Newhouse Team Exudes Dominance at Pocatello Raceway
By: Nate Graves
Coming into Saturday night’s Extreme Staffing 40/40 twin mains presented by Napa Auto Parts, Pro Truck Series defending champion Johnny Pierre knew he needed a big night to make up for the 18 point difference separating himself from points leader John Newhouse.
After starting near the back of the pack in the first main, Pierre mounted an early race hard charging run which landed him in the top spot after just 10 laps. Once he took the lead, Pierre seemed to be running on cruise control and heading towards victory lane until a seemingly routine pass on a lapped truck dramatically changed the story line.
It happened on the exit of turn 4 and looked to be the result of poor driver-spotter communications. The untimely wreck for the 3 time defending champion involved only one other truck as the #13 of Sam Harris drove to the low side of the track just as Pierre was making the same move while exiting turn 4. The collision and damage sustained to Pierre very well could be the final nail in the coffin for the #38 team’s chance of winning an unprecedented 4th straight series title.
With Pierre wrecked and out of the race, the first main event of the night transformed into a high speed fender banging daddy-daughter short track battle dance featuring John and Hannah Newhouse. It was with 7 to go when the dance of danger came to an exciting climax as the young up and comer Hannah Newhouse made the aggressive yet elegant move to the inside by using the front bumper to move John up the track and out of the lead. Once in front, the Boise State sponsored truck checked out and drove on to victory lane.
Round 2 of the Extreme Staffing 40/40 presented by Napa Auto Parts began with an unfamiliar sight as there was no sign of Johnny Pierre’s #38 DL Evans sponsored truck anywhere to be seen. With Pierre out of the race, the Newhouse racing team knew this might just be their best chance on the season for a 1-2-3 Newhouse finish. And at the end of the night when the dust finally settled into the night skies looming over the Pocatello Raceway, the Newhouse racing team accomplished this feat with what appeared to be the greatest of ease. It was a Family battle to end all family battles as the three Newhouse drivers pounded on each other while jockeying for position over what one would have to assume would be dinner-time bragging rights. In the end, it was the elder Newhouse claiming the victory in the second main event, while big sister Hannah was just able to hold off a hard-charging run from 15-year old 2nd year driver Mason Newhouse who was piloting the RTTI, Pocatello Raceway sponsored #36.
With 3 races left to decide who the 2016 champion will be, the door is still open for the youngest driver out of the Newhouse racing stables, and although Mason is winless he’s been consistent, and is therefore still in contention. The only thing standing in the way of a Mason Newhouse championship season is a driver who is not only his dad, but a driver who has been racing a Pro Truck longer than the young man has been alive.