DILLEY OVERCOMES RUNNING OUT OF FUEL AND WINS ATLANTIC DODGE DEALERS 300 ANTIGONISH, Nova Scotia (Sept. 16, 2007) -- Neither the rain nor running out of gas was not enough to keep Mark Dilley (No. 9 Dodge/Leland Industries Dodge) out of ...
DILLEY OVERCOMES RUNNING OUT OF FUEL AND WINS ATLANTIC DODGE DEALERS 300
ANTIGONISH, Nova Scotia (Sept. 16, 2007) -- Neither the rain nor running out of gas was not enough to keep Mark Dilley (No. 9 Dodge/Leland Industries Dodge) out of victory lane on Sunday at the Atlantic Dodge Dealers 300.
The Barrie, Ontario driver limped on to the entrance of pit road on lap 205 of the 300-lap race out of Sunoco racing fuel. His crew was able to push the car to their pit stall in order to fuel the No. 9 Dodge Avenger. Fortunately for Dilley, all of this occurred under caution which did not cost him a great deal of track position.
The race was originally scheduled for Saturday evening, but rain and wind moved into the area during the afternoon forcing NASCAR and track officials to postpone until Sunday.
Dilley took the lead on lap 263 of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series event at Riverside International Speedway and was able to hold off a hard-charging J.R. Fitzpatrick (No. 84 Milwaukee Electric Tools Chevrolet) over the course of the final laps. Dilley beat the 19-year old Fitzpatrick to the line by 0.852 seconds.
An exhausted Dilley emerged from his vehicle in victory lane after the hard-fought battle on the high-banked 1/3-mile oval modeled after the legendary Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
"I owe this one to the Whitlock Motorsports gang," said Dilley. "All year long they have given me a great car and for one reason or another we just couldn't get a win. Today, we got it done and it's all on them. We had the fuel problem, but we were able to make up the difference."
Dilley's strategy to work his way back to the front was a simple one.
"I put the pedal on the floor and kept it there," he said.
He also was appreciative of the support and hospitality shown by the fans of Atlantic Canada for this first Canadian Tire Series visit to the region.
"The people all over town have been just great. We had the rain yesterday, but it was good for racing today," he said. "The fans were awesome all day long."
D.J. Kennington (No. 17 Castrol/Krispy Kreme Dodge) finished third for his series-leading eighth top-five finish in 2007. The subplot to that finish is his battle with Andrew Ranger (No. 27 Wal-Mart/Tide Ford) for the points championship. Kennington came into the race staring at an 87-point deficit, but Ranger lost his motor on lap 268. The engine woes relegated Ranger to a finish of 13th in the event. As a result, over half was trimmed off that lead leaving it, unofficially, at 41 points. However, that was not Kennington's focus in the race.
"We had a car that could have won and I was concentrating on that," said Kennington. "But, now, as I think about it I guess this will tighten it a little. We'll see what happens next week at Kawartha (Speedway). We'll be ready."
Derek Lynch (No. 77 Allied Steel Buildings/Canadian Shield Dodge) and Dave Whitlock (No. 39 Dickies/Hamilton Tiger-Cats Dodge) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Scott Steckly, Jason Hathaway, Doug Brown, John Gaunt and Jim Lapcevich rounded out the top 10.
The race was slowed eight times for 63 laps. Five different drivers held that lead and it changed hands a total of 10 times.
Beyond Ranger's points lead shrinking to 41 points, unofficially, in the championship points standings Fitzpatrick jumped up three spots from sixth to third. However, at 130 points behind the leader, it is not mathematically possible for him to win the title. The inaugural championship will be decided by Ranger and Kennington.
The Canadian Tire Series wraps up its first season next Sunday evening at Kawartha Speedway for the Dodge Dealers of Ontario Dodge Charger 250 presented by Allied Steel Buildings.