Seekonk, MA -- A healthy field of 28 Pro All Stars Series Super Late Models invaded the Commonwealth for the 2nd Annual Bay State Summer Classic. One driver noticeably missing was Turner, Maine's Ben Rowe. Rowe was the only driver to compete in all 334 PASS North events. Ben and Richard Moody Racing mutually parted ways after the White Mountain Motorsports Park double header two weeks ago.
While a PASS North Race without Rowe is a first, it wasn't the only first of the night.
Three heat races set the field. PASS North Overall point leader Ryan Kuhn #73, Richard Moody Racing's Joey Pole #4nh, and Center Conway's Gabe Brown #50 brought home the heat race honors.
Ryan Kuhn and Joey Pole led the field to green for the $10,000-to-Win 150 lap main event. Kuhn took the early advantage as 8-time Seekonk Champ Dave Darling moved into second. Kuhn enjoyed a little home cooking leading the first 14 laps, but Kuhn's lightning-fast pace means he was already encountering lap traffic. The first yellow flag of the event happens on lap 28 as the #17 car of Kevin Folan goes for a spin right in front of the leaders while battling to stay on the lead lap.
Kuhn and Darling take the green flag they race side by side for a lap but Kuhn prevails. Kuhn sets the pace again but on lap 54 the Canadian of J.P. Jossiasee goes around. A caution regrouping the field will give DJ Shaw a good opportunity to continue his march forward as Shaw was already up 7 spots from his 12th place starting position and already into the top 5.
On the lap restart 55 Kuhn held the lead once again. DJ Shaw took third on lap 65 as Jake Johnson entered the chat moving into the fifth spot. Johnny Clark has made his way up to 7th at this point, while Gabe Brown after two pit stops for adjustments has worked his way into the 9th spot.
Joey Pole's strong start starts to fade as he falls his way back to the tenth spot with 40 laps remaining. Lap 113 Isaac Bevin goes for a spin in turns three and four resetting the field for the third and final time. This time the restart allowed 5-time Pass North Champion DJ Shaw and former Seekonk winner the opportunity to start right on Kuhn's tail and threaten for the win.
On the restart Kuhn misses a shift and David Darling #52 goes to the point on lap 114. The field is jumbled up for a moment, but they all continue on. Kuhn is able to slam the #72 Everett Auto Parts Machine into gear and hold on to second. Shaw continued in third. Not to be denied his first PASS win, Kuhn chased Darling down and battled back to the inside for 5 side by side laps. Kuhn finally took the lead back on lap 127. The top four settled in to ride, getting ready to battle it out in the last 10 laps.
As the Outlaw Eddie Mac worked his way past Trevor Sanborn for the fifth place, Jake the Jett Johnson moved into third with 8 laps to go. Trevor Sanborn battled back to fifth back around Eddie Mac.
Ryan Kuhn continued to lead and would open up about a 1 second gap over Darling and claim his first PASS Super Late model win. The exuberant former Kulwicki Development driver driver burnt down the tires then proceeded to pay homage to Alan Kulwicki with a Polish victory lap.
"Best friggin car I've ever had - absolutely unbelievable," Kuhn exclaimed in Victory Lane "I was confident in the car all day. We worked hard on this car the past few weeks. To win the Bay State Classic back home - to win A PASS race in one of the crown jewels -it's just unbelievable."
You better believe it. As not only is Kuhn's win a big career defining victory it also helps enhance his 10 point lead over Eddie MacDonald to 25 points going into Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday, August 13th. Seekonk regular David Darling #52d, Jake Johnson #15ma, DJ Shaw #60 and Trevor Sanborn #29 rounded out the top five respectively.
The PASS MODS were also in action. Garrett Lamb picked up the first heat race win, and last year's Seekonk MODS winner Ryan Ripley took home the checkers in heat number two.
After moving the 2022 MODS events winners to the rear of the field, the #83 of Dan Brown and #10 of Bill Fiske lead the field to green. Brown led lap 1 but Bill Fiske fought back on the top side. Fiske led lap 2, and Zach Bowie #00 followed him around the outside into the number two spot. Bowie then took the lead away from Fiske on lap 8 as the former street stock standout was chasing his first career PASS MODS win.
Ryan Ripley #09 started his charge to the front with 11 laps to go as Ripley moved into the fourth spot. Meanwhile, Colby Benjamin #52 goes for a spin off the front straight, bringing out the first caution. Benjamin's struggles were just beginning as the #25 of Shawn Knight then went around after contact with the #6 of Troy Morse and collected Benjamin for caution number 2 on the ensuing restart.
Cautions breed cautions, and two laps later Ryan Ripley spins through turn one and two out of his fourth-place position. The spin causes Danny Wear's #0 to go for a spin of his own for caution #3 on lap #33.
On the restart Zach Bowie shot off with the early jump, while Fiske and Dan Brown battle door to door. Bowie loved seeing the hard battle as he drove off into the sunset for the victory.
Brown gets second spot all to himself while Garrett Lamb #38 took over third. Shawn Knight #25 rebounded for 4th place and Bill Fiske fell back to fifth.
An ecstatic Zach Bowie brought the Bill Lake Racing #00 to Victory Lane in his first start at Seekonk Speedway after struggling all day in practice.
Third place finisher Garrett Lamb, while bummed he didn't have a shot at the win, has to be happy with a 9-point lead in the Championship Standings over Brandon Varney after entering the race down by 2.
The Pro All Stars Series will be taking a week off before heading back home to Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday, August 13th for the Spencer Group Paving 150, a special pre-250 warmup race for the 49th Annual Oxford 250.
All the PASS Stars including Oxford PASS Winners Gabe Brown, Joey Doiron, former 250 winner Johnny Clark and a heard of Oxford regulars take on the famed 3/8 oval for 150 laps of green flag action.
The PASS MODS will be in action as Brandon Varney tries to take the point lead back from Garrett Lamb. Shawn Knight, Colby Benjamin, and Danny Wear look to capitalize on their Weekly Oxford Success to earn them their first PASS MODS Tour wins.
The Oxford Championship series DLM Landscaping & Excavation Limiteds and the Richard Spaulding Roofing Street Stocks will also be in the show for an action-packed Saturday night of racing.
Bay State Classic Fast Facts
Heat Race Winners: #72 Ryan Kuhn, #4 Joey Pole, #50 Gabe Brown
Biggest Mover: Eddie MacDonald #17ma - 17th to 6th (11 Spots)
Hard Luck Award: Joey Pole #4nh - 2nd to 13th (11 Spots)
Lap Leaders: Ryan Kuhn #72 (1-113 127-150); David Darling #52 (114-126)
Most Laps Led: Ryan Kuhn #72 - 138 Laps (1-113 127-150)
Fastest Lap: Ryan Kuhn #72 - 12.554 (Lap 10)
Total time of Event: 43:21:507
-Pro All Stars Series Press Release and Photos