ActionFront Street Stock Challenge Series at Mosport; Nissan Sentra'S join CASCAR, CASCAR weekend 2002 June 15 & 16 at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario brought out 36 of their own and invited a few friends along for the...
ActionFront Street Stock Challenge Series at Mosport; Nissan Sentra'S join CASCAR,
CASCAR weekend 2002 June 15 & 16 at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario brought out 36 of their own and invited a few friends along for the ride. The Ford Mustang powered Formula 6000 cars were dominated by the 3-car Mexican Team. The Canada GT Challenge Cup cars had a 9-car contingency this weekend, and the all-new ActionFront Street Stock Challenge Series was out in full force (minus 1).
Typically of any racetrack, the weather was unpredictable and wet. Saturday began as cloudy and overcast yet warm, considering that it is June. Lunchtime brought thunderstorms for an hour, and then cleared up as if nothing happened. The track dried up quickly but remained slower than usual for both days.
Apples and Oranges. CASCAR's and Sentra's.
The only similarity was the colourful cars. Walking through the paddock of the CASCAR teams reminded you of watching NASCAR racing only on a smaller scale. With their National Sponsors, large rigs and trailers, these cars are truly impressive. Any commercial you can think of was plastered colourfully across a car, rig, truck, motor home, crew clothing and trailer. The Snap-On Tools two car team even went so far as to bring their own Tank. They are supporting the Canadian Armed Forces and brought a Personal Armed Vehicle, complete with military personnel and attitude. This truly had the feeling of a NASCAR race with the Tank driving down pit lane, driven by two young men in fatigues, and the crowd at its' feet cheering! It certainly was an eye catcher!
Now that everyone has set up, it's time to go racing!
The ActionFront Street Stock Challenge Series took to the track for both a 30 minutes practice and qualifying session on Saturday. This was more time than any other regional weekend so far this season. The track was still greasy in spots and generally 1 second off the pace from previous weekends. Both sessions were incident free as everyone got in clean sessions, sorted out their cars for the conditions, and tested the waters once again of the other drivers. They certainly put on a good show for the crowds for the start of the weekend. As the track did clean up a little bit, the qualifying times got faster, and Team Mazdee's; Ian Phillips, Dave Diedrick, and Eddy Wong completed the session with the top 3 fastest times for the Feature Race on Sunday morning.
The moment of truth, the Standing Start. 14 cars staggered along the front straight with the drivers anxiously revving their engines, anticipating the green light. And they are off! A great start for the three front runners, Phillips, Diedrick, and Wong, also in the mix were last weekends winner; Martin Gray, and rookie; Ryan Kelly. These 5 put on a great show and battled it out for the entire 15-lap race. They traded positions, drove into corner #1, 3 abreast and flailed around the track fighting for every inch of track they could get. The remaining 9 drivers began the first few laps as a very large train. As they started to get into their grooves, they separated a bit, but never falling far behind the front 5 runners. They race continued with the clouds threatening overhead, but stayed at bay for the entire race.
This was a very special weekend to all the drivers as it was Father's Day. Everyone brought someone special to the track with him or her. Parents, grandparents, children, dogs, and all the friends they could gather. Just to make it a truly special day for everyone, Glenn, the Mosport announcer made a special effort to announce family members and loved ones over the P.A. system during the race. This had an emotional effect on Nick Majors, the Series Sponsor. His wife, parents, sister and brother in law were all at the track for the first time, and although Nick was at the back of the pack, he still drove past them at every lap, threw his hand up with a big wave for them and had the biggest smile on his face at the end of the race.
At the end of the racing day, Nick found me and could not stop thanking me for the effort I made to do a little extra PR for him and his family. "My parents have never been to the track before, and because it is Father's Day, it was an extra special treat to hear a speech about me and to hear their names over the loud speaker. I just wanted to genuinely Thank You for that. I really do appreciate it, my mom and dad will never forget this day."
Nick Majors - Series Sponsor - all around great guy!
There was also a very special guest from Nissan Canada. Mike D'Angelo, Eastern Region Fixed Operations Manager. Mike joined the Sentra's for the Sunday Feature Race Day, and everyone was very pleased to have him watch the Series for the first time. Mike was very impressed by the Show that the 14 cars put on and enjoyed handing out the 1st, 2nd, 3rd place trophies to the winners. Mike said that he would be back, and would bring some friends the next time. We all look forward to seeing Mike again! Thanks for coming Mike and Thanks to Nissan Canada for their support!
As the last few laps were completed, the fight continued throughout the field. The end result was a close call for the top 5, and certainly a crowd pleaser. Here are the results:
#202 Ian Phillips
#203 Dave Diedrick
#208 Eddy Wong
#211 Martin Gray
#206 Ryan Kelly
#217 Rick McMullen
#204 Jeff Pacey
#210 Paul Taylor
#207 Deborah Mendonca
#222 Perry Iannuzzi
#213 Hans Wolter
#205 Kevin O'Hara
#215 Nick Majors
#209 Dan Courtney
The next race is this coming weekend, June 22 and 23 at Shannonville Motorsports Park in Belleville. See you all there!