Dowler misses road course sweep by a bumper; Ford Quality Care Taurus racer knocked to seventh while leading in Vancouver. EDMONTON, AB - On Saturday afternoon at the Vancouver Indy, Kevin Dowler barely missed delivering his Ford Quality Care ...
Dowler misses road course sweep by a bumper; Ford Quality Care Taurus racer knocked to seventh while leading in Vancouver.
EDMONTON, AB - On Saturday afternoon at the Vancouver Indy, Kevin Dowler barely missed delivering his Ford Quality Care Taurus to victory lane in each of the three CASCAR Super Series events on the 2002 calendar. Having started from the pole position for the 35-lap race around the Concord Pacific Place temporary street circuit, Dowler was within five laps of completing the road course sweep when second-place driver Jeff Lapcevich tried to make a pass, under braking.
Following contact, both drivers spun and were passed by several others, including Robin Buck, who was third prior to the incident, and went on to win the race.
For Dowler, the Vancouver Indy outing was perfect, right up until he was tagged. "Our Ford Quality Care Taurus was great. I've run enough of these makeshift road courses to know what grip we have left on these tires after a certain amount of time. I was leading, taking my time; there was no rush. Jeff attempted to pass me at a time and place when I didn't think he would have passed me."
Describing his wide line into the right-hand turn, prior to the contact, Dowler explained, "That's the only way you get down the straightaway fast. No matter who you ask who races here. He just drove it in and I was committed to the turn. And it's all over but the crying now," shrugged Dowler, already turning his attention toward the remainder of the season.
The Edmonton, AB racer was also concerned about the well-being of his Apollo Motorsports teammate, Wade Lee. The B.C. Ford Dealers Taurus driver clipped the wall while running second to Dowler, which cut down his right-front tire and sent him into the concrete retaining wall on the left side of the track. Lee's accident occurred on the fastest part of the circuit, and resulted in several broken ribs for the Calgarian.
"It's really too bad about what happened," continued Dowler, discussing the misfortune that befell both Lee and himself, in the late going. "We were geared up for a one-two finish. At any given point, we were just driving away from everyone else." But keeping things in perspective, Dowler noted how things have a way of evening out. His Ford Quality Care Taurus won in the rain at Mosport and came from the back of the pack to take victory in the Toronto Indy. "We won in Toronto, when maybe we shouldn't have. The car was great today; the best racecar I've had in a while. It was so easy to drive; I didn't break a sweat or work the brakes."
The week before the Vancouver Indy, Dowler's Ford Quality Care Taurus was in action at Calgary's Race City Speedway. Dowler had a good car for the 300-lap feature event, on July 21, but a problem under the hood slowed his progress. "This year at Calgary, the car was great. It never handled so well before. But it picked up a miss [in the engine] at about lap 27. I thought it was a burned wire, but it turned out that we picked up a piece of something, which plugged a port in the carburetor, so we lost a cylinder. After that, we rode around all afternoon. We were able to run with the leaders, but lacked the 'get up and go' to pass them. We finished up eighth, on the lead lap, after 300 laps, which was OK. We're racing for the championship now, so that's respectable," concluded Dowler, who is fourth in the point standings, with three races remaining.
NEXT RACE: The Ford Quality Care Taurus will make its second of two appearances this summer, in Quebec, when the CASCAR Super Series makes its inaugural visit to Quebec City's Autodrome Montmagny, for a 200-lapper on Sunday, August 11. After winning two of the three road course races on the 2002 schedule, Dowler joked that he wished Montmagny had been another road race, rather than an oval event. "We'll get it going for Montmagny. The way things have been going, I probably wish it was an oval, but we'll be alright."