Alex Nagy sixth in National series opener ...
Alex Nagy sixth in National series opener
#93 AC Delco / Snap-On Chevrolet Monte Carlo CASCAR Castrol Super Series For immediate release // July 27, 1998
CALGARY, AB The first round of the CASCAR Castrol Super Series National championship was held Sunday afternoon (July 26) at Calgary's Race City Motorsport Park. Brantford's Alex Nagy started 13th in the field of 35 CASCAR Late Models and went on to finish sixth in the 300 lap event.
Nagy and his AC Delco / Snap-On Tools Chevrolet Monte Carlo crew overcame some handling difficulties in the days leading up to the National opener and had a solid car on Sunday. His result could have been even better, were it not for a controversial pit decision that saw Alex held on pit road for a full lap after his early-race pit stop for tires and fuel.
The car was good today, said Nagy, after the race. We fought it a bit in qualifying and started near the back in the Friday night 100 lapper. We came back up to seventh place for that. The car was just a little tight in Saturday's practice, but we worked on it and got it comfortable. Today, we were maybe still just a little tight, but we thought it would loosen up. It was pretty good and we adjusted it during our stop and it was perfect after that.
But as good as the car was following the stop, being caught in the pits virtually ended his hopes for victory. At the time, Nagy wasn't aware that he had been put a lap down. Last year's third-place finisher in Calgary, Nagy was one of a dozen drivers who pitted under caution on lap 104. Following his stop, Nagy was 11th in the exit line to leave the pits. All were held as the non-pitting pack crossed the exit of pit road. Once they were clear to leave, the speed of the pace car on the half-mile track meant that all but two drivers one of them Nagy was able to rejoin at the back of the lead lap pack before the field came around again. Therefore, Nagy was held as the leaders went by for a second time. Needless to say, it was a frustrating way to lose a lap.
Today should have worked out even better, but we got a bad call during our pit stop, which knocked us off the lead lap. I don't think we should have been put down; it was just a routine stop and of all the guys who pitted and waited to get out, they let all but two of us go.
We were strong at the end, following the first and second place cars. We didn't want to get in their way at the end, even though we should have been right there going for the win. It's frustrating that way, but the AC Delco / Snap-On Monte Carlo was good today. Who knows where we could have been?
In spite of the setback, a sixth-place finish in the National opener puts Nagy's #93 AC Delco / Snap-On Tools / Thomson Signs / Courtesy / Markham Driveline Chevrolet Monte Carlo in good shape as the tour heads to Edmonton for Round #2, on the tarmac of Edmonton's City Center Airport this coming weekend. He currently sits ninth in the National standings.
" I'm proud of the guys. We came out with a thin, three-man crew and we picked up some western guys who used to help Gary Grote, who drove the western AC Delco car a few years ago. Those guys helped us a ton and they're going to help me in Edmonton next weekend. We're going to stay in Calgary probably until Thursday morning and work on the car in town here before heading up to Edmonton for the road course race."
The domination of the Calgary National race by Eastern drivers continued on Sunday afternoon. Defending CASCAR Super Series East champion Peter Gibbons took advantage of Western champion Dan Shirley's misfortune to take the win in the 300 lap race. Shirley looked set to notch the first-ever National event win by a Western series driver, but lost power on the lap 295 restart, while leading. He was forced to pit and eventually finished eighth. Once in front, Gibbons had little difficulty defending his lead over runner-up Sean Dupuis and third-place finisher Kerry Micks.