CASCAR star "not worried" about NASCAR drivers. London, ON -- On June 30th CASCAR's stars will face off against some of NASCAR's biggest talent in the Canada Day Shootout at Cayuga Speedway in Nelles Corners, Ontario. Winston Cup drivers Tony ...
CASCAR star "not worried" about NASCAR drivers.
London, ON -- On June 30th CASCAR's stars will face off against some of NASCAR's biggest talent in the Canada Day Shootout at Cayuga Speedway in Nelles Corners, Ontario. Winston Cup drivers Tony Stewart, Johnny Benson, Ken Schrader, Dave Blaney, Matt Kenseth, and Craftsman Truck Series competitor Ted Musgrave will travel to Cayuga to battle it out with Canada's biggest stars in identical equipment.
CASCAR is Canada's premier motorsports series with over 150 race teams across the country, and its drivers are accustomed to competing at the highest level. The CASCAR stars compete for a prize purse in excess of $1.2 million dollars each year, and are part of race teams that rival the NASCAR teams to the south in terms of professionalism and performance.
"I drove against Ken Schrader at Cayuga in 1993." Says Kerry Micks, driver of the number 02 UFCW Canada car. "I started beside him and beat him. I'm not worried about the NASCAR drivers, they're no different than any other CASCAR driver out there on the track."
For other CASCAR stars the race is an opportunity to gain great exposure. Permanent seating at the Cayuga event is already sold out, and organizers have begun to sell temporary grandstand seating. It is so rare for NASCAR drivers to have a weekend off that the Canada Day Shootout is big news.
"We're putting a little extra emphasis on the Cayuga race." Remarks Robbie Thompson, driver of the number 9 Logel's Auto Parts car and current number 3 series point sitter. "It's big exposure, we'll have our best motors and equipment ready."
While the CASCAR stars may be confident that they will make Canadian race fans proud on race day, there is still a great deal of excitement surrounding the event.
"I'm excited about racing against the NASCAR guys.' Says Don Thomson Jr., defending CASCAR champion and driver of the number 4 Home Hardware car. "I'm excited to race in front of a large crowd and give great exposure to our sponsors, and it will be fun to hang around with those guys for a couple of days. But like any other race we'll work hard to prepare the car and qualify well, try to lead some laps and put ourselves in a position to be on the podium."
Once the race is over the CASCAR teams won't have much time to relax and reflect on the weekend. They will have to return to their race shops and prepare the road course cars to compete on the tight street circuit at the Molson Indy Toronto the following weekend. CASCAR has been the Saturday feature show at the event since 1999.
As the biggest event on the CASCAR schedule the race means much more than just preparing cars. Many of the CASCAR stars will be at the TD Center in downtown Toronto on the afternoon of Tuesday July 2nd to display their race machines and provide an autograph session for fans. The following evening they will be at Vinnie's Social Hall for the fourth annual CASCAR Molson Indy Party where they will partake in competitions with race fans and provide another autograph opportunity. With all the other media appearances and commitments throughout the week, the Molson Indy event becomes the most hectic time of the season for the CASCAR teams. And the most exciting.
"I'm looking forward to the Molson Indy Toronto." Says DJ Kennington, current point leader and driver of the number 17 Castrol Syntec car. "It is my birthday weekend and I look forward to putting on a great show for the fans. It's one of the best events on our schedule and an exciting week."
"I really look forward to the Molson Indy every year." Adds Thomson. "It's a different atmosphere with everything that's going on and all the spectators in the paddock area. And lets face it, it's a huge event for CASCAR."
As the CASCAR stars look forward to the hype and excitement of competing against the NASCAR drivers, they have a full season championship to keep focused on. They will head to the Mosport road course this weekend (June 15 & 16), and race the Mosport ½ mile oval the following weekend. They then prepare their cars for the 5/8 mile oval at Cayuga, and then it's back to the road course cars the very next weekend for the Molson Indy Toronto. Four completely different style tracks in as many weeks, and also the busiest time of year for media and public activities. It's no wonder that a CASCAR champion is considered a truly diverse race champion.