WHITLOCK & NTN/NMT DODGE CHARGER ON PODIUM Barrie, ON, Tuesday July 4, 2006: Dave Whitlock and the NTN-Bower/Nitrex Metal Technologies team notched their first podium finish of the year with a third place finish on Sunday in the Mopar 300 ...
WHITLOCK & NTN/NMT DODGE CHARGER ON PODIUM
Barrie, ON, Tuesday July 4, 2006: Dave Whitlock and the NTN-Bower/Nitrex Metal Technologies team notched their first podium finish of the year with a third place finish on Sunday in the Mopar 300 presented by Ontario Dodge Dealers event at Barrie Speedway.
Saturday would see Whitlock post the 7th quickest time in time trials which put him in the second row for the start of the first 50 lap qualifier. Unfortunately upon completion of the first qualifier, the rain started and CASCAR was forced to cancel the second qualifying event. As CASCAR was unable to reschedule the second 50 lapper the results of the first one were scrapped and the lineup for the 300 lap main event went back to time trial order.
Sunday dawned hot & sunny and Whitlock lined up on the inside of the the fourth row. He quickly settled the #39 NTN/NMT Dodge Charger into sixth where he remained for the early part of the race. On lap 138 the caution flew for the fourth time and it was into the pits for Whitlock for two tires and fuel. The pit stop was flawless but with the small pit boxes, Whitlock found himself boxed in and had to reverse the car in order to get out. "My crew is really great at getting me quick pit stops and we usually move up spots when we pit but we were boxed in between Brown & Kennington and it took an extra few seconds to get out," said Whitlock. They lined up for the restart again in sixth. The #39 Charger was still not handling as good as they wanted so two more quick pit stops as the race went on and they were set to make a charge to the front. The final five laps saw nine cars on the lead lap doing a lot of jockeying for position. Three restarts over those final five laps and Whitlock doing some nifty driving to stay out of trouble put the NTN/NMT Dodge onto the podium with a third place finish and a great way to celebrate his 40th birthday. "This finish is great," stated Whitlock after the race. "Our car was off for the first 200 laps and we had to fight hard to stay with the leaders. The cautions worked for us late in the race though as we were able to keep pitting and making adjustments."
Youngster J.R. Fitzpatrick posted his first CASCAR Super Series victory with the #60 of Ron Beauchamp Jr. taking the second podium spot. Previous points leader Kerry Micks and other contenders, Don Thomson Jr. and Peter Gibbons all suffered problems resulting in the National Point Standings being very close. Unofficially the standings are 1. #84 J. R. Fitzpatrick 542 2. #22 Scott Steckly 534 3. #10 Doug Brown 513 and a tie for 4th. #39 Dave Whitlock 506 & # 02 Kerry Micks 506 6. #4 Don Thomson Jr. 505.
Watch the Mopar Canada Day 300 presented by Ontario Dodge Dealers on Sportsnet on Saturday July 15th at 3:00 p.m. EST. Check your local listings for more details.
The CASCAR Super Series teams now prepare for the Western swing on the schedule. Event four will take place at Sun Valley Speedway in Vernon, B.C. on Saturday & Sunday July 15th & 16th, then it is a return to the Edmonton Regional Airport facility from July 21st to 23rd where they will join the Champ Car World Series teams for the Grand Prix of Edmonton weekend. The CASCAR Super Series made frequent stops to this airport facility several years ago and are looking forward to returning.