Cut tire drops Vanderwyst from 9th at Cayuga. LONDON, ON - Although the final race result wasn't what he'd hoped for, Pete Vanderwyst drew a lot of satisfaction from the major role his Vanderwyst Motorsports team played in making the 'Canada Day...
Cut tire drops Vanderwyst from 9th at Cayuga.
LONDON, ON - Although the final race result wasn't what he'd hoped for, Pete Vanderwyst drew a lot of satisfaction from the major role his Vanderwyst Motorsports team played in making the 'Canada Day Shootout' the huge success it was. In the end, participating in CASCAR's biggest ever race somewhat tempered the Exide Pontiac driver's disappointment at finishing 37th in the final 100-lap feature event.
While running ninth with 10 laps to go in the race, Vanderwyst suffered a flat right-front tire, which sent his car hard into the outside retaining wall on the backstraight. The St. Thomas, ON racer emerged unscathed, but a broken upper ball joint meant that his race was finished. Scored 37th in the results, Vanderwyst will head to this weekend's Molson Indy Toronto street race in ninth place in the CASCAR Super Series standings, at the midway point of the 2002 season.
"My front-right tire blew out," explained Vanderwyst, after the race. "The team worked so hard for this race. In our first 50 lapper, we had a miss in the engine. We thought we had a carburetor problem, so we brought it in and worked on it. We changed it and still had the problem, so we changed the fuel pump. It turned out we had a little piece of something in the fuel pump. We even got into the fuel cell looking for the problem. But the guys found it and they fixed it for the feature. We had a really good piece there for most of the race."
After starting 33rd in the field 44, the Exide Pontiac driver was up to ninth when he felt a problem developing with the tire. "We tightened it up for the race, but after that last caution - by the time we were caught up to [Dave] Whitlock - the tire was already going down. It was one of them deals. We had a good hot rod today."
In addition to racing in the unique event, in front of 15,000 enthusiastic racing fans at Cayuga, Vanderwyst Motorsports also prepared the Home Depot Pontiac of visiting Winston Cup star Tony Stewart, as well as the Valvoline Pontiac of Johnny Benson.
"It really stretched us getting all of the cars ready for this race," continued Vanderwyst. "Sam Rounce brought his car under our banner for the race and helped us a lot in getting the car ready for Tony Stewart. Some of my old guys who used to take care of our cars on a regular basis also came out today, and looked after [Johnny] Benson's car. I want to thank them all for helping to make this happen." In the end, Stewart and Benson finished 11th and 13th, respectively.
Looking at the big picture, Vanderwyst knows that the race was a major milestone for stock car racing in Canada. "What a show! The fans got to see a really good race. It was a great night for CASCAR and I was very happy to be part of it."
Vanderwyst continued, "We want to thank Exide for all their support. And thanks to our longtime sponsor Loctite, who came back to support us for this race and at the Toronto Molson Indy. And Valvoline was on Johnny's car, which we really appreciated."
NEXT RACE: The CASCAR Super Series returns to the streets of Toronto this coming weekend for their fourth appearance at the Molson Indy. Pete Vanderwyst finished second in the race in 2000 and is looking forward to returning to the scene of one of the best results of his racing career. Qualifying for the CASCAR race starts on Friday, while Saturday's feature race is scheduled for 4:45 p.m.