Monday September 4, 2000: Barrie's Al Turner in the ...
Monday September 4, 2000: Barrie's Al Turner in the #76 Blue Streak Intrepid won an emotion filled CARQUEST 300 Event on Sunday with son and biggest fan James in attendance. James who joined his dad on the podium is recuperating from emergency surgery late in July to remove a tumour from his spine. He will be starting an extensive rehabilitation program starting tomorrow and he could not have been happier for his dad. The CARQUEST 500 weekend at Delaware Speedway Park in London is the oldest and richest stock car race in the country and is often called "The Great Canadian Race". Al Turner will now join the esteemed list of winners on the wall at the entrance to the speedway.
Turner started the weekend off on the right foot by setting the second fastest time during time trials with a 19.673 slightly slower than Don Thomson's pole winning 19.496. The prior race at Delaware this year saw Turner take the win from the 34th starting position after a miscue on the track during qualifying. The Blue Streak Intrepid lead the full point, 100 lap qualifying race from the pole until lap sixty two when a flat tire sent them to the pits for repairs under the green. Turner said after the event "We know we had a great car tonight and even though we had already qualified on the front row, I have always wanted to win my sponsors race -- The Blue Streak 100. I guess I will have to try again next year."
The green flag dropped on Sunday's CARQUEST 300 event under slight cloudy skies but with a packed house in attendance. Thomson in the #4 Home Hardware Chevrolet quickly took the lead from the inside row while Turner dropped back in line in fourth. The race went exactly as Turner would have scripted it. They got the caution flag shortly after leading the halfway point and were able to take on four tires and fuel within the window they had hoped for. Turner took over the lead from the #25 of Jim Lapcevich on lap 210 and the only challenge after that came from the #98 of Dave Whitlock who got the nose of his Ford Taurus under the Blue Streak Intrepid once before being shut down by Turner.
An emotional crowd cheered the sentimental favourite at the end of the 300 laps. An elated Turner said after the race "I cannot tell you how much this means to my entire family and team We are so fortunate to have Blue Streak as our sponsor as we could not have done any of this without them. Our CASCAR program has always been considered a family venture and I could not imagine being here today without all of them. Tuesday morning begins a whole new challenge and chapter in our lives as James begins an extensive rehabilitation program, but we are optimistic with everything we have seen him accomplish."
Hometown favourite Steve Robblee of Dorchester finished second and the #98 Ford Quality Care Taurus of Dave Whitlock finished 3rd. The entire Turner Motorsports Racing Team wish to congratulate the #1 Canadian Tire Chevrolet team of Peter Gibbons on their second National Super Series Championship and the #4 Home Hardware Chevrolet of Don Thomson Jr. for their second Eastern Super Series Championship. Turner Motorsports would also like to thank their many product and special awards sponsors for without whom this could not have happened.
The official charity of the Blue Streak Racing Team, The Children's Wish Foundation were also big winners this weekend as the Blue Streak sales force sold their "CASCAR at the Indy" T-shirts for $5.00 each. The entire amount collected, over $3,500.00 will go to the local chapter of this very worth cause.