BY BILL STEWART

Staff Writer

Rain wiped out several auto races last weekend, giving drivers ample opportunity to work on their cars, evaluate their seasons or just take a break.

A welcomed relief, right?

“Not for us,” Johnny Clark said. “We were ready to go. We don’t want any downtime. We don’t need it. We felt we were just starting to get on a roll and now this.”

Clark finished eighth in a Pro All Stars Series North race May 18 at the Autodrome Chaudiere in Vallee-Jonction, Quebec. The finish propelled him from 19th to seventh in the PASS North standings.

It also gave him much-needed momentum heading into a 150-lap feature at White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, N.H., last weekend.

However, inclement weather postponed the race and, with PASS North off this weekend, Clark will have two weeks before the series resumes June 9.

“We don’t need two weeks off,” said Clark, whose run of four consecutive PASS North championships ended last year. “We’re just starting to perform like we should be.”

Clark, a six-time PASS North champ who struggled last season, was in front with 35 laps to go at the Autodrome Chaudiere, but a flat right front tire derailed his victory bid. He still managed to salvage an eighth-place finish.

“We picked up a lot of ground,” Clark said. “We were right there. We’re feeling pretty good because we’re headed in the right direction.”

* * *

Pete McCollett, 51, of Manchester, plans to race his Mini Stock car at several tracks this season, including Wiscasset, Oxford Plains, Unity and even Speedway 95.

He also plans to share the car — a Volkswagen Gulf — with longtime Augusta driver Shawn Kimball, a three-time points champ at Wiscasset.

“You never know who will be in the car every week,” McCollett said. “I know I’ll be driving it TD Bank 250 weekend, but other than that, we’re going to go out and have some fun with it this year.”

McCollett has bounced around at several tracks. He raced at Unity for two years before deciding to switch to Oxford Plains Speedway. Now, with Wiscasset Speedway open, his options expanded.

“We’ll go everywhere,” he said. “I’ll drive it down at Oxford but we’ll go to Wiscasset. I’m at the point where I just want to have fun with it. We’ll go racing here, there and everywhere. We’re looking forward to just going all over this summer.”

* * *

Reid Lanpher, 15, of Manchester, may finally run some green flag laps at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va.

Lanpher is driving a Late Model for JR Motorsports — which Sprint Cup driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr., owns — and is racing in the Dirty Dozen series.

The Dirty Dozen Late Model series is split between Southern National Motorsports Park in Lucama, N.C. and Motor Mile.

“We’ve gone down to Motor Mile three times and never got a chance to turn some green flag laps because of the weather,” said Lanpher. “Maybe this weekend.”

Lanpher flies out Friday and will test the car that day at the track. He’ll race in a pair of 125-lap features Saturday. Lanpher is 13th in points after 12 races. He has four top-10 finishes.

“I’m feeling really confident,” he said. “I’ve got a laps in the car and, hopefully, we can go down there this weekend and get the car set up to qualify.

Lanpher added that he’ll still plan to drive his NELCAR Legends car in New England this summer when his schedule permits. He also may drive in a few Late Model races in the area.

“I’ll be racing everywhere,” he said. “I think I may have two weekends off all summer. We’ll see. It’s going to be pretty crazy.”

* * *

Left turns: Unity Raceway opened last weekend and had 11 cars for its Late Model feature. Andy Saunders won the 67-lap feature while Jeff Burgess finished second. NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer will come to Barre, Vt., to race in the annual Governor’s Cup at Thunder Road. Bowyer, who has eight Sprint Cup victories, is fourth in points. … Brian Hoar, of Williston, Vt., leads the American-Canadian Tour in points with 380. He has two victories in four starts.

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]

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