Delaware, Ontario - The first race of the 2003 CASCAR Super Series season, The MOPAR 300, got off to a soggy start at Delaware Speedway near London, Ontario on Friday when practice and qualifying were rained out. A shortened qualifying procedure...
Delaware, Ontario - The first race of the 2003 CASCAR Super Series season, The MOPAR 300, got off to a soggy start at Delaware Speedway near London, Ontario on Friday when practice and qualifying were rained out.
A shortened qualifying procedure on Saturday saw the teams earn their Sunday MOPAR 300 starting spots by time trial only. The newly formed #37 Team took to the track on Saturday afternoon and qualified the car 10th.
The sun broke on Sunday afternoon, with a crowd of over 10,000, as the fans and sponsors got the opportunity to visit the teams trackside during the autograph session. At 2pm DJ slid into his Snap-on Tools/Castrol Canada Intrepid and belted in for what was going to be a busy day for not only him but the crew.
Off the first green flag DJ put his Intrepid to work and worked his way up to the 6th running spot. On lap 36 DJ radioed to the crew that he felt the right front tire going down. On lap 41 the first of eight caution flags flew and DJ brought the car in for fuel and to change the right front flat tire. He came out of the pits 19th in the 32 car field. DJ worked his way back up through lap traffic and by lap102 was back in the top 10 in 7th.
DJ radioed in once again on lap 123 to the crew that he felt something wrong with his car. As the Team prepared to bring the car into the pits the caution flew once again. The #37 crew caught a break with a red flag condition on the track and worked quickly and efficiently to replace the gear in the car. The crew sent DJ back out onto the track in 15th, only two laps down to the leaders.
DJ came into the pits one more time on lap188 for fresh rubber and fuel and set his sights on making up lost ground. When the checkered flew on lap 300, DJ was running 9th and had earned one of the two laps that he had lost back.
DJ was positive about his day, " After the day we have had with two flat tires and changing the gear in the car, we will take a top 10 finish any day. This crew is the best and they all worked hard today. I wouldn't be out here without them."
Due the closure of Kawartha Speedway in Fraserville, Ontario last week, there will be a change in the CASCAR Super Series schedule. The 2nd stop for CASCAR will be moved from Kawartha Speedway on June 8, 2003 to Peterborough Speedway on June 7, 2003. DJ qualified 3rd and won one of his two 2002 wins at Peterborough Speedway.