason, we wanted to do something in tribute to him," Rowe said.

"I lost my oldest son and he was always involved in racing, and we figured this year we go race a season for my boy," Dick Fowler said.

Rowe is driving the Super Late Model he raced on the PASS North tour in 2009 and 2010.

Another SLM is under construction. The plan is to have Rowe seek an unprecedented fourth championship in it while driving in the TD Bank 250 in July for the first time since 2005.

"(Rowe) says the car we're running now is running real well," Fowler said. "We're hoping the car we're building down in North Carolina is half as good as this one."

Mikey Fowler, the younger brother of Jason Fowler, serves as Rowe's crew chief.

"Mike Fowler and the crew just did an awesome job getting the car ready for me," Rowe said. "Takes more than a driver to win races."

Rowe will prep for the 250 by racing in the highly competitive Pro Stocks division at Beech Ridge.

"It's very, very competitive," he said. "Anyone in that top 10 can win the championship, I feel. They've got a good bunch of guys down there and anybody can win it."

Rowe hopes the car counts remain up at Beech Ridge.

"Next week I've got to start at the rear," he said. "If we have over 20 cars, we get 50 laps. If we have 19 cars, we get 40 laps. If you've got to come from the rear, I'd like to see the 10 (extra) laps."

ROWLAND ROBINSON of Steuben will get a chance to pick up where he left off last Sunday when the American Canadian Tour 150 resumes June 23 in Riverside Speedway in Groveton, N.H.

Robinson was leading the 150-lap event Sunday when rain stopped the racing with 29 laps of the feature completed.

The race will now become the second half of a New Hampshire doubleheader.

On June 22, ACT will run a 150-lap race for Late Models at White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, N.H.

Also featured at the Riverside makeup date will be a 100-lap Street Stock special that will be split up into twin 50-lap segments.

The ACT 150 at Riverside Speedway will resume at 1:30 p.m.

Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

pbetit@pressherald.com

Twitter: PaulBetitPPH

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