For 20 years the Pro All Stars Series has produced close season title battles in its Super Late Model divisions. But, the same can also be said for the PASS Modifieds since their founding in 2004. In the past three seasons, the PASS Mods have experienced a great growth in their fields to match the compeititon.
Now in 2021, another great title fight is upon us with one race to go at the home track of PASS, Oxford Plains Speedway with two of Maine’s great up and comers. Max Cookson of Pittsfield and Garrett Lamb of Windham; with Cookson holding a scant two point lead over Lamb heading into the 50-lap season finale on Saturday afternoon.
Starting with Lamb, this 19-year-old has a single win in his first full season in PASS Modifieds, with consistency keeping him in the fight.
“It’s been an interesting year, we’ve had a really fun time, and I didn’t think going into it that we’d have a shot at it going into the last race. Now here we are just two points back. I’m excited, that’s for sure,” Lamb told Speed51.
Starting down the road at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, Lamb has gotten his fill of Maine’s short tracks, and is now learning the ropes of many of New England’s fine tracks.
“Before this year I raced Mad Bombers down at Beech Ridge in 2018 and 2019, picked up a championship there in 2019. Moved up into Street Stocks at the end of that year, we picked up our first Street Stock win at Oxford last year when we ran the full year; we ran Oxford, Beech Ridge, Wiscasset, and Speedway 95, a lot of touring last year. Ended up buying the Mod end of last year and started the last PASS race.”
Already Lamb has found his footing at Oxford, which also happens to be the site of his lone PASS Mod win back in August.
“Oxford has been our best track this year. Growing up at Beech Ridge, the two tracks are similar compared to all the others we ran this year. It was a lot going to new tracks with a new car. With this last race being at Oxford after how strong we’ve been there, we’re really looking to closing out the year strong. Even without a championship, it’s been a successful year.”
On the other side of the coin, 18-year-old Max Cookson has had a much different, but equally interesting season; scoring a series high five wins in PASS Mods, with two of them coming at Oxford.
“It’s gone by quick, but it’s been a great year. The wins have been really good and the fact that we are even in a position to go fight for a title on Saturday is pretty unbelievable too.”
After competing in karts as a child, Cookson did not make the transition to full-size cars, even hanging up his helmet for a time. In that time, he became an avid sim racer on iRacing. So good was he that he even once won up $10,000 for a single iRace win. In late 2020, Cookson and his family took that iRacing money and decided to try their luck at the real thing, selecting the PASS Modifieds as a starting point.
“That’s what paid for 80 percent of my car, was the money off iRacing, and iRacing was a big help in just making the transition to a real car. We didn’t really have any intentions to go back real racing and then we won that race on iRacing, we bought a car, and my dad got the truck and trailer. Went at it with no expectations, and it’s turned out well. Excited to see what the future brings.”
Despite the numbers advantage in the win column some good consistency, it was a single misstep that has put Cookson in this near dead heat with Lamb. A disqualification in May at White Mountain Motorsports Park for a technical infraction following what was originally a race winning performance eliminated not only the race finish points, but the 50 bonus points that all fulltime competitors earn for starting each race.
“We’re going into it with the lead by two after coming from over a hundred points back is quite the deficit to come back from. We were disqualified back in May from the White Mountain race and it gave the field a whole race over us. Just fortunate to be able to go for it Saturday, the car has been gone over heavily this week. It’s been a journey, but we’re excited to get going.”
This Saturday, October 16 features the penultimate round for Pro All Stars Series Super Late Model North title along with the PASS Modifieds season finale at Oxford Plain Speedway. In addition, Street Stocks and Limited will be in action on the day as well. Watch all the action live on Speed51.TV starting at 1pm ET.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Correspondent – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51