OAKVILLE, ON - Ford Fast Lane Taurus driver Kerry Micks came from 22nd at the start of the 18th annual CARQUEST 300 at Delaware Speedway Park on Sunday (Sept. 5) and finished second in the final CASCAR Castrol Super Series National race of the...
OAKVILLE, ON - Ford Fast Lane Taurus driver Kerry Micks came from 22nd at the start of the 18th annual CARQUEST 300 at Delaware Speedway Park on Sunday (Sept. 5) and finished second in the final CASCAR Castrol Super Series National race of the season. With the result, the Mt. Albert, ON resident moved to fifth in the final National point standings; the best of the Ford contingent in the '99 championship chase. "We started 22nd and we just kept at 'er," said Micks, moments after the race. "We had a flat tire at about lap 70, and thank goodness, we never lost a lap. The guys did an awesome job and got me out. There was a caution involved and that saved us. "I was racing from the caution before - probably 25 laps with it like that. When we finally got to make the change, there were just 10 pounds [of air] in it. If that caution hadn't come out when it did, there's no way we would have finished where we did." Following the event, Micks was glad for the progress he'd made during the race, but was frustrated at his inability to run with race winner Peter Gibbons. The Stouffville, ON resident drives a Chevrolet and Micks contends that there is a horsepower imbalance that should be addressed. "We're way down on power. Those guys [Gibbons] have got a lot more power than we do. We've been fighting that deal all season and supposedly, CASCAR's gonna do something about it this coming year. It's late for this year but they gotta do what they gotta do and learn from their mistakes, just like the drivers do.
"Hopefully, they'll do it and get tech up to where it should be. You could see on the restarts that he [Gibbons] would just pull me five or six car lengths down the backstraight. I just couldn't catch him. You have to be able to run on a guy's bumper if you are going to be in contention." But even though he felt unable to compete with the race winner, Micks was pleased to have gotten past some of the other hurdles that the #02 Ford Taurus team has faced, of late.
"We just tried some stuff in the races before this one - trying to improve - but we went backwards. So, we went back to where we were at Cayuga. The car was fine," said Micks, who won the two Super Series races held at Cayuga Speedway this summer.
The next best Ford finisher at Delaware was Edmonton, AB native Kevin Dowler, who - with his ninth-place result - concluded the National season in sixth place, making him the top Western series regular in the '99 National final standings. The Ford Quality Care Service Taurus driver won Saturday evening's Final Qualifiers' race.
Dave Whitlock, three-time CASCAR National champ, sat on the pole for the CARQUEST 300 and was running in third place - with 40 laps remaining in the 300 lap affair - when he was involved in a tangle with another front-runner when a caution flag appeared. The Ford Quality Care Service Taurus driver ended up 10th at Delaware and seventh in the final National rankings. "Winning the pole was a good thing for the team. It's been two years - minus one week - since we sat on a pole. That was in New Brunswick on the same day we won the '97 championship," said Whitlock.
As for some of the other Ford Taurus drivers in action at Delaware this past weekend, Mark Dilley (NTN Bearings / Herbrand Tools Taurus) started fifth and finished 12th. He was third, behind Whitlock, in their 100 lap qualifying heat race on the Friday before the CARQUEST 300. Kelly Williams (C.A.G. / PPG / Inside Track Taurus) started deep in the field and overcame an oil line problem at the green flag to recover to 17th at the finish. Six-time Delaware CASCAR Sportsman champ Steve Robblee lined up 10th and was challenging for third, late in the race, when mechanical problems knocked his newly-sponsored Fram Taurus out of the race. Jim Lapcevich (Pepsi / Tim Hortons / Discovery Taurus) was 26th, while Kevin Trevellin and Dave Jacombs were 29th and 30th, respectively.
The CASCAR Castrol Super Series will be busy on both its Eastern and Western fronts this coming weekend. The Eastern tour wraps up its season in Fredericton, NB with the CARQUEST 200 at New Brunswick Int'l Speedway. Maritime racing star Scott Fraser will be making his second consecutive appearance in the event behind the wheel of a Whitlock Motorsports Ford Taurus. Out west, the next-to-last Super Series race of their season takes place in Regina, SK on Saturday evening, at King's Park Speedway.