Dowler looks for his second win on the streets of Toronto; Ford Quality Care racer sixth in points heading into second half of the season. LONDON, ON - Although he finished a disappointing 32nd in the 'Canada Day Shootout' at Cayuga Speedway on...
Dowler looks for his second win on the streets of Toronto; Ford Quality Care racer sixth in points heading into second half of the season.
LONDON, ON - Although he finished a disappointing 32nd in the 'Canada Day Shootout' at Cayuga Speedway on Sunday evening, Kevin Dowler was still impressed with the event that significantly raised the profile of the CASCAR Super Series. The Ford Quality Care Taurus racer started 25th in the field of 44, but handling troubles frustrated the Sherwood Park, AB racer throughout his 50-lap sprint race, as well as in the 100-lap feature event.
"It was a tough outing for us at Cayuga. We're working on a few things to improve for our next oval race, in Calgary. We just missed the setup for practice, and we never found it, in spite of our best efforts. In fact, we changed everything but the driver during practice, and we just couldn't get it any better. I've never worked so hard - to go nowhere - in my entire life."
But there were several silver linings to the event. Dowler's Apollo Motorsports team also prepared the Taurus that was driven to victory by visiting Winston Cup racer Matt Kenseth. "I'm really proud of a couple of things our Apollo Motorsports team has achieved this season," continued Dowler. "We really delivered the goods for Matt on the weekend, giving him a piece of equipment he could really shine in. My driver [Kenseth] had an excellent racecar and he did his thing in it. At this point in the season, Apollo Motorsports has two CASCAR Super Series wins and one CASCAR Western Series win."
Like most of the CASCAR racers in the field, Dowler enjoyed the interaction of racing with a half-dozen of the world's best stock car drivers. And according to Dowler, the respect went both ways. "I was talking with Matt [Kenseth] about the series and he said, 'you guys are really racing out here. Nobody gives an inch. It's a great series and don't lose my phone number when you want to do it again.'
"Matt Kenseth is a racer's racer... and he's not afraid to move the numbers around on the door. He had Randy Slack crewing for him, and between Randy and our team - and guys like my old crew chief John Cramps - they really did a great job. When Matt's clutch blew during practice, they were right under it, getting it fixed in no time. Once the car was right, Matt hunted around for a line until he found the winner. After that, everyone else was an 'also ran'."
Discussing the 'Canada Day Shootout' and its impact on the series, Dowler said, "Everybody did a great job. CASCAR is a wonderful series. The NASCAR guys did their thing and the CASCAR drivers showed what they're capable of doing. And the people at Cayuga put on a show like none I've ever seen before, anywhere. To hear 15,000 fans screaming their support, was really something. If anybody left that place without a big smile on their face, then they really didn't want to be there."
Looking ahead to this weekend's race at the Toronto Indy, Dowler - who won the event in 2000 - is confident that he has a strong chance of returning his Ford Quality Care Taurus to victory lane. Reached on Tuesday at his London, ON area racing shop, Dowler - who has remained in Ontario this week to prepare for the Toronto Molson Indy - said, "We're just finishing our Toronto car right now. We're going to go test on Wednesday to make sure everything's in good shape. But it's the Taurus that won on the road course at Mosport, so we're feeling pretty good about our chances. It's do-able [winning at the Indy]... I need to be able to run with Peter [Gibbons] on the straights. And I know [Robin] Buck is going to be strong there, as always. There are so many more who will be in contention, but we'll be there, too." The CASCAR race at the Indy takes place Saturday afternoon.