PHOTO: Scott Mulkern celebrates his PASS Super Late Model victory at Oxford Plains Speedway, returning to victory lane after being held winless for seven years. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM Photo)

Martin, Shaw Seal Championships with Wins

— by T.J. Ingerson

OXFORD, Maine — It had been seven long years for Scott Mulkern since his one and only Pro All Stars Series North Super Late Model victory, which came in the 2004 season finale at Thompson Int’l Speedway. The Falmouth, Me., veteran racer stepped away from full time racing last year, rebuilding his team first for Ben Rowe, and then Lonnie Sommerville, as he focused his racing efforts on a part-time schedule.

Mulkern had to use the consolation race to qualify for the PASS Championship 150 at Oxford Plains Speedway however, which forced him to start in the 25th position. But Mulkern used his veteran demeanor and good car to work his way through the field, battle with Travis Benjamin for the lead, and then hold onto to the lead during a lap 118 caution period which saw rain showers move into the area, which forced the race to be rendered official, giving Mulkern his first PASS Super Late Model victory in seven years.

“It means a lot,” said Mulkern. “I wish we could have gone the whole 150 [laps], but the conditions weren’t going to favor me if we went back racing. There were puddles right next to the curb and that’s where I was running.”

Mulkern moved into the top ten from his 25th starting position shortly before one-third of the race had been completed. Mulkern was able to quickly move into sixth by lap 60, and then made his move on fifth place runner Joey Polewarczyk on lap 60. Mulkern than moved around Joey Doiron for fourth 15 laps later, D.J. Shaw for third four laps later, and then to the outside of American Canadian Tour Champion Brian Hoar on the outside five laps later to take second on lap 94.

Mulkern would struggle on restarts, however, and a restart on lap 97 put him on the outside of then-race leader Travis Benjamin. Benjamin, or Morrill, Me., had led since lap 69 and appeared to be the car to beat at the moment. Mulkern would lose second position to Hoar, but a caution a lap later put Mulkern behind Benjamin. Benjamin would get a better restart than Hoar, and would bring Mulkern along with him around Hoar. Mulkern would then get underneath Benjamin in turn two on lap 101 and the two would battle for the lead briefly. Mulkern would take the lead on lap 103, only to have a caution come out on lap 104.

Benjamin would get the jump on the restart and retake the lead from Mulkern. Again, Mulkern would make his move on Benjamin, this time five laps later, out of turn two, passing Benjamin on the inside and taking the lead on lap 112. A caution flag would come out on lap 118 for Canadian Alexandre Gingras, anticipating another restart for Mulkern. However, a rain shower would move into the area, and the race track would become soaked. After a 45 minute delay, the Super Late Models were brought back onto the track, only for another rain shower to move through the area, which forced officials to call the race complete.

“I have a hard time on the restarts,” Mulkern explained on his restart battle with Benjamin. “I had a small motor at Beech Ridge, and here I had a big motor. But it doesn’t seem to matter what I have, my restarts just aren’t good. I wasn’t too nervous once I got going, I had enough time to catch him again.”

Benjamin would settle for second, which was his best finish on the season. Benjamin would lead 41 laps en route to his second place finish. Center Conway, N.H.’s D.J. Shaw, who won at White Mountain Motorsports Park in the series’ previous race, finished third. 2011 Pro All Stars Series North Champion Johnny Clark, of Hallowell, Me., would finish fourth after starting in the 14th position. Early race leader Hoar, of Williston, Vt., would settle for fifth.

Beech Ridge Motor Speedway competitor Trevor Sanborn finished sixth, while PASS series regular Lonnie Sommerville was seventh. ACT regular Polewarczyk settled for eighth after starting on the pole and leading the first 30 laps. 2011 PASS Modified Champion Andy Shaw was ninth, while Joey Doiron rebounded from lap 95 mechanical failure to complete the unofficial top ten.

Denmark, Me.’s Carey Martin dominated the 75-lap PASS Sportsman feature after starting on the pole and leading every lap. Martin’s victory gave him the 2011 PASS Sportsman Championship. Craig Smith, of East Waterboro, Me. , finished a distant second while Clyde Hennessy, of Windham, Me., finished third. Frank Wear and Rusty Poland completed the unofficial top five finishers.

Andy Shaw sealed his 2011 championship season with his seventh PASS Modified win on the season in their 40-lap, caution free feature. Shaw, of North Conway, N.H., started 11th, patiently worked his way through the field, and took the lead from early race leader Ron Henry on lap 24. Henry, of New Gloucester, Me., held on for second while Dana Reed, of Shapleigh, Me., finished third. Veteran Dale Shaw and Travis Buzzell completed the unofficial top five.

2011 Oxford Plains Speedway Strictly Stock Champion Kurt Hewins concluded his championship season with a win in the 50-lap Wildcat/Strictly Stock open competition feature. Hewins, of Leeds, Me., started second and took the lead from polesitter Corey Morgan on lap seven. Morgan, of Lewiston, Me., a regular Late Model competitor at Oxford, held on for second. Chris Warming, of Hollis, Me., was third, while Guy Childs and Steve Benincasa completed the top five.

The Northeast Mini-Stock Tour 50-lap finale, which was scheduled to take place after the PASS Championship 150, was rained out. Officials have rescheduled the season finale for the Star Speedway in Epping, N.H., for Sat., Oct. 29th, as part of the Halloween Howler event at the speedway.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — PASS Championship Weekend
Pro All Stars Series North — Oxford Plains Speedway, Oxford, Me.
Saturday, October 15, 2011

PASS Super Late Models (150 laps)

(# – denotes rookie)

1. (25) Scott Mulkern, Falmouth, Me.
2. (13) Travis Benjamin, Morrill, Me.
3. (11) D.J. Shaw, Center Conway, N.H.
4. (14) Johnny Clark, Hallowell, Me.
5. (2) Brian Hoar, Williston, Vt.
6. (18) Trevor Sanborn, Limerick, Me.
7. (29) Lonnie Sommerville, St. Johns, N.B.
8. (1) Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., Hudson, N.H.
9. (19) Andy Shaw, North Conway, N.H.
10. (6) Joey Doiron, Berwick, Me.
11. (10) Kirk Thibeau, Forth Fairfield, Me.
12. (12) Ben Rowe, Turner, Me.
13. (5) Mike Rowe, Turner, Me.
14. (8) Cassius Clark, Farmington, Me.
15. (23) Donne Whitten, Wells, Me.
16. (20) Gary Smith, Bangor, Me.
17. (33) Scott Alexander, Orrington, Me.
18. (26) Scott Dragon, Colchester, N.H.
19. (4) John Donahue, Graniteville, Vt.
20. (17) Alan Wilson, Hebron, Me.
21. (24) Brad Babb, Windham, Me.
22. (21) Dustin Hubbard, Unity, Me.
23. (8) Aaron Ricker, Tamworth, N.H.
24. (16) Kelly Moore, Scarborough, Me.
25. (30) Mike Hopkins, Hermon, Me.
26. (28) Curtis Gerry, Waterboro, Me.
27. (22) # Kyle DeSouza, East Providence, R.I.
28. (3) Alan Tardiff, Lyman, Me.
29. (15) Mike Landry, Oakland, Me.
30. (7) Alexandre Gingras, Quebec, Que.
31. (32) # Matt Matheson, Geary, N.B.
32. (34) John Dabrowski, West Bridgewater, Mass.
33. (27) Glen Luce, Turner, Me.
34. (31) Corey Walker, Strong, Me.

PASS Sportsman (75 laps)
1. Carey Martin, Denmark, Me.
2. Craig Smith, East Waterboro, Me.
3. Clyde Hennessy, Windham, Me.
4. Frank Wear, Buxton, Me.
5. Rusty Poland, Windham, Me.
6. Shane Tatro, Holden, Me.
7. Donnie Morse, Windham, Me.
8. Dan McKeage, Gorham, Me.
9. Doug Wolfe, Buxton, Me.
10. Andy Field, Buxton, Me.

PASS Modifieds (40 laps)
1. Andy Shaw, North Conway, N.H.
2. Ron Henry, New Gloucester, N.H.
3. Dana Reed, Shapleigh, Me.
4. Dale Shaw, Center Conway, N.H.
5. Travis Buzzell, Hollis, Me.
6. Scott Reed, Parsonsfield, Me.
7. Glen Luce, Turner, Me.
8. Billy Dixon, North Waterboro, Me.
9. Alan Wilson, Hebron, Me.
10. Scott McDaniel, Livermore, Me.

Wildcat/Strictly Stock (50 laps)
1. Kurt Hewins, Leeds, Me.
2. Corey Morgan, Lewiston, Me.
3. Chris Warming, Hollis, Me.
4. Guy Childs, Turner, Me.
5. Steve Benincasa, Buxton, Me.
6. Keith Stewart, Naples, Me.
7. Matt Williams, Brownfield, Me.
8. Glen Reynolds, Turner, Me.
9. Nate Leavitt, Buxton, Me.
10. Chaz Briggs, Westbrook, Me.