CENTENNIAL CHRYSLER'S JOHN GAUNT FINISHES FIFTH AT BARRIE BARRIE, ON -- John Gaunt picked the right night for a great result. On Saturday evening at Barrie Speedway -- in front of his sponsors, hometown fans and team owner -- the driver of the...
CENTENNIAL CHRYSLER'S JOHN GAUNT FINISHES FIFTH AT BARRIE
BARRIE, ON -- John Gaunt picked the right night for a great result. On Saturday evening at Barrie Speedway -- in front of his sponsors, hometown fans and team owner -- the driver of the #12 Centennial Chrysler-sponsored Dodge Avenger earned a fifth-place finish at his hometrack.
"It was a great night for us," said Gaunt, who was clearly pleased to have done so well at the 1/3-mile tri-oval. "We qualified third in front of our hometown fans. We were really happy about that because it's the best we've done all year. We ran up front and we were in third-place before we were spun by the #02 [Kerry Micks] again. We had a competitive car and we were able to fight back from that setback to come home fifth. All the guys on the team worked very hard and the changes they made to the car worked out tonight."
Following 10 of 12 events on the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series schedule, the Barrie (ON) racer -- who returned to Canada's national stock car tour this season after several years racing at Barrie Speedway -- says he and his team are starting to gel. "I feel like things are beginning to come around in our favour now; it's starting to feel really good."
The #12 Centennial Chrysler / AKN Sikkens / Vital Signs / Mobil1 / Unitec / Plumbtech/Moen Dodge Avenger could have finished even higher but Gaunt actually had to overcome two setbacks during the race.
"After we were spun the first time, we ended up at the back and it took a toll on our tires trying to come back from that. We lost a lap, but we got it back. We eventually got new tires on, but we had one more adventure when we were 'turned' near the end of the race when we were racing for position. That spin hurt the rear tires and we were a little loose off the turns after that. But all in all, it was a good night."
As mentioned, Gaunt was surrounded by many supporters at Barrie, including his team owner and sponsor, Gord Coates. "Mr. [Gord] Coates was here tonight and it means a lot that we were able to put on a good show for him. He's a big racing fan and would have enjoyed the hard racing tonight. I'd also like to thank Plumbtech / Moen for being on our car for this race. They're a Barrie company. So many of our sponsors are based in Barrie and they were all here at the track tonight, so it was good timing for us to have a solid run."
NEXT RACE: RIVERSIDE SPEEDWAY: This coming Saturday, Canada's NASCAR tour heads to Antigonish, Nova Scotia for its inaugural appearance at Riverside Speedway. "I'm really looking forward to going to Riverside," said Gaunt. "I remember almost 25 years ago, Frank Fraser [a legend in Maritime stock car racing] telling me that it's about the best racetrack in the world. They've done a lot of work on the place in the past few years, so it has to be even better now. I've heard it's just an awesome place."