Reverse gear: 2007's Top 10

No. 10

Ben Rowe's 4th PASS North Series title

Ben Rowe avoids controversy like it's some kind of flat tire while leading a race at the white flag, and his success goes largely unnoticed. Simply put, his racing career follows a simple formula: find good rides, win races, win championships.

Not surprisingly, it works.

The talent pool may not necessarily be all that deep in the PASS North Series from top to bottom, but the few competitive teams that Rowe routinely beats out for the championship honors are at the top of the Super Late Model game, both here and further south. Testament to Rowe's ability as a driver, too, is the fact that he's now won the PASS title while driving for different teams. The 2007 crown comes while competing for Richard Moody Racing, the second team he's competed for in the series.

Rowe may only have won 1 race this year in PASS North competition -- 4 fewer than his father, Mike, who finished second in the standings -- but it doesn't tell the complete story. He finished 2nd a series-high 5 times in '07.

Rowe is an exceptionally clean driver, he has an ability to take a 6th-place car and get a 2nd-place finish out of it and he simply doesn't quit driving. How many times this year did we see that yellow No. 4 pit a bunch of times in the first half of a race while it was struggling just to turn left, only to see Rowe put it on the podium by the time the day was over?

Johnny Clark is the only other driver with multiple PASS titles, and with his 4th championship this year, Rowe has distanced himself from the field -- something the history books will reflect for many, many years to come. Like his father was to the generation before, Ben Rowe will be the benchmark for this generation of Maine racers in the decades that follow.