LONDON, ON - This Sunday, the Castrol Super Series makes its first ever visit to Kawartha Speedway. The 3/8-mile oval is located south of Peterborough, ON and although several of the teams have tested at the high-banked oval in preparation for the...
LONDON, ON - This Sunday, the Castrol Super Series makes its first ever visit to Kawartha Speedway. The 3/8-mile oval is located south of Peterborough, ON and although several of the teams have tested at the high-banked oval in preparation for the Budweiser 150, none will have a definitive idea of what to expect over the course of 150 laps.
Coming into the Canada Day race - the fifth of 12 events on the 2001 Castrol Super Series schedule - the chase for the Castrol Cup has a much different look than most would have anticipated at the start of the season. Defending CASCAR champions Peter Gibbons and Don Thomson - who seemed to dominate the top rung on the podium last season - have both experienced more than their fair share of troubles in 2001 and have yet to post a victory as the campaign approaches its halfway point. Almost astoundingly, neither has made it onto the podium in a season that has featured four different race winners in as many events.
But if the 'likely suspects' have had their problems, others have filled the gap and are enjoying superb seasons. Ford Taurus driver Kerry Micks won at Delaware on the Victoria Day weekend and has held the points lead ever since. The former Castrol Super Series champion secured another podium finish, last weekend on the Mosport Int'l Raceway road course, and in the process added to his points cushion.
Running second to Micks is the winner of the season's second race (at Peterborough Speedway), Al Turner. The Blue Streak Intrepid driver overcame a buckled hood late in last weekend's Mosport race and was able to salvage a finish that kept him within sight of Micks in the points chase.
Mt. Hope, ON racer Dave Jacombs is third in the points after four outings. Driving the Speedy Taurus, Jacombs has continued the string of rock-solid runs that he started last season. And although he has yet to post a podium finish so far this season, Jacombs' consecutive fourth-place results on the Mosport oval and road course have brought him into contention for the Castrol Cup. His newfound prowess on the road circuits bodes well for his hopes of securing his first CASCAR driver's championship.
Watch for the teams to take a varied approach to gears and chassis setups as they search for a winning combination on the new facility, which boasts almost 25 degree banking and lots of room for side-by-side racing action.
KAWARTHA SCHEDULE: The 'Budweiser 150' is a one day show. Practice for the race starts at 10 a.m. on Sunday morning (July 1). Time trials to set the front of the field will take place at 11:45, and will be followed by the 'Final Qualifiers' race at 12:55. The CASCAR Junior cars will also be on track at Kawartha on Sunday. The Castrol Super Series driver autograph session commences at 1:35. The green flag will fly on the Budweiser 150 at 2:30 p.m.
CASCAR SCHEDULE NOTE: According to CASCAR's Tony Novotny, the 100 km Castrol Super Series street circuit race scheduled for August 3-5 at the Grand Prix de Trois Rivieres is still on the schedule and will go ahead as planned.