* A Long Day For Derek Lynch * Atlantic Dodge Dealers 300 Post-Race Notes * First-Ever Championship Hangs In The Balance DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 18, 2007) -- At any given race track, the two people with the most to worry about on race day...
* A Long Day For Derek Lynch
* Atlantic Dodge Dealers 300 Post-Race Notes
* First-Ever Championship Hangs In The Balance
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 18, 2007) -- At any given race track, the two people with the most to worry about on race day are the drivers and the track operator. Both have to consider every eventuality and think three steps ahead of everyone else.
This Saturday, for the Dodge Dealers of Ontario Dodge Charger 250 presented by Allied Steel Buildings, Derek Lynch (No. 77 Allied Steel Buildings/Canadian Shield Dodge) will have the weight of both jobs on his mind. He currently holds the eighth position in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Sirius Satellite Radio championship point standings, and is also the track manager and promoter at Kawartha Speedway in Fraserville, Ontario.
The 36-year-old Lynch would like to evacuate the track operation thoughts from his mind and focus fully on driving his Dodge Charger to victory lane, but even though he has complete faith in his staff, it is not possible to remove that mentality.
"My wife, Cait, takes the lead and everybody does a great job because they want to allow me to just drive the car, but I can't help myself," said Lynch. "I look over and say, 'Why isn't the person here or there?'"
Not being in charge of your own facility and dealing with fellow competitors are two additional areas that can be deemed awkward for the few who wear both of these hats.
"I know how I drive into the pits and the sequencing of events for our own weekly shows, but it may be completely different for the Canadian Tire Series race week. NASCAR will dictate all of those things and I'm just one of the drivers in attendance. It's really like being a guest in your own house," Lynch stated.
"The other drivers and teams are very respectful," he added. "They don't gripe about anything. I think they understand that everyone has a job to do and, for the most part, my job is not running the track on that particular day."
The Warkworth, Ontario-based driver is no stranger to NASCAR or its premiere series, having worked as a fabricator for Bobby Allison, Darrell Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt, Inc. He spent a total of five years working with various drivers for each of those organizations.
"If you are a young person who likes racing and has the ability, then, by all means, go do that. It truly is a once-in-a-lifetime experience," said Lynch. "I enjoyed it but I wanted to get married, start a family and slow down a little."
Despite leaving North Carolina to return to Canada, racing would continue to be a large part of Lynch's life. Kawartha Speedway owner Skip Ambrose was looking for someone to operate his track on a day-to-day basis and Lynch took the opportunity and has not looked back. It would not be the last time that Ambrose turned to Lynch to get a fledgling program off the ground.
Heading into the 2005 season, Ambrose wanted to start a race team in the CASCAR Super Series. He asked Lynch to head up that program, as well. Once again, Lynch was more than willing. The Ambrose/Lynch partnership in the race team is a long-range plan.
"I agreed to drive the car, which I enjoy very much, but more importantly lay the groundwork for this team to move forward and grow," stated Lynch. "I told Skip that I would get the team moving in the right direction and make sure the equipment is top notch. Then, we'll be in a position to go out and find a young driver to put in the car."
The results have been a steady climb. In 2005, they finished 24th in the CASCAR standings followed by a 20th-place finish a year ago. This season, the first under the NASCAR banner, they have really turned the corner. They have turned in four top-five and seven top-10 finishes in 11 starts including a victory on Sept. 1 at Cayuga Speedway Park in the Subway 200 presented by Sicard Holiday Campers.
"I have really enjoyed this season. The pieces are really starting to come together," he said. "We're kind of a bungalow among the high rises, but it has been a great year. We came into the year wanting to finish in the top 10 in points and we're right there on the edge, fighting to stay in there."
Lynch, with his many and varied experiences in racing, demonstrates keen business acumen in expressing his thoughts and being an integral part in the success of both a race track and a race team.
"Having seen racing from a few different perspectives, I think, gives me a bit of a unique view. At the track, our car counts are up and everyone is receptive to what we have implemented there. In (the Canadian Tire Series), we've been able to run up front quite a bit. Picking up that win was huge for us."
With the likes of Derek Lynch in the fold, as a driver and a promoter, it is no wonder the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series is off to a rousing start in its first year.
Atlantic Dodge Dealers 300 Post-Race Notes
* Dilley breaks through; Gibbons disappointed ... Mark Dilley (No. 9 Dodge/Leland Industries Dodge) and Peter Gibbons (No. 1 Canadian Tire/Master Craft Chevrolet) have been among the leaders in laps led all season, but had yet to lead that all-important final lap. Dilley was able to shed the monkey on his back with a hard-fought win in last Sunday's Atlantic Dodge Dealers 300. Gibbons, meanwhile, who has led the most laps of any series driver this season at 423, again was treated poorly by the racing gods. He was forced to retire his car on Sunday with a track bar problem after leading 201 of the first 228 laps of the event.
* Dodge closes in ... Dilley's victory gave Dodge its fourth win of the season equaling Chevrolet's four to lead the Canadian Tire Series. In the manufacturers' championship point standings, Chevy still leads the way with 74 points, but Dodge, at 72, has closed the gap to just two points. Ford ranks third with 63 points and has three wins this year.
* Mobil 1 Oil "Command Performance of the Race" Award ... As a reward for his NASCAR Canadian Tire Series victory at Riverside International Speedway, Dilley collects $1,500 from Mobil 1 for his effort. It was his first NASCAR and Canadian Tire Series win.
* Mopar Fast Five ... This program awards the top five finishing Dodges in the race. In the Atlantic Dodge Dealers 300, Dilley was obviously the top-finishing Dodge and thus earned the $2,000 bonus. D.J. Kennington (No. 17 Castrol/Krispy Kreme Dodge) finished third overall and was the second-highest finishing Dodge which earned him $1,250. Picking up $1,000 for finishing as the third-highest Dodge was Derek Lynch (No. 77 Allied Steel Buildings/Canadian Shield Dodge). Collecting $500 for placing fourth among the Dodge entrants was Dave Whitlock (No. 39 Dickies/Hamilton Tiger-Cats Dodge). Rounding out the top five Dodges was Scott Steckly (No. 22 A.W. Millwrights/Erb Group Dodge) which pays him $250.
* Local Nova Scotia driver runs well ... Donald Chisholm (No. 98 Nova Construction/Pioneer Coal Chevrolet), son of Riverside International Speedway owner, John Chisholm, earned a great deal of respect from the regular Canadian Tire Series teams. He finished 16th, but that was not indicative of his effort. He was forced out of the race after 243 laps due to a steering problem, but ran in the top 10 for much of the race after starting 14th.
* In case you missed it ... For anyone unable to be on hand last Sunday afternoon for the Atlantic Dodge Dealers 300, TSN and TSN HD will air coverage of the race on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 2 p.m. ET.
ATLANTIC DODGE DEALERS 300 NEWS & NOTES
* The race ... This event is the 12th and final race for the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Sirius Satellite Radio in 2007.
* The track ... Kawartha Speedway is part of the Kawartha Downs and Speedway complex in Fraserville, Ontario, near Peterborough, east of Toronto. The 3/8-mile banked asphalt oval speedway is surrounded by a harness-racing horse track.
* Western flavor ... Jason White (No. 21 Power Ventures/Zimmer-Wheaton GM Chevrolet) made the long trek east from British Columbia to compete in the Atlantic Dodge Dealers 300 in Nova Scotia last weekend and will also be on hand for the Dodge Charger 250 presented by Allied Steel Buildings. Joining him this weekend at Kawartha Speedway will be his brother, Jim White (No. 36 Jasper Engines and Transmissions/Kamloops Dodge). Jim was the 2006 CASCAR Western Series champion and competed in this year's Canadian Tire Series events in Vernon, B.C., and Edmonton, Alberta.
* Two-horse race ... Championship point standings leader Andrew Ranger (No. 27 Wal-Mart/Tide Ford) took an 87-point lead over Kennington into last weekend's event in Nova Scotia, but suffered a blown motor that relegated him to a finish in 13th place. It was just the second time this year that Ranger finished outside of the top 10. However, Kennington finished third and shaved 46 points off that lead and heads into the final race trailing Ranger by a manageable 41 points. Ranger has led the driver point standings since winning the second event of the season back on June 16. Ranger and Kennington are the only two drivers with a mathematical chance to earn the first-ever NASCAR Canadian Tire Series title.
* Ticket information ... For more information about tickets for the Dodge Charger 250 presented by Allied Steel Buildings, call the Kawartha Speedway at (705) 939-6316 or visit online at www.kawarthaspeedway.com.
What: Dodge Charger 250, NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Race # 12.
Where: Kawartha Speedway, Fraserville, Ontario.
When: 6:05 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 23.
Track layout: 3/8-mile oval.
Distance: 250 Laps, 93.75 miles.
Posted Awards: $70,264 CAD
2006 winner: Inaugural event.
2006 polesitter: Inaugural event.
Records: To be established in inaugural event.
Pre-race schedule: Practice, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Qualifying, 3 p.m. Note: All times subject to change.
NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Top 10: 1. Andrew Ranger 1746; 2. D.J. Kennington 1705; 3. J.R. Fitzpatrick 1616; 4. Peter Gibbons 1600; 5. Don Thomson, Jr. 1591; 6. Kerry Micks 1575; 7. Mark Dilley 1556; 8. Derek Lynch 1548; 9. Jason Hathaway 1501; 10. Dave Whitlock 1464.