NASCAR racers return to Cayuga Speedway to take on CASCAR's best in the 'Dodge Canada Day Shootout, presented by MOPAR' HAMILTON, ON - This weekend at Cayuga 2000 Speedway, CASCAR fans will be treated to the greatest annual spectacle in Canadian...
NASCAR racers return to Cayuga Speedway to take on CASCAR's best in the 'Dodge Canada Day Shootout, presented by MOPAR'
HAMILTON, ON - This weekend at Cayuga 2000 Speedway, CASCAR fans will be treated to the greatest annual spectacle in Canadian stock car racing. The 'Dodge Canada Day Shootout, presented by MOPAR' is a two-day racing spectacular, and will pit Canada's top drivers against several NASCAR stars for a total of 300 laps around the 5/8-mile Cayuga oval. New for 2003, the Canada Day Shootout will feature a unique 'Twin 50, Plus 200' format.
Joining the regular cast of CASCAR Super Series competitors for the event will be NASCAR Winston Cup stars Sterling Marlin, Kenny Wallace and Geoffrey Bodine. Brett Bodine was originally slated to take part in the race, but suffered serious injuries in a hard crash, during practice, for the recent Winston Cup event at Michigan. Still recovering from his injuries, Brett will still be at Cayuga Speedway to participate in the driver autograph sessions and other non-racing activities.
In addition to Sunday's (June 29) main event, Cayuga Speedway will be buzzing throughout the entire weekend with racing action. The feature race on Saturday night (June 28) will be the 150-lap CASCAR CARQUEST Sportsman race. The Thunder Cars, and Canadian Vintage Modifieds will also be on Saturday's busy racing schedule.
Driver autograph sessions, on-site camping, beer gardens, live bands, vehicle displays, celebrity appearances and racing collectible vendor areas will all contribute to the electric atmosphere of the 'Dodge Canada Day Shootout, presented by MOPAR'.
Last year's inaugural Canada Day Shootout was a memorable event. The conclusion to a great weekend of action occurred when Winston Cup's winningest driver of 2002 - Matt Kenseth - drove around the outside of CASCAR champion Don Thomson Jr. with just a few turns remaining in the final 100 lap segment, en route to a thrilling victory. Over 15,000 fans were on hand at Cayuga to witness the sight; the climax to what is widely considered to have been the biggest stock car oval racing event in Canadian history.
A great competitor, Thomson has somewhat mixed feelings about last year's race. On the one hand, the two-time and defending National champ is one of CASCAR's greatest proponents, and he understands the benefits to the sport that events like the Canada Day Shootout offer, in terms of new fans and exposure. But as a fierce competitor, Thomson cringes when he recalls 'the one that got away'.
"It's just great for the sport to have so many people come to a CASCAR race and see what a great show everyone puts on," said Thomson, who is currently leading the points in his quest for a third Super Series National crown. "And with the Winston Cup guys coming up to be part of it, I think it's going to build into a bigger and bigger event, every year.
"Last year at Cayuga was just unbelievable. To this day we still throw the tape of that race into the VCR - here at the shop - and it's amazing how many people were there and how loud they were. If you can't get up for this race, you can't get up for any race."
And as much as he enjoyed being part of the spectacle, the Hamilton, ON racer is hoping for more this weekend. "This is the biggest oval race of the year for us. We'd love to go for that top finish, but we have to think of the championship and that means not taking any unnecessary chances. But yep, we're going for it, even though we know we have to take what we can get. "
CASCAR NOTEBOOK: Tickets for the 'Dodge Canada Day Shootout, presented by MOPAR' are available on-line through ticketmaster.ca... As noted earlier, the CASCAR CARQUEST Sportsman Series will also be in action this weekend at Cayuga 2000 Speedway. On Saturday night (June 28), the series will host Round 3 of its 10-race tour, in what will be the series' lone outing of 2003 at the 5/8-mile, Hamilton-area oval. Saturday night's CARQUEST event is the first of four mandatory 150-lap races on the series' schedule... The CASCAR EMCO Western Series race that was to have taken place last Saturday night at Calgary's Race City Motorsport Park was rained out. A make-up date for the race has not yet been announced. <pre> Event Schedule 'Dodge Canada Day Shootout, Presented by Mopar' at Cayuga 2000 Speedway:
SATURDAY, JUNE 28, 2003 10:00 a.m. Spectator Gates Open 11:00 a.m. Support Series Practice Sessions begin 12:00 noon CARQUEST Sportsman Practice 3:00 p.m. CARUEST Sportsman Qualifying 4:00 p.m. Support Series Heats begin 6:00 p.m. CARQUEST Sportsman Autograph Session 7:00 p.m. START: CARQUEST SPORTSMAN FEATURE -- 150 LAPS 8:15 p.m. Thunder Car and Canadian Vintage Modified Features Commence
SUNDAY, JUNE 29, 2003 9:00 a.m. Spectator Gates Open 11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. CASCAR Super Series Practice Sessions 2:00 p.m. Driver Autograph Session, including CASCAR and NASCAR drivers 3:15 p.m. CASCAR Super Series Time Trials 4:30 p.m. CASCAR Super Series 'Twin 50' Qualifying Sprint Races (2) 6:00 p.m. Driver Introductions / National Anthems 7:00 p.m. START: DODGE CANADA DAY SHOOTOUT, PRESENTED BY DODGE -- 200 LAPS