KOMOKA, ON The CASCAR Castrol Super Series season is less than two months away from kicking off its 1999 season with the traditional Eastern series-opening, May long-weekend event at Delaware Speedway Park (May 22/23). But there's a lot to be...
KOMOKA, ON The CASCAR Castrol Super Series season is less than two months away from kicking off its 1999 season with the traditional Eastern series-opening, May long-weekend event at Delaware Speedway Park (May 22/23).
But there's a lot to be done before the green flag flies on the Mopar 250. Following a few weekends of practice at Delaware, the annual CASCAR Media Day is scheduled for April 17 at the London, ON area half-mile oval and is open to several CASCAR-sanctioned classes. Traditionally, this day has been the first opportunity for the media and fans to be exposed to the new teams and paint schemes that will take to the track in late May. The next big date on the schedule will be the Castrol Super Series Media Day at Mosport Park, on May 10. This outing will also give the teams their first opportunity to test their new road course oiling systems, which were legalized over the winter.
This year's Castrol Super Series championships will be based on a total of nine Eastern, seven Western and four National events. One highlight will no doubt be the July 16-18 Miller Lite 100 Eastern race at the Toronto Molson Indy. The road course event marks CASCAR's first ever appearance at the prestigious race weekend.
The Eastern tour will conduct events in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick, while the Western series travels throughout Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto (Mosport) and London (Delaware) will again host the National series races.
"We're excited about the upcoming season and the way it's shaping up," said CASCAR President Tony Novotny. "The schedule looks strong again in all areas and the program has taken a step up from last year."
In terms of prize purses and awards, CASCAR's Director of Marketing andSales, Dave Lloyd, reports that CASCAR Castrol Super Series drivers will be gunning for over $1 million in posted cash and awards in '99. "There has been a lot of change within the automotive and automotive aftermarket industry over the winter but in spite of that, we are looking at a stronger program than ever before. And we're still working on some other things before the season starts."
A CASCAR season preview television show, produced by James Robinson Associates, will be taped at the April 17 Media Day and will appear on CTV Sportsnet. The half-hour program to be aired prior to the May 23 opener will highlight the changes in driver line-ups, the racers to watch, sponsor news and all the other pertinent information as CASCAR prepares for another Super Series campaign.
"It's been a busy off-season and there's a lot of catching up to do before the first race. It will give everyone a chance to get up to speed on what's new for '99 and we're excited about having the show serve as the 'kick off' of our new relationship with CTV Sportsnet," said Joel Robinson.
CASCAR Notes: NOCO Racing Inc. recently concluded an agreement with CASCAR that will see ELF Race Fuels become the 'Official Racing Fuel of CASCAR'. Additionally, the Toronto, ON-based petroleum company will back a pair of driver contingency awards. The CASCAR Castrol Super Series West starts its seven-race championship hunt on May 29 at Calgary's Race City Motorsport Park.
This year's western title could be up for grabs as defending champion Wade Lee is still looking for a sponsor and reported his ability to only run a limited schedule without full-time backing. The Calgarian was one of several drivers who lost their General Motors backing following the conclusion of the '98 campaign Reigning CASCAR Castrol Super Series National champion Dave Whitlock will have a new teammate in search of a record fourth national title. The Petrolia, ON racer recently signed another former champion, Mark Dilley, to drive in a second team car. Dilley will drive a Ford Taurus with NTN sponsorship in all Eastern and National races. In other NTN news, Saskatoon, SK's Dan Shirley will also fly that company's colours in '99 in his quest for a second western CASCAR crown. Ironically, both Dilley and Shirley have had NTN as their primary sponsor at other times during their racing careers. New Dodge driver Al Turner recently held an open house for his new shop. The event drew several hundred people to the impressive facility. And on March 30, Stouffville's Peter Gibbons kicked off his season with a party in downtown Toronto.