Thomson adds to points lead with second-place Cayuga finish Castrol Super Series // Round ...
Thomson adds to points lead with second-place Cayuga finish
Castrol Super Series // Round #9 // Mac Tools 250 // Nelles Corners, ON
LONDON, ON - Don Thomson Jr. may have been somewhat miffed to see victory snapped from his grasp for the second Saturday in a row, but it didn't take long after the conclusion of the Mac Tools 250 Castrol Super Series race on Saturday night at Cayuga Speedway for the Home Hardware Chevy driver to remember the big picture.
In terms of the season-long chase for the Castrol Cup, the former CASCAR champion had a very good night indeed, given that most of his closest rivals for the 2001 title finished several places behind him at the 5/8-mile oval.
Thomson's second-place finish was good enough to build his points margin over Kerry Micks to 64 markers, with just three races remaining on the Castrol Super Series schedule. The Ford Taurus driver was 12th at Cayuga, the track where he'd tasted victory four times in the past.
Discussing the last lap lead change that saw the win go to three-time Castrol Super Series champion Dave Whitlock, Thomson said, "Dave [Whitlock] gave me a little bump there and snuck underneath me. I don't blame him, but once he got underneath me, I had to try to protect second-place. So, I tried to stay on the outside of him for a little bit. But that's life. I'll take second and move on to the next race."
To say that Whitlock was relieved to win at Cayuga would be an understatement. The Motorcraft Ford Taurus driver last visited the winner's circle in the final race of the '97 season, at New Brunswick Int'l Speedway. Since then, Whitlock Motorsports has experienced some tough times on the track as they've developed into a two-car team. With Whitlock winning - and teammate Mark Dilley finishing third in the Mac Tools 250 - it was a clear sign that the Petrolia, ON based operation is back in contention.
"It's been too long," said Whitlock of the gap since his own last win. "We've worked so hard. The crew's been thrashing for four years. It's been 1997 since we've won. We won the championship in '98 and had a lot of good finishes. But '99 and 2000 were tough years. We've developed a really good two-car team and to see Mark on the podium, too, is just incredible. It's been two years in building, but it's where we want to be. It's fun to be back in victory lane."
NOTEBOOK: The 'Budweiser 150' Castrol Super Series race, held July 1 at Kawartha Speedway, will be broadcast tomorrow evening (Tuesday, Aug. 14) on Sportsnet. The track's inaugural CASCAR race - which was won by Don Thomson - will air at 8:00 p.m. on Sportsnet EAST, ONTARIO and WEST. The PACIFIC region will see the show at 7:00 p.m. ... Following the Mac Tools 250 at Cayuga, official series photographers Colour Tech submitted a shot of Brad Graham safely escaping from the fireball that was the #19 Challenger Pontiac Grand Prix to the Toronto Sun. The giant colour photo appeared in the sports section of Monday's Toronto Sun ... For the second week in a row, the Monday edition of the National Post carried a full agate from the Castrol Super Series race. The results also appeared in the Globe & Mail ... After taking this coming weekend off, the Castrol Super Series begins its two-race western swing at Calgary's Race City Speedway, Aug. 24-26 ... The rookie points chase narrowed to within a point at Cayuga Speedway. Teri MacDonald-Cadieux continued her string of consistent finishes and pulled to within a single point of fellow first-year racer Robbie Thompson ... In the time since Dave Whitlock last won a Castrol Super Series event (September '97), two of his drivers have won races in Whitlock Motorsports cars. Mark Dilley won on June 9 of this year at Mosport Speedway, while road racer Scott Maxwell won on the road course at Mosport in August of '98.