Tangle with lapped car knocks Vanderwyst from lead at Cayuga NELLES CORNERS, ON - Pete Vanderwyst added another frustrating chapter to his 2001 Castrol Super Series season record book on Saturday night at Cayuga Speedway. The St. Thomas, ON...
Tangle with lapped car knocks Vanderwyst from lead at Cayuga
NELLES CORNERS, ON - Pete Vanderwyst added another frustrating chapter to his 2001 Castrol Super Series season record book on Saturday night at Cayuga Speedway. The St. Thomas, ON driver posted the fourth fastest time during qualifying for the 250-lap race around the 5/8-mile oval, which was good enough to put the EXIDE Batteries / National Fast Freight Pontiac Grand Prix on the outside of Row #2 for the initial green flag.
For the first 145 laps, the race was going exactly as planned. "We had a great car," said Vanderwyst, after finishing 19th. "We unloaded fast and got our tires scuffed in properly. Right from the word 'go', this afternoon, we were fast. This is where we'd come to test a few weeks ago and it really paid off. We learned a lot of stuff that weekend.
"We came here and qualified fourth and ran with the leaders for the first part of the race. We came in for our pit stop and the guys put in an amazing stop. They got me back out in fourth, behind three guys who didn't pit. We had fresher 'sneakers' than those guys and passed them in the next run."
Up until 145, the race couldn't have been scripted more perfectly, from the viewpoint of the EXIDE / Nat'l Fast Freight team. "We were in the lead and coming up to lap another car. Something was dragging under his car, so I was being careful passing him on the outside into turn 3.
"But then, his rear end came around and I tagged the back end of his car. They [CASCAR] gave me the black flag for the contact, so I came in and served a 'stop and go'. But it was worse than that, because we'd broken a shock and bent a tie-rod. It bent everything to the point where I couldn't drive it and I had to come in under green and fix it. That cost us a bunch of laps, and then away we went."
Vanderwyst was clearly upset at the turn of events. "It's just another in the long string of weekends where we have a strong car - running in the top five - and something happens. Once again, we had an amazing car. I don't know if we would have won tonight's race, but we definitely had a fast car. We led a couple of laps and showed what we can do."
The veteran driver believes there is a larger problem to be considered. "I have a bit of an issue with the drivers who come out every now and then and just seem to get in the way at the worst possible moment. I understand that CASCAR wants to have a good car count - and that means having more than just the regular guys come out - but the casual drivers end up messing thing up for the guys who are committed to the series. You can ask any of the weekly regulars. It's a problem."
Following nine of 12 events, Vanderwyst is 10th in the Castrol Super Series point standings.
With three races to go - including two oval events and the Vancouver Molson Indy on Labour Day - Vanderwyst is looking to close the season with a strong showing.
"The plan now is to take the EXIDE / National Fast Freight Pontiac hot rod to Calgary for the 300 lapper there. We won that race two years ago and we're hoping to break our string of bad luck there."
CAYUGA NOTES: Saturday night's race at Cayuga Speedway was won by Dave Whitlock. The three-time National champion passed points leader Don Thomson on the final lap of the 250-lap chase to score his first Castrol Super Series win in almost four years.