Mosport: Series round two preview

NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 News & Notes -- Mosport Int'l Raceway Road Course Rendezvous At Mosport Last season at Mosport International Raceway, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 weekend was thoroughly...

NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 News & Notes -- Mosport Int'l Raceway

Road Course Rendezvous At Mosport

Last season at Mosport International Raceway, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 weekend was thoroughly dominated by Andrew Ranger.

The eventual 2009 series champion established a new track record in qualifying and won the race by nearly seven seconds. No one was able to mount any sort of challenge. It may be a little bit different this time around. Challengers are lining up to take their shot at Ranger's highly- skilled road-course abilities.

Ranger, who will be making his first NCATS start of the 2010 season, is spending most of his time this season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.

First and foremost on that list is series rival JR Fitzpatrick. Of similar ages, the two drivers share an innate talent for handling a race car through the left and right turns of a road course.

An off-season test session on the 2.459-mile track at Mosport went very well for Fitzpatrick. The 22-year-old out of Cambridge, Ont., is running a full schedule in 2010 and is on the hunt for a series title.

Another challenger, in a bit of a surprise, is defending NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion Jason Bowles, an accomplished road-course racer in his own right. He will pilot the No. 11 Triad Racing Technologies Dodge. That car normally has John Gaunt--one half of the Gaunt Brothers Racing team--behind the wheel, but the veteran wheelman admits that road courses are not his cup of tea.

Bowles deals with Triad Racing Technologies, owned by the other half of the Gaunt Brothers Racing outfit, in another facet of his professional life, and as is often the case, random conversations grow legs and become something. Bowles will climb behind the wheel of the Gaunt-owned Dodge at both Mosport and Toronto with the other three remaining road-course events still very much on the table.

Despite having limited knowledge of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, Bowles is not completely unfamiliar with the track at Mosport.

"I've run Formula Ford there," he said. "I don't recall all that much about it other than it is fast."

With three ultra-talented road-course racers in the field to go along with the balance of the field that also possesses road-racing skills, the winner of the Vortex Brake Pads 200 is sure to be determined on the final trip up the hill on the legendary Mario Andretti straightaway.

Fast Facts

The Race: Vortex Brake Pads 200
The Place: Mosport Int'l Raceway, Bowmanville, Ont.

The Date: Sunday, June 13
The Time: 1:30 p.m. ET

The Distance: 51 laps / 124.3 miles
Race Purse: $78,175 CAD

TV Schedule: TSN, June 20, Noon ET

2009 Winner: Andrew Ranger
2009 Polesitter: Andrew Ranger

Schedule:
Saturday: Practice 10:30 a.m.-11:15 a.m.; 12:10-12:40 p.m.; Qualifying 3:35 p.m.

***

Johnston Set For Series Debut

This weekend at Mosport International Raceway, Caitlin Johnston will become just the second female driver to participate in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil1 1.

Ashley Taws in August 2008 was the first.

Johnston, 21, out of Orangeville, Ont., normally can be found behind the wheel of a Formula Ford, but she expressed a desire to jump behind the wheel of a stock car and compete in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series.

She enlisted the help of a pair of series veterans to get her started. The car will be prepared by DJ Kennington and is out of the DJK Racing stable. On the pit box will be Derek Lynch who, along with Kennington, has experienced victory in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series.

"We were looking at a few different options for this year, but after some discussions, this seemed like the best fit," she said. "This is something that I'm really excited about. And with these two races, it's an excellent fit for our sponsor, Pizza Pizza."

She is slated to compete in both the Mosport and Toronto events.

Mosport will be a good place to debut due to her extensive experience at the challenging course.

"I feel really comfortable on the track at Mosport," Johnston said. "I would consider Mosport to be my second home."

***

Mosport News & Notes

The Race: This event is the second of 13 races on the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series schedule and the first of five road-course events this season. It is the fourth trip to the track for the series.

The Procedure: The starting field is 32 cars, including provisionals. The first 27 cars will qualify through NASCAR road race style qualifying. There will be two qualifying groups based on practice times. The remaining five spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 51 laps covering 200 kilometers (124.3 miles).

The Track: Mosport International Raceway is Canada's largest motorsports complex. The 750-acre, multi-track facility is located within the Greater Toronto Area, north of Bowmanville, Ont. Mosport features the 2.459-mile road course; a half-mile, paved oval (Mosport Speedway); a 2.4-kilometer advanced driver and race driver training facility and a 1.4-kilometer kart track. The facility opened in 1961 and has hosted stock car, Formula 1 and IndyCar events over the years. The road-course track was resurfaced in 2000 and widened to 40 feet. The name Mosport is a contraction of motorsport and is pronounced "MOE-sport."

The Records: The single-lap qualifying record is held by Andrew Ranger and was set on June 14, 2009 at 85.119 seconds (104.000 mph). Ranger also holds the race record. On June 17, 2007, he completed the event in 1 hour, 26 minutes, 39 seconds for an average speed of 86.838 mph.

Golden Year: This year, Mosport is having a year-long celebration to honor its 50th year of racing. It continues this weekend with exciting stock car, touring and open-wheel action. The action-packed weekend features the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, Castrol Canadian Touring Car Championship, F2000 Championship and the Ontario Formula Ford Championship 1600 taking to the legendary circuit. For more information and to purchase tickets, call the Mosport Hotline at 1-800-866-1072 (Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm ET) or visit online at www.mosport.com.

***

NCATS Notebook: Keystone Light 200 Wrap-Up

Two-For-Two: For the second straight season, DJ Kennington (No. 17 Castrol Edge Dodge) took the checkered flag at Delaware (Ont.) Speedway. He has also now strung together consecutive wins, having won last year's season finale. Of his five career wins, two have come at Delaware, two at Barrie (Ont.) Speedway and one at Kawartha Speedway in Fraserville, Ont.

High Water Marks: Earning his first Canadian Tire Series top five was Pete Shepherd III (No. 7 National Exhaust Dodge) with a fifth-place effort. Pierre Bourque (No. 00 Telus/Mahindra Tractor Dodge) established a new career best finish by crossing the line in the sixth position.

Solid Debut: After hanging around the top five for most of the race, Ron Sheridan (No. 52 Belfor Restoration/Total Lubricants Ford) got shuffled back for an 11th-place finish in his first appearance in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series.

Mobil 1 Command Performance Driver of the Race: As the top-finishing eligible driver at Delaware Speedway, JR Fitzpatrick (No. 84 Schick Hydro Chevrolet) collects $1,500.

Autolite Time To Change Your Position: New to the lineup this year is the Autolite Spark Plugs Time To Change Your Position Award that goes to the driver who improves his finishing position the most over the previous event. John Gaunt (No. 11 Triad Racing Technologies Dodge) earned the $1,500 prize.

Dodge-Mopar Fast Five: This program rewards the top five finishing Dodges in the race eligible for the award. In the Keystone Light 200, race winner Kennington was the top-finishing Dodge and earned $2,000. Gaunt placed second among the Dodges with his fourth-place effort and earned $1,500. Shepherd grabbed the third spot and $1,000. Bourque's performance ranked him fourth among the Dodge entrants and netted $750. Ron Beauchamp Jr. (No. 60 Mopar/Mobil 1 Dodge) finished eighth overall and was the fifth highest-finishing Dodge and collects $500 in the process.

Coca-Cola Move of the Race: Improving his position the most over the course of the race was Bourque. He started from the 23rd position and finished sixth. As a result, he earned the $1,000 award from Coca-Cola.

MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Race: The driver who compiles the most points in a specialized system involving qualifying, race finish and leading laps collects this $1,000 award. Kennington pulled off the trifecta by starting on the pole, winning the race and leading the most laps.

VTech Free Pass: In another new award this season, VTech is honoring the driver who logs the highest race finish after receiving a free pass during the event with a $1,000 prize. Shepherd collected the prize for the the Keystone Light 200.

In Case You Missed It: TSN coverage of the Keystone Light 200 from Delaware Speedway will premiere on Saturday, June 12 at 2 p.m. ET. Check local listings for the most up-to-date information.

***

Up Next: St. Eustache

The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 next heads to Quebec's Autodrome St. Eustache for the National 250 on Saturday, July 3.

The flat .400-mile oval always presents unique challenges for the competitors, but the usual large crowd of knowledgeable fans on hand makes it worth the trip.

This event launches the difficult stretch of the schedule that has eight races in a nine-week span that includes the three-race swing through western Canada.

In 2009, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series made a pair of visits to the track--the season opener in May and again in early July. Dave Whitlock, just days after he announced that the 2009 season would be his last as an active driver, picked up the win in the May clash. Scott Steckly earned the victory in July. That race was highlighted by Jacques Villeneuve's series debut.

-source: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR Canada
Drivers Mario Andretti , Ron Beauchamp Jr. , Ashley Taws , Andrew Ranger , Jason Bowles , Pete Shepherd , Pierre Bourque , John Gaunt , Derek Lynch , Caitlin Johnston