* Veteran Don Thomson Jr. Focuses On Everything During A Race * Subway 200 Post-Race Notes * Pressure Mounts With Three To Go DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 4, 2007) -- Veteran drivers play the game very well. They have all the answers to the ...
* Veteran Don Thomson Jr. Focuses On Everything During A Race
* Subway 200 Post-Race Notes
* Pressure Mounts With Three To Go
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 4, 2007) -- Veteran drivers play the game very well. They have all the answers to the questions which have been asked dozens of times over their careers. They see the big picture and don't get caught up in the minutia of a race, or a season, for that matter.
The CASCAR Super Series graduated several savvy and wily veterans to the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Sirius Satellite Radio for its inaugural season of racing in Canada. Perhaps the most accomplished of that experienced group is Don Thomson Jr. (No. 4 Home Hardware Chevrolet). Hailing from Ayr, Ontario, he won five consecutive CASCAR Super Series championships from 2001 through 2005.
Not surprisingly, Thomson, once again, is in the hunt for the championship. This time, though, it's under the NASCAR banner which takes the been-there-done-that element out of the equation for him.
"No doubt, it would be nice to win, but there is still a lot of racing left," he said.
Thomson, who got caught up in an early incident in last weekend's Subway 200 at Cayuga Speedway Park, holds the fifth spot in the championship point standings, 169 points off the pace of leader Andrew Ranger (No. 27 Wal-Mart/Tide Ford). While that sounds like a large deficit, keep in mind that Thomson entered the race 91 points in back of Ranger. One moment of being in the wrong place at the wrong time can easily lead to drastic movements within the standings.
This Saturday's race at Barrie (Ontario) Speedway, a 1/3-mile bullring of a track, can easily result in an early departure from the action.
"You have to be careful at Barrie, but even then it may not matter if the three or four guys around you are not careful," said Thomson. "You just do what you need to do and hope for the best from everyone else."
Track position is an obvious key, putting heavy emphasis on qualifying well, but the overall dynamics of the race and the track diminishes that factor quite a bit.
"With the track being fairly short, differing pit strategies and the double-file restarts, you're in traffic all night long," Thomson stated. "It's easy to get turned around there, but all of that is what makes it fun -- the challenge and the survival."
Being in the midst of a championship battle is not at all new to Thomson and he admits to thinking about everything from points to calculating risk to specific race tactics not only for himself, but also of his competitors.
"I think about all kinds of stuff on the track," he stated. "Everything from what comes next in the current race to what is the next race and how does it relate to what I am doing at the minute."
Some drivers, as the season winds down, have someone feeding them information on the current status of all the championship contenders. Some don't want any information of that type and just want to run the race. And others, like Thomson, have an innate feel for the situation.
"It's usually down to two or three guys, so I don't have too much of a problem figuring things out for myself. We all know what we need to have happen before the race starts anyway."
Thomson also feels that it's human nature to think about those things during the race.
"I don't know how anyone can't," he said. "We put all this hard work in all year long to win the championship. There is no way to put it completely out of your mind -- at least I can't."
The first ever NASCAR Canadian Tire Series championship hangs in the balance over the final three races of the 2007 season. If the racing throughout the season is any indication, then the title will be decided on the final lap of the year. After all, that's the Canadian Tire Series way.
Subway 200 Post-Race Notes
* Spreading the wealth ... With his win in the Subway 200 presented by Sicard Holiday Campers, Derek Lynch (No. 77 Allied Steel Buildings/Canadian Shield Dodge) became the sixth different race winner this season in the nine NASCAR Canadian Tire Series events. There have been five different Bud Pole winners this year with the most recent being Don Thomson Jr. (No. 4 Home Hardware Chevrolet).
* Dodge picks up second win of the season ... Lynch gave Dodge its second win of the season in the Canadian Tire Series. D.J. Kennington (No. 17 Castrol/Krispy Kreme Dodge) won the July 1 Canada Day race at Barrie for Dodge's first win. In the manufacturers' standings with just three races to go, Chevy leads the way with 62 points. However, Ford and Dodge are well within striking distance with 55 and 54 points, respectively. Pontiac has 27 points. For each event, the winning car's manufacturer receives nine points. The next-highest finishing maker gets six points and the third and fourth-place manufacturers are awarded four and three points, respectively.
* Mobil 1 Oil "Command Performance of the Race" Award ... As an added bonus for his NASCAR Canadian Tire Series victory at Cayuga Speedway Park, Lynch collects $1,500 from Mobil 1 as a reward for his effort.
* Hot, hot, hot ... Without question the hottest driver in the Canadian Tire Series, and perhaps in all of NASCAR, is Kerry Micks (No. 02 Beyond Digital Imaging Ford). He rebounded from an early incident, and a subsequent penalty from NASCAR officials, last Saturday evening to notch a fourth-place finish. It was his sixth top-five effort in the last seven events.
* Mopar Fast Five ... This program awards the top-five finishing Dodges in each race. In this race, obviously, Lynch's Dodge was the top finisher and was awarded $2,000. Kennington finished third overall, but was the second-highest finishing Dodge which earned him $1,250. Ranked third among the Dodge entrants was Brad Graham (No. 19 Full Throttle Energy Drink/Challenger Freight Dodge Charger), who logged a fifth-place finish and a $1,000 bonus. The fourth and fifth-highest finishing Dodges were those of Jason Hathaway (No. 3 Snap-on Tools/Super 8 Dodge Charger) and Randy MacDonald (No. 71 Castrol Dodge Charger). They finished ninth and 10th and earned $500 and $250, respectively.
* Ranger stretches lead ... With his fourth runner-up finish in the last five races, Andrew Ranger (No. 27 Wal-Mart/Tide Ford) continues to execute the strategy of points racing success with consistency being highly rewarded. He went into the Subway 200 with a 91-point lead on Thomson, who found trouble on the track in the early going. As a result, Ranger (1,472) grew his lead to 122 points over Micks and Kennington, who are tied at 1,350. Micks gains the advantage and assumes the second-place position due to his two wins this year.
ATTO 300 NEWS & NOTES
* The race ... This event is the 10th race for the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Sirius Satellite Radio in 2007. It is the second of two visits to Barrie Speedway this season. The ATTO 300 is scheduled for an 8:45 p.m. E.T. start on Saturday, Sept. 8. Joining the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series at Barrie Speedway will be several local classifications including the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. This year is Barrie's first season as part of the NASCAR weekly racing series' family of tracks. They are joined in Canada by Autodrome St-Eustache in Quebec, Edmonton International Speedway in Alberta and SunValley Speedway in Vernon, B.C.
* The track ... Barrie Speedway is a 1/3-mile tri-oval located near the shores of Lake Simcoe north of Toronto. The track opened in 1965 and underwent a complete facelift in late 2004. At that time, the track was expanded from a 1/4-mile oval to its current layout. Also included in that work, was an overall widening of the racing surface along with the addition of a pit road to accommodate longer races. What makes pit road unique at Barrie is that it is located on the backstretch of the track.
* Just three to go ... With just three races to go in the inaugural season of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Sirius Satellite Radio, the already intense racing action is sure to become even fiercer. Five of the last six races have been decided by last-lap exchanges of the lead. In the July 1 race within the cozy confines of Barrie's 1/3-mile track, the lead changed hands 13 times before Kennington collected the win.
* Ticket information ... Information for the ATTO 300 can be obtained by calling the track at (705) 487-0279 or by logging onto www.barriespeedway.com. Advance tickets can be purchased at Jeff Walters Diamonds, conveniently located at 331 Bayfield Street, Suite 203, in Barrie and at St. Onge Recreation, located at 74 Saunders Road in Barrie. Tickets also can be purchased online from the track's website. And tickets will be available on race day at the track. Camping will be available at Burl's Creek Family Event Park. Contact Burl's Creek directly at (705) 487-663 for reservations or check them out online at www.burlscreek.com. Please note this special traffic advisory this weekend -- traffic heading to Barrie Speedway from the south should exit highway 11 at Line 7, follow line 7 to Ridge Road and then take Ridge Road to Line 8. The direct exit to Line 8 from Highway 11 will be congested due to the automotive flea market.
What: ATTO 300, NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Race # 10.
Where: Barrie (Ontario) Speedway.
When: 8:45 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 8.
Track layout: 1/3-Mile Oval.
Distance: 300 Laps, 99.99 miles.
Posted Awards: $68,734 CAD
2006 winner: Inaugural event.
2006 polesitter: Inaugural event.
Pre-race schedule: Practice, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Qualifying, 4:30 p.m. Note: All times subject to change.
NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Top 10: 1. Andrew Ranger 1472; 2. Kerry Micks 1350; 3. D.J. Kennington 1350; 4. Peter Gibbons 1308; 5. Don Thomson, Jr. 1303; 6. J.R. Fitzpatrick 1298; 7. Mark Dilley 1247; 8. Derek Lynch 1242; 9. Jason Hathaway 1213; 10. Scott Steckly 1161.