Column By: STEPHEN DURHAM / RPW – OXFORD, ME – It is never an easy day at the track when dealing with motor issues. Cole Butcher and the Donnie Willson Racing team overcame not one motor change, but two motor changes to get him out in time to compete in his heat race and win it.
Butcher would start third after winning the third heat race for the Pro All Star Series Late Models. Winning heat one and two was Evan Hallstrom and Scott McDaniel, they would set the front row for the Spencer Group Paving LLC 150. Heat race four was won by Joey Polewarczyk.
Hallstrom would jump out front and lead the first several laps before Butcher would take away the lead for another several laps. Then it was 2021 PASS North Champion Johnny Clark would jump out front and lead the most laps of the 150 lapper, leading 73 laps.
Butcher, who ran in second the majority of the race, would reel in Clark and take over the lead on lap 89 and not look back.
Butcher, from Nova Scotia was really proud and thankful for how hard his team worked on Saturday, overcoming the issues they had.
“My crew worked their butts off today, my whole family, mom, dad, I can’t thank them all enough for what they achieved today and helping me get here.”
Butcher said there was lots of scrambling getting the car right.
“This motor was the original motor in the car at the beginning of the day, the head gasket was leaking, so we put the spare in,” explains Butcher, “the second motor blew up 3 laps into practice, so we put this one back in, went to NAPA and got some sealer, and she made it all the way through.”
For Butcher it was his first win on United States soil and conquering it at one of the most prestigious tracks in the country.
Johnny Clark would come home in the runner-up spot, and was glad to get through it with a stout finish.
“We kind of surprised ourselves, and I was definitely surprised. At the drop of the green, I was like damn, we have a damn good car and rolled right around on the outside, and I don’t think there were many that passed on the outside today,” Clark explains.
Clark thought early on in the day he only had a top 5 or sixth place race car.
“We made big gains going into the feature, we tried a lot and it was all in the right direction, probably could have gone a smidge more,” a thankful Clark says after a hard fought 2nd place finish.
Rounding out the podium was one driver needing a good run after back to back race days having issues, and that was DJ Shaw. Shaw who started in row 6 would crack the top 10 early on in the race and found himself inside the top 5 for the majority of the race. Shaw was happy to rebound well, but wanted more.
“Car just wasn’t that consistent really for us, it would close the gap, and then had to defend some, I just like I could gain when I didn’t have to defend, when I was trying to do both, it just wasn’t working out. All in all, a very solid day for us,” Shaw explains.
Rounding out the top 5 was Curtis Gerry in fourth, and Brandon Barker in 5th. Noticeables from the race was Eddie MacDonald finish 9th, Joey Polewarczyk who finished 18th after the handling went away on his Richard Moody 4nh machine, and Evan Halstrom finishing 34th after a strong start.
The Pro All Star Series tour heads to the White Mountains of New Hampshire at White Mountains Motorsports Park, racing starts at 1PM.