Cayuga II: Season finale preview

CASCAR Super Series championship to be settled Sept. 28 at Cayuga Speedway LONDON, ON - The final race of the CASCAR Super Series' 2003 season takes place Sunday afternoon at Cayuga Speedway. The 'Molson Canadian Presents the CASCAR Championship...

CASCAR Super Series championship to be settled Sept. 28 at Cayuga Speedway

LONDON, ON - The final race of the CASCAR Super Series' 2003 season takes place Sunday afternoon at Cayuga Speedway. The 'Molson Canadian Presents the CASCAR Championship Showdown' will be the second race of the season at the legendary 5/8-mile, Hamilton-area oval and will mark the first time that Canada's top stock car series has crowned its champion at Cayuga.

Don Thomson Jr. will head to Cayuga with a 55-point lead in his quest for a third-straight CASCAR Super Series National championship. If successful, the Home Hardware Chevy driver will join fellow CASCAR veteran Dave Whitlock as the only other three-time National champ and will become the first to have earned his titles in three consecutive seasons.

And if you count the coveted oval-based Super Series Eastern championships - which Thomson won in 1999 and 2000 - the Hamilton, ON racer is in the running for his fifth major CASCAR championship in as many seasons. Ironically, Thomson finds himself without a victory following the season's first 11 Super Series events, and is in danger of not winning a CASCAR main for the first time since 1996. But that won't take away from the accomplishment, according to Thomson, as championships are built on consistency and top finishes.

"We haven't won a race yet this year and that's obviously something that bothers us, but we've been really consistent," said Thomson. "I think Peterborough was our ninth top-five [finish] of the season. So we're pretty happy with that. We're also happy to be going to Cayuga with a 55-point lead, that's for sure. However, we're going to go there and try to run as hard as we can. We're aiming for a win or at least a good finish."

Heading to Cayuga, history appears to be on Thomson's side. Entering the final double-points-race weekend of the 2001 season, at Delaware, Thomson enjoyed a 66-point lead over Kerry Micks prior to securing his first National title. And last year, Thomson earned his second National crown after he started the final race weekend of the season, also at Delaware, with a 54-point cushion over DJ Kennington.

Former CASCAR champion Kerry Micks is second in the points with one race remaining. With a history of success at Cayuga, the UFCW Taurus racer will need to be both good and lucky if he's to keep Thomson from sitting at the head table at the year-end banquet. The Mt. Albert, ON racer can start on the pole, lead the most laps, and win the race, but a solid finish by Thomson will likely be enough to clinch the National 'three-peat'.

In terms of favourites for victory in the season finale, Peter Gibbons - as usual - is on top of his game as the season nears its conclusion. The Canadian Tire Chevy driver dominated en route to victory in the 'Dodge Canada Day Shootout, Presented by MOPAR', on June 29 at Cayuga, and since that time has notched wins at Mosport and Delaware. Gibbons and Whitlock are the only three-time winners in 2003 and both were on the podium last Saturday night at Peterborough Speedway.

The night before the 'MOPAR Presents the Dodge Canada Day Shootout', this past June at Cayuga Speedway, the CASCAR CARQUEST Sportsman Series held a 150-lap race at the 5/8-mile oval. Although the 2003 championship has already been settled for the CARQUEST Sportsman Series in the favour of four-time series champ Steve Robblee the CASCAR Sportsman cars will be back in action at Cayuga on the eve of the Super Series finale, for a 100-lap feature race, sponsored by CARQUEST. The event is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27.

CASCAR NOTEBOOK:

The Outlaw Thunder Cars will also be in action this weekend at Cayuga Speedway and will participate in a 30-lap feature race on Saturday night, following the CARQUEST Sportsman race... The Great Canadian 300 from Delaware Speedway will be broadcast Sept. 29 at 8:30 p.m. on SPORTSNET. Check your local listings for subsequent airings in your region... Cayuga Speedway will be open for campers, starting at 7:00 a.m. on Friday morning. At 6:00 p.m. Friday night, the weekend party kicks off at the pavilion. Featuring a DJ, dancing, a BBQ and bar, this weekend at Cayuga will be reminiscent of days gone by at Canada's legendary speedway.

<pre> WEEKEND SCHEDULE:

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2003 11:00 a.m. Spectator Gates Open 12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. CARQUEST Sportsman Series Practice 1:15 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. CASCAR Super Series Practice 4:00 p.m. CARQUEST Sportsman Qualifying 5:00 p.m. CASCAR Super Series Qualifying 7:00 p.m. CARQUEST SPORTSMAN FEATURE 100 LAPS

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2003 10:00 a.m. Spectator Gates Open 12:00 p.m. - 1 p.m. Autograph Session 1:15 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. Driver Introductions 2:00 p.m. START: MOLSON CANADIAN PRESENTS THE CASCAR CHAMPIONSHIP SHOWDOWN (200 LAPS)

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About this article
Series NASCAR Canada
Drivers Peter Gibbons , Kerry Micks , Don Thomson Jr.