Team Taurus second and fourth in Calgary National event CALGARY, AB - Team Taurus had a great start to the four-event CASCAR Castrol Super Series National Championship on Sunday afternoon (July 26) at Calgary's Race City Motorsport Park....
Team Taurus second and fourth in Calgary National event
CALGARY, AB - Team Taurus had a great start to the four-event CASCAR Castrol Super Series National Championship on Sunday afternoon (July 26) at Calgary's Race City Motorsport Park. Reigning National champion Dave Whitlock posted a fourth-place finish, while former champion Sean Dupuis notched a podium result, taking second-place in the 300-lap event.
With points awarded for both the feature race and its lead-up qualifying events, Dupuis and Whitlock find themselves sitting third and fourth, respectively, in the National point standings as the Super Series caravan heads to Round #2 at Edmonton's City Centre Airport this weekend.
"We were happy with the outcome," said Ford Quality Care Service Taurus driver Dave Whitlock, who won the National race at Race City in '97. "We finished fourth because of a good car and two solid pitstops. It was unfortunate that we had a flat tire with about 40 laps to go, while we were running second. We had to pit with about 30 laps to go. We came back out in 10th and there just wasn't enough time to come all the way back after that."
So, although the Petrolia, ON racer would have preferred to win, he's keeping his eyes on the bigger prize and that means keeping himself in contention for a shot at a third CASCAR overall crown.
"All in all, we're happy with the result because it's top five runs that are going to defend the championship. It was an exciting race for the fans because there was lots of action up front... good short track racing."
If Whitlock was pleased with the outcome of the National series opener, then his Team Taurus teammate Sean Dupuis was ecstatic. In spite of enduring extreme temperatures in the cockpit of his STP / Ford Performance Parts Taurus, the Windsor, ON racer was happy and relieved that things are starting to click for the #43 Taurus.
"It was a long day," grinned Dupuis after the race. "We did all we could to battle up front all day. The car was great, but it wasn't quite as good on long greens. But on the short ones, I could really get a jump on the other leaders."
In fact, Dupuis believed - in the late going - that he had a legitimate shot at eventual winner Peter Gibbons, but at the finish, he was just under a second behind the defending Eastern champion.
"I was really looking forward to those last five laps after the restart, but a lapped car kind of got in the way. We're happy to be here for STP and Ford Performance Parts and Razor Performance Oil Pumps. They've all been great to me and I'm glad to get second for them here today. The next thing is to get a win for them. This one [the Mopar 300] and the Delaware Labor Day race [CARQUEST 300] are two of the biggest races. Everyone wants to win them. It ended up being Peter Gibbons' day, but we're happy in second and have to keep on top of this thing to do well in the points."
Turning to this weekend's road course race on the tarmac in Edmonton, the Team Taurus drivers believe they have an edge on some of their competitors.
"We've got a total of four cars [two road course and two oval cars] and now we turn our attention to the road cars. We're hoping that the four cars will give us a little bit of an advantage," said Dupuis.
Given the team's two top-four finishes in Calgary, Whitlock is heartened at their chances for the National title. "I'm glad to see that the STP guys [Dupuis and crew] got second place. It was a super race for Sean and his crew. They've been working really hard and it's starting to pay off. From a team point of view, second and fourth shows that we're going to be a force to be reckoned with in this National deal.
Practice sessions for this weekend's Bumper to Bumper Motorsport Classic 300km at Edmonton's City Center Airport begin Friday afternoon. Qualifying heat races go Saturday at 3 p.m., with the Sunday feature starting at 2:30 p.m.