Dowler wins pole for Edmonton

EDMONTON, AB - Last weekend, Kevin Dowler won the CASCAR Castrol Super Series race at the Toronto Molson Indy. Building on that momentum, the Edmonton driver returned to his hometown, and on Friday afternoon, won the pole for Sunday's Bumper to...

EDMONTON, AB - Last weekend, Kevin Dowler won the CASCAR Castrol Super Series race at the Toronto Molson Indy. Building on that momentum, the Edmonton driver returned to his hometown, and on Friday afternoon, won the pole for Sunday's Bumper to Bumper Motorsport Classic at the Edmonton City Centre Airport. Dowler's Ford Quality Care Service Taurus lapped the 2.912 km temporary road course circuit in a time of one minute and 13.467 seconds. Dowler - who won the Edmonton Super Series National event in '98 - was almost a full second quicker than the next fastest driver in Friday's half-hour time trial session; Pete Vanderwyst (1:14.349). Ironically, Vanderwyst finished second to Dowler in last weekend's Exide 99 Street Fight at the Toronto Indy. A total of 29 competitors took part in the time trials on the airport's tarmac. Their quick laps earned Dowler and Vanderwyst (from St. Thomas, ON) the top two starting positions for Sunday's feature. The remainder of the starting grid will be determined on Saturday afternoon via two timed heat races. "We actually made the chassis better after winning in Toronto," said Dowler, moments after his pole-winning run. "We came home and we didn't really have a lot of time to celebrate our big win in Toronto. We went to Reds in the West Edmonton Mall and had one night of fun and games, but then it was back to the grind." Asked if another win in Edmonton would be a bigger thrill than winning at the Toronto Indy, Dowler said the Toronto victory was actually somewhat bittersweet. "I was so happy to be home and see my family. It's tough to go away racing without my wife and kids. They're everything to me and it wasn't the same with them not being there for the Indy. They got to watch it on TV, though. It was really emotional for me when I spoke with my dad on the phone just after winning. He was in Edmonton working on the #09 car for Trevor Seibert who is running our other car this weekend. Trevor qualified sixth today, so I guess it was worth it. It's been a busy week. It's been 16-hour days getting the car ready for the Edmonton National." Regarding strategy for Sunday's Bumper to Bumper Motorsport Classic, Dowler feels tire management will play a major role in the outcome. "The race is going to be won by the guy who has tires left after lap 70 (of a scheduled 86). Donnie Thomson made a brilliant pit stop call last year by coming in early and no one thought he'd make it to the end. Obviously, he was right and everyone else was wrong. His call made the difference in him winning." National championship contenders enter the four East-West crossover events with their two best oval track point results in their respective regions. Following today's qualifying session, after which points were awarded, defending Eastern Series champion and Bumper to Bumper Motorsport Classic race winner Don Thomson holds a one-point lead over Dowler (345 to 344). Current Super Series West points leader Carl Harr, of Edmonton, has 340. Defending National champion Peter Gibbons has his work cut out for him on Saturday to secure a top starting spot for Sunday's feature race. The Canadian Tire Chevy driver suffered a blown engine during the first practice session on Friday morning, and after installing a new engine, was only able to get in a single lap before the qualifying session ended. The Stouffville, ON racer, who has captured four poles so far in 2000, had the slowest time of the 29 competitors.

WEEKEND SCHEDULE: On Saturday, Spectator gates open at 10 a.m. and will see the second timed qualifying session (11:30 a.m.) take place prior to the two timed heat races (starting at 3:00 p.m.). On Sunday, spectator gates open at 10 a.m. The CASCAR autograph session starts at 1 p.m. and the green flag will fly on the Bumper to Bumper Motorsport Classic feature race at 2:30 p.m.

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Series NASCAR Canada
Drivers Kevin Dowler , Peter Gibbons , Pete Vanderwyst , Trevor Seibert