For Farmington native Cassius Clark, the anticipation leading up to Saturday’s annual Pro All Stars Series Mega-Meltdown 300 at Hickory Motor Speedway in North Carolina has turned to stress.

The team for which Clark drives, King Racing, owned by former racer and Canadian businessman Rollie MacDonald, is stuck at the Canadian border with the car and all of the equipment necessary to run this weekend’s race.

“They’ve been delayed at the border cross at Houlton since Tuesday afternoon at 2 p.m.,” Clark said on the phone from North Carolina. “There was a practice session here yesterday, and there is more on tap for today. It’s a 20-hour drive from Houlton to get here, so I sure hope they get released soon.”

Two other race teams had similar difficulties, Clark said, but were allowed to pass after a lengthy delay.

U.S. Customs and Border Protections Public Affairs Officer Stephanie Malin on Friday afternoon released a statement on the matter:

“While I cannot get into the specific details of the inspection, I can confirm the individuals were not detained at the port of entry at all,” she wrote, “The issue is related to a lack of proper importation documents required for importing a vehicle for racing purposes.

“Non-residents may import an automobile or motorcycle and its usual equipment free of duty for a temporary stay to take part in races or other specific purposes,” Malin said. “However, prior written approval from the EPA is required and such approval is granted only to those racing vehicles that EPA deems not capable of safe or practical use on streets and highways. If the contests are for other than money purposes, the vehicle may be admitted for 90 days without formal entry or bond however, for automobiles being used for races with monetary purposes, a formal Temporary Importation Bond from a broker is required.”

Clark has had a successful year driving for the King Team. His many fans and followers are expecting him to be at this race.

“It’s not like I can just hop in another car and race,” Clark said. “I’m committed to this team and I drive for Rollie, end of story. All of my gear is in that trailer and the car is set up and ready for practice. I just need for the Border Patrol officials to release that transporter so the guys can get down here.”

Also already in North Carolina with Clark are crew chief Andrew Hicken and MacDonald.

McDonald has been racing in the U.S. for 40 years and owns and operates King Freight Lines Limited, a trucking business based in Atlantic Canada that often does business in Maine. The team has been forced to fill out and file various forms of documentation, from matters like the type of material in the driver’s suit to what kind of fuel cans they’re using.

“They’ve even contacted the EPA and got clearance from them as to the type of cargo they are carrying. I’m not sure what else the agents are looking for; Rollie is always very thorough with required papers.”

According to Clark, the team’s equipment is the same as it has always been when entering the U.S. successfully over the course of this season. It is the same equipment as that of their fellow racing teams that have been allowed to cross.

“They’re complaining about what my firesuit is made out of, fuel jugs, the easy-up tent, the oil in the race car, lawn chairs, you can’t even imagine,” Clark told Speed51.com.

Clark said Friday this is the first such problem he or his team have had, which surprised officials.

“The guy from the EPA said, ‘Oh Jesus, I can’t believe they let you into the US.’ You need to have this or whatever, so we got that,” Clark told Speed51.com. “But it’s never been an issue. You roll up and we know the people there. Everybody is saying to go to this border or that border, but you can’t do that at this point. They call it border jumping and it’s kind of big news right now, so they’re going to know. We’re kind of stuck where we’re at right now.”

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