EAST: Vanderwyst St-Eustache race report

MONTREAL, QC - The eighth and final CASCAR Castrol Super Series East race of the season was held on Sunday afternoon at Autodrome St-Eustache, near Montreal. With the Eastern championship going down to the wire between defending Eastern ...

MONTREAL, QC - The eighth and final CASCAR Castrol Super Series East race of the season was held on Sunday afternoon at Autodrome St-Eustache, near Montreal. With the Eastern championship going down to the wire between defending Eastern champion Don Thomson and reigning National champ Peter Gibbons, there was tension in the air.

But following an incident on lap 88 involving Loctite Chevrolet driver Pete Vanderwyst and Quebec racer Claude Leclerc, the pressure was off for Vanderwyst. It was a frustrating conclusion to a difficult 2000 Super Series East campaign for the St. Thomas, ON racer, who still has a pair of National tour events left on his summer racing schedule.

"We just had bad luck again today. It's a tough deal," said Vanderwyst, who lined up 10th in the field of 29 but finished the race many laps down, in 24th place. "I was running down the backstraight and Claude Leclerc came into me and broke the ball joint when he drove into the right-front wheel. That part slapped around and tore the brake line off and we drove into the corner with no brakes and took Claude into the wall with me."

Vanderwyst continued, "We lost a bunch of laps in the pits fixing things up a bit. And like we've done on several other occasions this summer, we came out running faster than the leaders. But we let the leaders all go ahead so that they had the opportunity to race for the win. I guess I'm the nice guy today, after letting all of the front guys race for the win. It was just a bad deal for us today."

The frustration on the face of the Loctite Chevy driver was understandable, considering he'd completed all but four laps in 1999 en route to third in the final Eastern point standings and the CASCAR Reliability Award. A fourth-place showing in the Fast Qualifiers' heat at St-Eustache was the high point of the weekend for the Loctite team.

But with two races still left on Vanderwyst's card for 2000, he's looking to put a positive conclusion onto the end of what has been a difficult season. "We're looking forward to getting to the road course at Mosport (Aug. 25-27) and we'll have the Monte Carlo there. After that, we're heading to Delaware Speedway Park for the CARQUEST 300 on Labour Day and we're going to be rockin' and rollin' with the new Loctite Pontiac Grand Prix. With a new car, we'll be looking to shake some of the bad luck we've been having lately. We've ordered the new car from McColl's and it'll be ready for the biggest oval race of the year."

RACE SUMMARY: The final CASCAR Castrol Super Series East points race of the season ended in fireworks and as of Tuesday afternoon - two days after the race - the championship has still not been officially resolved. Following some bumping and banging by almost everyone involved, Peter Gibbons won the 200 lap affair at Autodrome St-Eustache, near Montreal. Defending Eastern champion Don Thomson Jr. came across the line second, which pulled him into an apparent tie with Gibbons atop the point standings following the eighth and final race of the Eastern season. In the event of a tie, the championship goes to the driver with the most wins. Thomson has a pair, while Gibbons has just one Eastern checkered flag.

Leaving the track, the impression was that Thomson was able to successfully defend his CASCAR Castrol Super Series East championship, but an official announcement has yet to be made. Three-time National champion Dave Whitlock completed the podium finishers.

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Series NASCAR Canada
Drivers Dave Whitlock , Don Thomson Jr.