TORONTO, ON - Kevin Dowler made history in Toronto on Saturday afternoon by winning the CASCAR Castrol Super Series East race at the Toronto Molson Indy, in front of over 55,000 spectators. The Edmonton, AB racer held the lead twice during the 30-lap chase on the temporary street circuit, leading all but four laps en route to the checkered flag. By winning the Exide 99 Street Fight, the Ford Quality Care Service Taurus driver became the first western-based CASCAR competitor to win a Super Series East event. Finishing second to Dowler was Pete Vanderwyst of St. Thomas, ON. The Loctite Chevrolet Monte Carlo racer drove the wheels off his car, often getting sideways in his efforts to work forward from his fourth-place starting position. Peter Gibbons sat on the pole for CASCAR's second appearance at the Toronto Indy and led the first three laps before Dowler got by him with a braking maneuver the end of the long, Lakeshore Boulevard straight. Gibbons later spun attempting to recover the lead and was able to fight his way back to bring his Canadian Tire Chevrolet home in third place. The race opened with a huge pile-up on the entrance to the second turn. Several drivers in the middle of the pack were collected when they were unable to avoid a spinning car. But after the red-flag period to clear the accident scene, the drivers were on their best behaviour and the race ran without incident the rest of the way. The Exide 99 Street Fight was broadcast live on CTV Sportsnet. That was another first for CASCAR, which - prior to today - had never had one of its races aired live on national television.
Next event: The CASCAR Castrol Super Series kicks off its 2000 National Championship event schedule next weekend in Edmonton, AB. The Bumper to Bumper 250km will run July 21-23 at the Edmonton City Centre Airport and is the first of two National races to be held in Alberta on consecutive weekends. Toronto CASCAR Indy race winner Kevin Dowler won the event in 1998 and will attempt to build on his Toronto momentum and win again in front of his hometown crowd. Defending Super Series East champion Don Thomson Jr. won the Edmonton National event last year.