Turner takes third at Canada Day extravaganza. Hamilton, ON: Al Turner in the Blue Streak Racing Intrepid started and finished third after battling with Peter Gibbons and Don Thomson Jr. during the 100 lap extravaganza on Sunday night at Cayuga...
Turner takes third at Canada Day extravaganza.
Hamilton, ON: Al Turner in the Blue Streak Racing Intrepid started and finished third after battling with Peter Gibbons and Don Thomson Jr. during the 100 lap extravaganza on Sunday night at Cayuga Speedway. NASCAR's Matt Kenseth in the DeWalt Tools Ford who started from the ninth position, passed Turner with just over ten laps to go and went on to move by Thomson with eight markers left to take the checkered flag in what was surely the biggest oval track event in Canadian racing history. Ted Musgrave, points leader of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in the #1 Beauchamp prepared Intrepid ran up front in the top five all day as well until running out of fuel with less than ten laps to go.
Not taking any chances the Blue Streak Team had two oval track cars on pit road during the practice session and they both were running so well Turner had a tough decision to make. Both cars posted times in the top ten consistently but it appeared at the end of the day they made the right choice.
The first 50 lap qualifying event would see Turner line up fifth after time trialing 12th fastest. The Blue Streak Intrepid driver made quick work of the cars in front of him and brought the #76 car across the line in second behind the #4 of Don Thomson Jr. Turner commented after the 50 lap qualifier "I am really happy with the car we have chosen to run today and finishing second to Donnie in our fifty is good as it will line us up in the second row on the inside for the 100 lap feature event later. It is really important to start up front here as this will be a 100 lap sprint race," he added.
Craftsman Truck Series driver Ted Musgrave won the second 50-lap qualifier. NASCAR drivers Tony Stewart, Johnny Benson, Ken Schrader and Dave Blaney all qualified and started mid-pack.
At the drop of the green flag, Turner settled the Blue Streak Intrepid into third behind Peter Gibbons. He kept Gibbons and race leader Thomson in his sights for the next 85 laps while fending off Ted Musgrave who ran in fourth for most of the night. With about fifteen to go, Matt Kenseth was on the move and he passed Turner to take away third. Two laps later Kenseth was under Gibbons and Turner followed him through to take back third position. Kenseth then set his sights on Thomson and made a power move by him on the outside with eight laps remaining to take the lead. The Blue Streak Intrepid driver could close the gap on the first two runners but was not able to make a move to pass them and he brought the #76 car across the line to take third.
A happy Turner said after the race "I had a really good car all day today and was biding my time before trying to move up. Then with about six to go I touched the wall and bent something in the front end. But we'll happily take a third here and move onto the Indy next weekend in Toronto," he added. "I have to say also that these Canadian racing fans here today are the best. It is just an incredible sight to see all these grandstands full and everyone having a great time. I am thrilled to be part of Canadian racing history in the making here today."
Podium: 1. #17 Matt Kenseth 2. Don Thomson Jr. 3. Al Turner, #76 Blue Streak Intrepid 9. Ken Schrader 11. Tony Stewart 13. Johnny Benson 14. Dave Blaney 36. Ted Musgrave
Weekend Notes: Blue Streak's charity work for the Rick Hansen Man In Motion Foundation was a huge success this weekend. People making a donation to the RHI Foundation received a Blue Streak Racing T-Shirt. Early estimates are that the Foundation will receive in excess of $15,000.00 from this weekend's fundraising activities. Congratulation and great work by all who were involved. Turner and his Blue Streak Racing Team unofficially move into 8th in the National Point Standings. It is now onto the Molson Indy in Toronto for event #7 this weekend July 5/6. Turner has a second and a third place finish at this event over the prior three years so look for him to be strong again this year.