Sunday, March 9, 2014
By Paul Betit firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Pastore has gotten off to a bumpy start in his second season racing on PASS North's Sportsman tour.
On May 4, Pastore, who is from Gorham, looked like he had wrapped up his second win in as many starts this spring on the regional racing tour, but a post-race inspection revealed that the shocks on his car were illegal and he was disqualified.
Instead, the win went to runner up Dan McKeague, a veteran from Gorham.
"We ran the car all last season with the same shocks, and it was never a problem," Pastore said. "Those were the shocks that were on the car when we got it."
PASS North president Tom Mayberry said his organization inspects the cars of the top three finishers following each race, removing the same auto part from each car. However, the focus of each post-race inspection changes from race to race. There's a chance no one had ever looked at the shocks before.
"I'm disappointed about losing the points, but it is what it is," Pastore said. "We'll move on."
Pastore has installed new shock absorbers.
"These are definitely legal," he said. "I don't know if the shocks package made much of a difference, but we will see."
Pastore, 28, returned to racing last season following a 10-year hiatus after driving pro stocks at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough while he was in high school. Following graduation, he spent two years at NASCAR Tech in North Carolina.
"I ended up going to school, and after that I just didn't have the money to get back into (racing)," Pastore said.
Pastore got back into racing last year after trading cars with the Bubar family.
"They wanted to trade their Limited that they won a (track) championship for our Pro Stock even, so we ended up trading it with them," he said.
In 2011, Corey Bubar, while still a teenager, won the Sports Series title at Beech Ridge. This season, he's running in the Super Late Model division on the PASS North tour.
Last year, Pastore won PASS North Sportsman races at Beech Ridge and at White Mountain Motorpark in North Woodstock, N.H. He finished in the top five in every race, except for when his engine blew in Stafford, Conn.
"I was leading the race with 20 (laps) to go, and the motor blew up," he said.
Pastore started this season by winning the April 21 tour opener at Oxford Plains Speedway.
PASS North Sportsman tour includes just eight racing dates this season.
"It's about one race per month, and that's just about all I can afford and all the time I have," said Pastore, who operates a Snap-On Tool franchise in the Portland area.
The next event on the regional tour is scheduled for May 31 as part of a regular Friday night racing program at Oxford Plains.
RAIN WIPED OUT the entire race card at Wiscasset Speedway last Saturday night, but portions of the program have been rescheduled for this Saturday.
The Strictly Streets and Late Model Sportsman divisions will join the track's group one racing divisions -- Pro Stock, Super Stock, New England Cylinder and Thunder 4s -- for the largest program of the new season at the recently reopened racing circuit. In addition, the New England Mini-Stock Tour will make its only appearance in Maine this season.
Grandstand gates open at 4 p.m. Racing begins at 5:30 p.m.
RACING GOES under the lights at Oxford Plains Speedway for the first time this season Friday night.
The Oxford Championship Series resumes with racing in the Pro Late Model, Street Stock, Mini-Stock and Outlast Sportsman divisions.
Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: