Cayuga: Gibbons makes another stunning late-race pass en route to his second consecutive CASCAR Super Series victory HAMILTON, ON - Saturday night's CASCAR Super Series race at Cayuga 2000 Speedway was a virtual replay of the previous event, on...
Cayuga: Gibbons makes another stunning late-race pass en route to his second consecutive CASCAR Super Series victory
HAMILTON, ON - Saturday night's CASCAR Super Series race at Cayuga 2000 Speedway was a virtual replay of the previous event, on the Labour Day weekend at Delaware Speedway. For the second race in a row, Peter Gibbons took advantage of a late-race caution flag to blast to the lead with just a few laps to go.
The Crown Jewel 200 at the 5/8-mile Cayuga oval took place under the lights at the legendary speedway. Don Thomson Jr., CASCAR's all-time top qualifier, started on the pole for a series-leading third time in 2005. His Home Hardware Chevy showed the way for the first 34 laps, before giving way to Gibbons' Canadian Tire Chevy, in traffic.
Between them, the two prime combatants for the Super Series National championship led the majority of the laps at Cayuga, although Thomson was in control for most of the second-half of the 200-lap feature. At lap 133, with Thomson leading, Gibbons was mired in 12th-place and appeared to be going nowhere. A caution flag, 10 laps later, gave his crew the opportunity they desperately needed to improve the handling of the #1 Chevy.
By lap 167, Gibbons was up to fourth. He emerged in second-place after a lap 175 scuffle with Dave Whitlock (Avenue Motor Works / NMT Dodge Charger) and Brad Graham (Challenger / Logel's Dodge Charger), who were running second and third, respectively, at the time.
From there, Gibbons set about to whittling away at Thomson's lead, which was approximately five seconds at the time. It appeared that Gibbons would run out of time and laps, however, as his lead deficit was still more than two seconds with five laps to go. But fortune smiled on Gibbons with three to go when Marc Miller (Carhartt Dodge) spun on the front straight, erasing Thomson's lead and setting up a furious three-lap sprint to the checkered flag.
Thomson, fully aware that Gibbons had pounced to the inside of Whitlock during a late-race restart to win last weekend's Great Canadian Race at Delaware, was determined to prevent that from happening at Cayuga. But Gibbons wouldn't be denied. And despite Thomson's best efforts to keep his Home Hardware Chevy glued to the bottom of the track for the final laps, Gibbons somehow managed to stick the nose of his Canadian Tire Chevy underneath Thomson's car and powered to the lead on the backstretch on lap 198.
Gibbons' win at Cayuga was his second in as many years at the largest oval on the CASCAR circuit. Thomson came home just over a second behind, while Whitlock claimed the final podium position. Jeff Lapcevich (Fastline / EMCEA Transport / Tim Hortons Chevrolet Monte Carlo) brought his car home in fourth to record his second top-four result in as many weeks. Brad Graham, who led briefly during the Crown Jewel 200, was fifth.
The 2005 CASCAR Super Series comes to a close next Sunday at Kawartha Speedway, near Peterborough, Ontario. Entering the race, Don Thomson has an 89-point lead over Gibbons in his quest for a record-extending fifth-consecutive National championship.
CAYUGA NOTES: Don Thomson Jr. won the pole at Cayuga with a lap of 21.102 seconds. DJ Kennington (Castrol Dodge) started second (21.231 seconds)-- Pete Shepherd III, CASCAR's top rookie in 2004, drove the #20 GE Lighting / L.E. Walker Chevy at Cayuga. The Brampton, ON racer will also drive for Mid-America Freight in next weekend's CASCAR finale at Kawartha Speedway--
SUPER SERIES POINT STANDINGS: Top 15 after 11 events. Unofficial as of September 10, 2005: 1. #4 Don Thomson Jr. (2055 pts.); 2. #1 Peter Gibbons (1966); 3. #17 DJ Kennington (1894); 4. #39 Dave Whitlock (1861); 5. #60 Ron Beauchamp Jr. (1845); 6. #02 Kerry Micks (1835); 7. #19 Brad Graham (1815); 8. #9 Mark Dilley (1810); 9. #84 J.R. Fitzpatrick (1776); 10. #88 Dave Jacombs (1695); 11. #10 Doug Brown (1649); 12. #22 Scott Steckly (1614); 13. #11 Ron VanEs (1582); 14. #37 Tara MacLeod (1558); 15. #3 Stu Robinson Jr. (1500)