With numerous pre season test sessions under their belts and some new ideas on chassis setups, Neil Fair and the Fairway Racing crew had high hopes for their ...
With numerous pre season test sessions under their belts and some new ideas on chassis setups, Neil Fair and the Fairway Racing crew had high hopes for their #33 SKOAL Inc. Intrepid in the Mopar 300, the first of 12 races on the 2003 CASCAR National Super Series tour.
The Start of the weekend saw Friday's practice, qualifying and twin 100 lap qualifying races cancelled due to persistent weather conditions in the area. Due to scheduling constraints on the track, the practice and time trial portions of the qualifying day only were rescheduled for Saturday afternoon.
The 33 SKOAL INC intrepid posted top five times on the leader board for most of Saturday's practice session but Neil and Crew were not confident that the chassis was running to its full potential.
Neil posted a fast lap of 19.899 seconds putting him 16th on the outside of row eight for the start of the 300 lap feature Sunday afternoon. With dashed hopes of a pole setting qualifying time, the crew regrouped and decided to bring the #33 SKOAL INC Intrepid back to the Fairway Racing shop in Ancaster On. to make some changes. With unanswered questions in their minds about the new setup ideas developed in the off season, Neil and crew chief Kevin MacMillan decided to put the same chassis setup under the car that won the team the pole at the Great Canadian 300 last September.
Under bright blue sunny skies before a packed audience, the start of the Mopar 300 saw Neil quickly move his #33 SKOAL INC Intrepid into a position to move ahead. The car was back to its old fast self and Neil began picking off positions making his way quickly into the top ten. Around lap 140, the crew decided to pit taking on two tires and enough fuel to go to the end of the race. A small mix up saw the wrong size right rear tire put on the car but with another caution falling shortly after their first scheduled stop, the crew was able to pit and get the stagger sorted out putting Neil back in serious contention to charge to the front. Passing car after car for the next 50 laps, Neil made a mid race charge from 12th to 4th. With 50 laps to go Neil hounded the 4th and 3rd place runners which paid off, Neil was able to capitalize on his smooth driving effort having enough tires left under the car to make his way home in an outstanding 3rd place podium finish.
Neil would like to thank His family, the crew, and his sponsors for their continued efforts to help the Fairway Racing team continue to drive forward.