Kawartha: Mark Dilley race notes

Mark Dilley fastest in qualifying for the NASCAR season-ending Dodge Charger 250 at Kawartha Speedway BARRIE, ON -- Mark Dilley's inaugural NASCAR Canadian Tire Series season came to a close on Sunday evening at Kawartha Speedway, ...

Mark Dilley fastest in qualifying for the NASCAR season-ending Dodge Charger 250 at Kawartha Speedway

BARRIE, ON -- Mark Dilley's inaugural NASCAR Canadian Tire Series season came to a close on Sunday evening at Kawartha Speedway, near Peterborough, Ontario. The Dodge Dealers of Ontario presents the Dodge Charger 250 featured a series of highs and lows for the driver of the #9 Dodge-sponsored Avenger.

The highlight of the afternoon for the Barrie, Ont. racer took place when he set the fastest lap during time trials to secure the pole position for the 12th and final race of the season. Dilley appeared to be in contention for his second-straight NASCAR victory when a broken wheel forced him into the pits for a green-flag stop when he was running in second place with less than 45 laps to go.

In the end, the #9 Dodge / Mobil1 / Exide / MOPAR / Leland / Wild Wing / CRS / Dodge Avenger came home in 12th place. "It was a great start to the day and we were in shape to challenge Donnie [Thomson] when a wheel broke on the #9 Dodge," said Dilley, after the race. "We led a dozen laps early and the race was coming to us when we had to pit; that ended our hopes for closing out the season with two wins in a row."

But on the bright side, Dilley felt that his qualifying performance and strong race ended his season on a high note. "We had a few rough weeks there in the middle part of the season, so we're proud that we were able to finish with a win and a pole, especially since those two races were both sponsored by Dodge. We're also honoured that we were able to contribute to Dodge winning the Manufacturers' Cup. That's a real team effort and it's an important accomplishment for everyone in the Dodge camp."

In the final NASCAR Canadian Tire Series point standings, the #9 Dodge-sponsored Avenger racer took eighth overall on the strength of his win at Riverside International Speedway in mid-September and several strong early-season outings. Dilley's pole position on Canada Day at Barrie Speedway was another highlight of his 2007 campaign.

"I'd like to thank all of my sponsors for their support this season," said Dilley, soon after emerging from his car at Kawartha. "They are the reason I'm able to race. We work hard for Dodge and all of our sponsors and we appreciate them being part of our program."

Dilley then recognized the efforts of his #9 Whitlock Motorsports crew. "My team have been great all season. I'd like to thank them for all that they do. Rino Montanari was my new crew chief this season and I can't say enough about how well we worked together. I just want to say 'thanks' to our whole team to let them know I appreciate all of their hard work and their skills.

Dilley is looking forward to being back with Whitlock Motorsports for another season of NASCAR Canadian Tire Series action in 2008. "Dave Whitlock prepares excellent cars for us and we have a great relationship. Dave recently signed his new sponsorship deal for two years so the whole organization is stronger than ever and we're happy to be a part of it."

-credit: wm

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Series NASCAR Canada
Drivers Mark Dilley