One of the most anticipated moments for the Pro All Stars Series finally came to fruition this past Sunday as Gabe Brown finally scored not only his first feature win at Oxford Plains Speedway, but his first PASS Super Late Model race win.
“A long time coming huh? Hasn’t really sunk in yet, it’s tough because knowing I can go back there and struggle doesn’t make it as enjoyable. But we worked really hard for this won, so it definitely means a lot,” Brown told Racing America on Wednesday.
With a win in hand the 19-year-old out of Center Conway, New Hampshire and the No. 50 race team have been presented with a major opportunity to strike it big at one of their best tracks twice in a weekend, and with winning momentum. After a rainout in May, the usual July visit to White Mountain Motorsports Park has become a Friday – Saturday doubleheader weekend with 150-lap features scheduled for each night.
Brown has tasted victory in WMMP’s weekly Late Model division in the recent years. Now he looks to get the check mark in PASS competition.
“White Mountain has been one of my best tracks from the start of my career. When I first went there in 2017 I ran up front and I finished on the podium in a couple of PASS races, along with a fourth. We got a good baseline for there and learning what we learned Sunday at Oxford, I think we’re going to have a pretty good piece.”
Doubleheaders can bring a bit of anxiety for some drivers and teams, with the danger of a crash in the first race torpedoing the second race. As for Brown, he’s not worried; just the opposite in fact.
“I love doubleheader weekends. When we go to Hickory for the that doubleheader it makes it worth the trip. Now when it’s 45 minutes from home, it’s that much better. I’m excited they’re doing it, especially at my favorite track,” said Brown excitedly.
“I’m not worried, for PASS races you mostly got the same group of drivers, and there’s a lot of respect between us. I know I’ve screwed up some and caused some wrecks, but there’s a lot of respect, and I think we can still put on as good show Friday as we will Saturday.”
An early season crash during a heat race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in April left the No. 50 camp scrambling to rebuild their car for the next outing at Stafford Speedway. While they were able to come back with a third-place finish at Stafford, PASS North title hopes were looking bleak. But with fellow fulltime competitors also having a rough go in the season's first, coupled with his own consistency, and with an opportunity to drop a bad early season result, Brown has climbed into the championship picture.
He sits third in points coming into the weekend behind Eddie MacDonald and Ryan Kuhn; and while Brown is paying attention to the title race, he’s not changing his approach to the rest of the year in PASS North.
“When we wrecked at Loudon I stopped thinking about the championship, but now that we’ve had a few good runs along with this win, plus you got a ‘throwaway race’, it’s got us back in the hunt. Now, I’m paying attention to the points again. But, we’re still showing up for wins then consistency right now. Nothing’s changed there.”
So, it should be no surprise that Brown believes that the No. 50 team can sweep the weekend ahead at the North Woodstock, NH quarter-mile.
“We got the equipment to do it and we got the team to do it. I just got to back things up on my end and don’t do anything stupid. We can’t start any better than 12th now that we got a win, but we have a car that can do it, and I know my guys will do everything to make it happen, and so will I.”
Race fans unable to make the trip to White Mountain Motorsports Park this weekend can see all the racing live on RacingAmerica.tv. Post times and air times are Friday, July 15 at 7pm ET & Saturday, July 16 at 6pm ET.
-Photo credit: Norm Marx