EDMONTON, AB - The CASCAR Castrol Super Series kicks off its National championship chase this weekend in Edmonton, AB with the Bumper to Bumper Motorsport Classic at the Edmonton City Centre Airport. The July 21-23 road course event is the first...
EDMONTON, AB - The CASCAR Castrol Super Series kicks off its National championship chase this weekend in Edmonton, AB with the Bumper to Bumper Motorsport Classic at the Edmonton City Centre Airport. The July 21-23 road course event is the first of two Super Series races to be held in Alberta on consecutive weekends. A total 33 competitors have registered for the National championship rounds, including 17 Super Series East regulars who are making their way westward after participating in the Exide 99 Street Fight at the Toronto Molson Indy on Saturday afternoon. They were joined on the road from Toronto by western regulars Carl Harr, Daryl Harr and Indy event winner Kevin Dowler, who will be attempting to win the Edmonton National race he won in 1998. Claiming victory in the race in front of his hometown crowd in '98 was one of the biggest thrills of Dowler's racing career, but it was no doubt surpassed, in Toronto, on Saturday. His Ford Quality Care Service Taurus survived several challenges en route to the checkered flag in front of over 52,000 spectators in a race that was broadcast live on CTV Sportsnet. It was a gratifying win for the former road racer who became the first western driver in CASCAR history to win a Super Series East race. "It's been a long grind to get here," said Dowler following his win at the Indy. "We live in Sherwood Park, near Edmonton. My 'home' oval track is dirt, so we don't really get a whole lot of practice. I really enjoy racing against the Eastern competitors. Drivers like Pete Gibbons and Pete Vanderwyst are two top-notch drivers. CASCAR, right now, is the top Canadian motorsports series that we have to offer." Asked about returning to race in Edmonton fresh off his win in Toronto, Dowler was clearly enthused about competing in front of his hometown fans, knowing that he has an opportunity to win again. "I'm really excited about taking this car and heading back to Edmonton. It's my hometrack and we won there two years ago and have also finished second and third. We'd love to repeat and then head to Calgary at Race City." Ontarian Don Thomson is the defending champion of the Bumper to Bumper Motorsport Classic. Last summer, his Home Hardware Chevy survived a furious, late-race charge by eventual National champion Peter Gibbons, who had pitted late and was cutting into Thomson's at a quick rate before running out of laps. Both Thomson and Gibbons have something to prove this weekend as Thomson suffered a broken shock absorber in Toronto and endured to a seventh-place finish. Gibbons' Canadian Tire Chevrolet spun while leading, yet he was able to recover to third at the finish. The Stouffville, ON native has four poles and no victories in 2000 and is hoping to end his winless streak in Edmonton. In terms of the National championship quest, drivers are allowed to carry their two top regional (East or West) oval finishes into the four-race National series. Eastern racers Al Turner and Don Thomson have three and two wins, respectively, and will head into Edmonton with maximum points. Western points leader Carl Harr also has a pair of wins so far in 2000, and with his driving resume full of road racing experience, the Edmonton-area resident figures high on the list of contenders for National supremacy.
POLESITTER TO BE DETERMINED ON FRIDAY: For the first time in the history of the CASCAR race in Edmonton, Friday's qualifying session will set the front row for Sunday afternoon's feature event. The two drivers with the best times in the afternoon timed session will start first and second, respectively, in the Bumper to Bumper Motorsport Classic.
WEEKEND SCHEDULE: The spectator gates at the Edmonton City Centre Airport will open at noon on Friday. The CASCAR Castrol Super Series drivers take to the track at that time for their first practice session. They'll return at 1:30 before their half-hour timed qualifying session at 3:30 p.m. In addition to the CASCAR Late Models, there will be several other classes of vehicles in action this weekend in Edmonton. The Northern Alberta Sports Car Club, the CASCAR Street Stocks from Race City Motorsport Park, the Super Trucks, and Vintage Cars will also be on the Bumper to Bumper Motorsport Classic schedule.
On Saturday, Spectator gates open at 10 a.m. and will see the second timed qualifying session (11:30 a.m.) take place prior to the two timed heat races (starting at 3:00 p.m.). On Sunday, spectator gates open at 10 a.m. The CASCAR autograph session starts at 1 p.m. and the green flag will fly on the Bumper to Bumper feature race at 2:30 p.m.