Old Familiar Feeling: Trevor Sanborn grabs Pro All Stars Series pole at Thompson

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THOMPSON, Conn. — It was just like old times at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Saturday afternoon.

Driving for the team owner that gave him his Super Late Model start, in a car that was built some seven years ago, Trevor Sanborn won the pole position for the Pro All Stars Series season-opening Icebreaker 75 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

Sanborn, of Parsonsfield, Maine, won the first of three PASS North heat races at Thompson to earn the pole. Larry Gelinas and Garrett Hall won the other two heat races to set the 26-car starting field for Sunday’s race.

sanborn thompson 29

Trevor Sanborn’s No. 29 for car owner Jay Cushman in the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park pit area on Saturday./Photo courtesy of Corey Sanborn

“Before the last practice, we made a ton of changes,” said Sanborn, who also set quick time in final practice. “The car was really, really good compared to where it was before. I mean, it was off the pace when we first got here. But the changes we made with the shocks and some other changes with bump stops and bump springs made it a lot better.”

Sanborn said he and car owner Jay Cushman are in “pick and choose” mode when it comes to PASS races this season for the No. 29 team. Sanborn finished last season with Hight Motorsports, including a start in the Oxford 250, before that team decided to step back its racing operations.

Cushman’s car has only competed in two races previously, once at Thompson and once last season in PASS’ only series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. In that race at Thompson, in 2007, Sanborn drove the car to a second-place finish.

“Track position is so important here,” Sanborn said. “It’s so hard to pass. You’ve got to really set them up, because everybody is really rolling through the center of the turn. Either you’ve got to have a gorilla motor, or you’ve really got to work to set them up. Tt’s one of the hardest tracks we race on, honestly.”

Joining Sanborn, Gelinas and Hall in the top five on the starting grid will be home track drivers John-Michael Shenette and Dave Garbo. Derek Ramstrom, and former Thompson Super Late Model track champion and winner of the last series race here in 2012, will start sixth.

Qualifying wasn’t good to everybody, however. Six-time series champion Johnny Clark of Hallowell, Maine, encountered trouble on the backstretch on the first lap of his heat race — making contact with another PASS North champion in Travis Benjamin.

As the racing spread out three-wide within the top five on the green flag lap, Clark said cars were getting jostled around before he found himself headed for the infield grass.

“It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I still got up to third after (restarting) in the back,” Clark said. “I’m glad that we found some of the bent parts.”

Clark will start eighth on Sunday.

Reigning series champion Mike Rowe, driving for the first time as a teammate to his son Ben Rowe in the Richard Moody Racing stable, qualified 15th.

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