HOME HARDWARE TEAM OVERCOMES ADVERSITY FOR TOP-FIVE FINISH AT KAWARTHA September 28, 2008. Don Thomson Jr. and the Home Hardware Chevrolet team did it again during the final round of the 2008 NASCAR Canadian Tire series (NCATS) series at ...
HOME HARDWARE TEAM OVERCOMES ADVERSITY FOR TOP-FIVE FINISH AT KAWARTHA
September 28, 2008. Don Thomson Jr. and the Home Hardware Chevrolet team did it again during the final round of the 2008 NASCAR Canadian Tire series (NCATS) series at Kawartha Speedway this past weekend. Thomson for the seventh time this season would post the quickest qualifying time and start the 250 lap race from the pole position. It was exactly the start the team wanted as they looked to continue their charge and attempt to grab the overall championship.
The Home Hardware Chevrolet crew was as usual well prepared and gave their driver a fast race car and Thomson clicked off the quickest qualifying time at 18.190 seconds for an average speed of 74.217 MPH. This was exactly what the team needed to keep their title hopes alive.
Thomson would accept the green flag to start the race and then proceed to hold that position for the first 42 laps of the race. Without warning however a miss in the motor would be the first of several hurdles the Home Hardware team would face. "Coming out of turn two it just started missing again, we lost a spark plug wire" said a frustrated driver who takes great pride in performing much of the work on the car himself. "That won't happen next year, we're going to change our distributor system" he added.
The Home Hardware crew went to work making a series of stops to correct the problem under the hood and has been the case all season; they were calm and cool under pressure knowing there was still plenty of racing to be done. "The Home Hardware car was good to that point. I was just pacing myself and saving the brakes a little bit which you have to do here. Once the Home crew made the repairs the car was just as good as before" said the driver.
Adjusting their race strategy while making repairs, the Home Hardware Chevy team also performed the necessary routine service taking on fresh tires and fuel to go the balance of the race distance. It was their chance to have the race come back to them and capitalize should the #22 car have difficulties. They were not out of the championship hunt yet.
Misfortune would strike their competition and the #22 would fall deep into the field. Thomson meanwhile had the bit between his teeth and pushed the Home Hardware Chevy into the top-five, every position gained brought them closer to a possible title. Also working in their favour was the fact that the four cars in front of Thomson still needed to make pit stops for fuel and tires. The Home Hardware team was in great position. However there was one more element to this story that had yet to play out; the weather.
Light sprinkles were becoming more persistent and making for a very tricky race track. NASCAR officials chose to throw the red flag stopping the race after 174 laps. Shortly after the decision was made by NASCAR to call the race complete. It was disappointing for a team that had worked so hard all season and especially in this race not to have the chance to finish the entire event. "We were in a really good position going to the end" said Thomson afterwards. "All of the cars in front of me had to pit, I would have inherited the lead and I really think we had a strong enough car to hold everybody off, especially when the outside groove really went away".
Don Thomson Jr. and the Home Hardware Chevrolet team would finish the season second in the overall championship standings, just twenty three points behind the winner. "Obviously I've got thank the whole Home Hardware team, John Fitzpatrick and all the effort that they put in for us. It's a little disappointing not to be able to run those last laps but we'll be back to go get 'em next year".