Delaware Speedway preview

CASCAR Super Series commences with Mopar Parts 250 LONDON, ON - Canada's top racing series, the CASCAR Super Series, opens its 12-race 2002 season at London's Delaware Speedway this weekend. The May 18-19 'Mopar Parts 250' is a longtime fixture...

CASCAR Super Series commences with Mopar Parts 250

LONDON, ON - Canada's top racing series, the CASCAR Super Series, opens its 12-race 2002 season at London's Delaware Speedway this weekend. The May 18-19 'Mopar Parts 250' is a longtime fixture of the Victoria Day long weekend, and will commence the title defense of 2001 Super Series champion Don Thomson Jr.

The ultra-competitive nature of the Super Series was evidenced last season when Kerry Micks won the Delaware opener. Following him to victory lane in subsequent weeks were: Al Turner, Mark Dilley, D.J. Kennington, Don Thomson, Robin Buck, and Peter Gibbons. In fact, it wasn't until the eighth race of the season, the August 4 Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières, that Gibbons became the Super Series' first two-race winner of the summer.

Once the ice was broken, three-time National champion Dave Whitlock guided his Ford Taurus to Victory Lane in consecutive events, at Cayuga Speedway and Calgary's Race City Speedway. Al Turner and Gibbons each picked up additional victories in the final two races of 2001.

According to Thomson, who finished 20th in last year's Mopar Parts 250 - after a jackstand became stuck on the right-side of his Home Hardware Chevy - "I think I learned last year not to get too excited. The two years before that [in '99 and '00], I came out of the box with second-place finishes at Delaware. Last year, my first three races, the only thing I had to show for it was one top-five. If I was going to get excited about something, that would have been the time. But we didn't do it then and it worked out. It's a long year and I'm not going to put a bunch of pressure on myself and the team early, to succeed."

Hopefully for Thomson, his quest to repeat as CASCAR champ will have a smoother start than Peter Gibbons experienced last year in the Mopar Parts 250. An electrical gremlin appeared as the cars were rolling to start the race, and Gibbons failed to even take the green flag. It was a devastating start to the season, one that wrapped up with three feature wins and two 100-lap sprint race victories, en route to a 10th-place points finish.

Another racer who feels he has something to prove at Delaware is three-time CASCAR Super Series champion Dave Whitlock. The Petrolia, ON resident started on the pole for both Delaware events in 2001, but was not able to break his winless streak at the half-mile oval. "We've qualified and run well there, but little things have seemed to take us out," said Whitlock, who will have the '#39' on his Fast Lane Taurus in '02. "We've had flat tires, motor problems, black flags.. everything to squander our hopes of winning there. Hopefully, we can put it all together and take a win in one of the races there."

In addition to Sunday's Mopar Parts 250, those attending the races at Delaware will be greeted by several attractions. A fleet of 48-foot merchandise trailers - featuring CASCAR and team souvenirs, collectibles and clothing - will be at the track for the first time. These trailers will be a fixture at all 12 Super Series events in '02.

CASCAR NOTES: The CARQUEST Sportsman Series will also be in action this weekend, at Delaware Speedway. Defending series champion Steve Robblee will be in search of his third victory in as many starts this season... Veteran racer Don Sales won the CASCAR Western Series opener at Vernon, BC's Sun Valley Motor Speedway on Saturday night (May 11). Sales' Skoal Inc. Pontiac led just a single lap - the 200th - to collect the victory in front of 19 others who took part in the event. The Quesnel, BC resident was in position to pounce when race leaders Wheeler Boys and Daryl Harr got together in turn 3 on the last lap. Ron Larson followed Sales across the finish line to take second place, while Daryl Harr held on for third, ahead of Boys... CASCAR veteran Rob Neely announced on May 14 that Holmar Plumbing had signed on as an associate sponsor of his #97 Intrepid... Fastlane Motorsports, the Hamilton, ON-based team of drivers Jim and Jeff Lapcevich, recently secured associate sponsorship from the Retrocom Growth Fund for the 2002 season...

Schedule of Events Mopar Parts 250 // Delaware Speedway

Saturday, May 18, 2002

Spectator Gates Open 5:00 p.m.
Time Trials (CASCAR Late Model) 6:00 p.m.
Anthems 7:00 p.m.
Heat Races (Street Stock & Trucks)
CASCAR Super Series Final Qualifier (25 laps)
Street Stock Feature (25 laps)
Truck Feature (25 laps)

Sunday, May 19, 2002
Spectator Gates Open 11:00 a.m.
Autograph Session 11:15 a.m.
Mopar Parts 250 Parade Lap including Mopar Cruise Cars 12:30 p.m.
CASCAR Junior Demonstration 1:00 p.m.
VIP Introductions 1:15 p.m.
Driver Introductions 1:30 p.m.
Anthems 1:50 p.m.
Mopar Parts 250 2:00 p.m.


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Series NASCAR Canada
Drivers Peter Gibbons , Dave Whitlock , D.J. Kennington , Mark Dilley , Kerry Micks , Robin Buck , Al Turner , Don Thomson Jr. , Daryl Harr , Jeff Lapcevich