WHITLOCK TAKES WILD RIDE AT BARRIE Whitlock does a double roll and lands on his roof in the Pizza Pizza 300 Barrie, ON, Sunday September 7, 2008: When the No. 39 Dickies/NMT/PCRFC Dodge Avenger came to a halt on it's roof Saturday night at ...
WHITLOCK TAKES WILD RIDE AT BARRIE
Whitlock does a double roll and lands on his roof in the Pizza Pizza 300
Barrie, ON, Sunday September 7, 2008: When the No. 39 Dickies/NMT/PCRFC Dodge Avenger came to a halt on it's roof Saturday night at Barrie Speedway, everyone held their breaths for a few minutes until driver Dave Whitlock was seen emerging from his car. After a lap 237 restart and with the frontrunners battling for position, Whitlock who lined up third was attempting to make a pass on No. 77 Derek Lynch. Lynch got tapped from behind by another competitor and got out of shape. Whitlock and Lynch's tires rubbed resulting in the No. 39 Dickies Dodge climbing over the hood of the No. 77 car. The momentum then sent him airborne and into a double roll before landing on his roof. A collective sigh of relief went up as Whitlock climbed from his wrecked car.
Earlier in the day Whitlock put his No. 39 Dickies Avenger on the outside front row in qualifying after setting the second quickest time of the day. "The car just worked really well," stated Whitlock after qualifying. "We practiced here a couple of weeks ago so we were confident the car would work good."
The Pizza Pizza 300, event number eleven in the thirteen race NASCAR Canadian Tire Series 2008 tour was the second appearance at Barrie Speedway this year. Whitlock's earlier visit resulted in a blown motor and a disappointing DNF so they the team was looking to redeem themselves.
At the drop of the green everyone was quite racy and Whitlock got shuffled back a few positions. They weren't worried about it as 300 laps at Barrie takes a lot of patience and good luck. At lap 132, while running in tenth, Whitlock headed down pit road for left side tires and fuel and a slight wedge adjustment. He then ducked back in again on the next lap to take on right sides tires and would be good to go for the remainder of the race. This strategy played out well for the No. 39 team as a later caution would see a lot of the remaining teams coming back down pit road for right side tires giving Whitlock fourth place track position, just as they had planned.
Whitlock would run here until an opportunity to pass the No. 19 Graham machine presented itself moving him into third. Then came the lap 237 restart that would result in the end of the day for the No. 39 Dickies team. "We were aiming for the podium tonight and I think we had the car to do it," stated Whitlock after the race. "It just goes to show that all the safety features that NASCAR mandate work. I have never been on my roof before so that was a first. I also want to thank all the emergency workers and paramedics on hand tonight. They were very thorough and we all appreciate that." After being checked out by the medical staff on hand Whitlock was released and declared okay.
The No. 39 team have there work cut out for them to get the Dickies Dodge Avenger back in racing form for event number twelve of thirteen in two weeks at Riverside Speedway in Antigonish, NS. Whitlock finished fifth in this event last year and they hope to better that finish this time. For more event information please visit www.riversidespeedway.ca.
The Pizza Pizza 300 was won by Scott Steckly, his fourth win of the year, second went to Don Thomson Jr. with the final podium position going to Kerry Micks. John Gaunt would finish fourth with Whitlock teammate Mark Dilley finishing in fifth.
The Pizza Pizza 300 will be broadcast on TSN on Saturday September 13th at 11 a.m. EST.
For more information on the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series please visit www.nascar.ca