Dodge-sponsored Avenger driver Mark Dilley advances eight spots to finish sixth at Mosport Int'l Raceway BARRIE, ON -- The goals a racer brings to the track differ from event to event, depending on the venue. On Sunday afternoon at ...
Dodge-sponsored Avenger driver Mark Dilley advances eight spots to finish sixth at Mosport Int'l Raceway
BARRIE, ON -- The goals a racer brings to the track differ from event to event, depending on the venue. On Sunday afternoon at Mosport International Raceway, Mark Dilley was intent on bringing his #9 Dodge-sponsored Avenger home with a top 10 finish.
In the end, the veteran NASCAR Canadian Tire Series (NCATS) racer surpassed his target, scoring a sixth-place result in the 51-lap chase around the legendary 10-turn road course. Following two rounds of the 12-race NCATS series, the Barrie, ON resident is in third-place in the overall point standings.
"I'm really happy with our run," said Dilley, after the race. "We came here with the goal of finishing in the top 10 and anything near fifth would have been really good. So to leave with a sixth is really positive for our team. We always seem to run between fourth and seventh in the road races, so this is about par for the course."
The result was all the more impressive, considering Dilley fought from 14th at the start of the race. The #9 Dodge / Mobil1 / Exide / MOPAR / Leland / Wild Wing / CRS Dodge Avenger crew tried some setup changes following practice that didn't improve the handling of their car for qualifying.
"We made some adjustments to the car prior to qualifying hoping to improve on where we were in practice. But it didn't work out for us and our qualifying effort wasn't where we wanted it to be. But as we got into the race, the guys worked through the handling issues and it was strong at the end. It's such a long race that we had a chance to chip away and we advanced eight spots from where we started. We made a bunch of our passes on the track and the guys got us some positions in the pits, so it was a real team effort. My only real adventure was when I got a few wheels off in turn 5 just to keep me sharp."
LOOKING AHEAD: Canada Day MOPAR 300 at Barrie Speedway The next race for the #9 Dodge-sponsored team will be the Canada Day MOPAR 300 on Sunday, July 1 at Barrie Speedway. The event is special to Dilley for a number of reasons. The 1/3-mile tri-oval is Dilley's 'hometrack.' And he'll be returning to the speedway looking for a checkered flag that eluded him on two occasions, at Barrie, last season.
"We were within striking distance of winning at Barrie last season. In the first race, we were out front but got into oil with a few laps to go. And then in the second race, we were leading and got dumped near the end. It owes us one. We're going to be fast there."
MOSPORT NOTEBOOK: Former Champ Car open-wheel racer Andrew Ranger won Sunday's Dickies 200 km race at Mosport International Speedway. The Quebec native started on the pole but earned a 'drive through' penalty for jumping the start for the initial green flag. Undeterred, Ranger emerged from the pits in 10th-place and started to recover the lost positions.
J.R. Fitzpatrick dominated the majority of the race, but couldn't hold off Ranger. Following contact on lap 42 in the turn 5 complex, Ranger emerged with the lead and held on the rest of the way for the win in just his third career stock car start. Fitzpatrick came home second, ahead of MOPAR-sponsored Avenger driver Ron Beauchamp Jr.