Cayuga II: Season finale race report

Vanderwyst and Thomson big winners at Cayuga in CASCAR Super Series finale HAMILTON, ON - It was dejà vu all over again on Saturday afternoon at Cayuga Speedway when veteran CASCAR Super Series driver Pete Vanderwyst dug deep into his bag of ...

Vanderwyst and Thomson big winners at Cayuga in CASCAR Super Series finale

HAMILTON, ON - It was dejà vu all over again on Saturday afternoon at Cayuga Speedway when veteran CASCAR Super Series driver Pete Vanderwyst dug deep into his bag of tricks to win the 2003 CASCAR Super Series season-ending 'Molson Canadian Presents the CASCAR Championship Showdown' at Cayuga Speedway. The St. Thomas, ON racer passed Dave Whitlock on lap 198 of the 200-lap affair to record just his second career Super Series victory. The race was stopped by rain for almost an hour, at lap 161, but after the delay, there was no stopping Vanderwyst who powered to the front of the field on fresh tires.

The Pontiac driver's only prior win had occurred on August 8, 1999 at Calgary's Race City Motorsport Park when he took the lead of that race with just three laps to go. And just like at Cayuga, Vanderwyst's win at Calgary took place after that event was stopped, by rain, for a considerable amount of time.

Vanderwyst started on the pole in the Championship Showdown and led the first 113 laps around the 5/8-mile Cayuga oval, at which point he finally pitted. The majority of the contenders had made their stops earlier than that, which worked in Vanderwyst's favour when he made his late-race charge to victory.

When the field started rolling after the rain delay, Vanderwyst sat 12th in the running order with just 38 laps to go. He wasted little time in carving his way back to the front. Running third with five to go, Vanderwyst powered past Kerry Micks to take second place, and quickly erased the gap between himself and leader Whitlock. Looking to win at the track where he'd finished second, this past June, Vanderwyst rocketed past Whitlock on the backstraight on lap 198 and into the lead. By the end of the race, he'd amassed a .760 second lead over Whitlock. Micks held on for third, ahead of Neil Fair and DJ Kennington.

Kerry Micks entered the race 55-points behind Don Thomson Jr. in the battle for the Super Series championship. A solid podium finish wasn't enough to erase that gap as Thomson finished eighth to take his third consecutive CASCAR National crown in as many seasons. In doing so, Thomson Jr. joined Whitlock as the only three-time National champions of Canada's top stock car series. Unofficially, Thomson's 1928 points total was 39 better than Micks'. DJ Kennington had another solid season and finished third with 1864 markers.

CASCAR NOTEBOOK: The final race of the CASCAR EMCO Western Series will take place on Sunday, Oct. 12 at Sun Valley Motor Speedway, in Vernon, BC... National Fast Freight Intrepid driver Bryan Cathcart was the top finishing rookie in the final 2003 Super Series point standings. The Peterborough, ON racer ended up 14th overall... Don Thomson Jr. has earned National championships in 2003, 2002 and 2001. Combined with the Eastern titles he won in 2000 and 1999, the Home Hardware Chevy driver has secured five major CASCAR championships in the last five years.

Race Stats:

TIME OF RACE: 3 hours, 0 minutes and 44 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.760 seconds
CAUTIONS: 8 for a total of 65 laps and 1 red flag (rain)
LAP LEADERS: #77 Pete Vanderwyst (1-113), #88 Dave Jacombs (114), #39 Dave Whitlock (115-197) and #77 Vanderwyst (198-200).

-cascar-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Canada
Drivers Dave Jacombs , Dave Whitlock , Neil Fair , Pete Vanderwyst , Kerry Micks , Don Thomson Jr. , Bryan Cathcart