Dodge-sponsored Avenger driver Mark Dilley finishes second in the Dodge Dealers 200 NASCAR race at Cayuga BARRIE, ON -- In the weeks leading up to the Dodge Dealers 200 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series race at Cayuga Speedway Park, ...
Dodge-sponsored Avenger driver Mark Dilley finishes second in the Dodge Dealers 200 NASCAR race at Cayuga
BARRIE, ON -- In the weeks leading up to the Dodge Dealers 200 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series race at Cayuga Speedway Park, Dodge-sponsored Avenger driver Mark Dilley had a goal in mind. His desire was to enter the record books as the winner of the first Canadian NASCAR stock car race of the modern era, as a bookend to his winning the last-ever CASCAR race last September at Kawartha Speedway.
On Saturday night, the Barrie, ON racer came up one position short in his quest, finishing second to Don Thomson Jr. following 200 laps around the 5/8-mile Hamilton (ON) area speedway. But given the chaotic nature of the race -- which saw Dilley lead laps 46 to 98 before being relegated to the back of the field following an incident with competitor Kerry Micks -- second-place in this prestigious race was a welcome accomplishment for the driver of the #9 Dodge / Mobil1 / Exide / MOPAR / Leland / Wild Wing / CRS Dodge Avenger.
"It was pretty crazy, that's for sure," said Dilley, just prior to the podium presentation. "One of the things I feel badly about was getting into Kerry [Micks]. That was my fault. I just drove it in way too hard. Then we got sent to the back and we had some different issues. I was spun around and that may have been a bit of a payback, but I kind of deserved it and I've got no problem with that."
While deep in the field, Dilley and his crew worked to improve the handling of their Dodge Avenger for the final portion of the race. "We came in and could only take two right-side tires during our first stop because of when the caution happened and how far back we were. Then when we did make the stop for the two left-side tires, the set just didn't match up. We came in after that and made an adjustment and then the car was good at the end."
Back on track, Dilley carved his way through the pack and benefited from the attrition that removed several of the other top cars from contention. Running fifth with 15 laps to go, the #9 Dodge moved to third after a late-race caution. From there, Dilley took second from eventual third-place finisher Peter Gibbons with five to go and set his sights on race leader Thomson.
The red-and-white Avenger was able to pull alongside of Thomson's car on the backstraight during the final lap and almost had a nose underneath on the exit from turn 4, but it wasn't to be. At the wire, Dilley came home second just 0.126 of a second behind Thomson.
"I'm just really happy about the way things went today," Dilley continued. "Our team works really well together and everyone performed under our new Crew Chief Rino Montanari. I'm also very happy about the performance of our new Dodge Avenger and proud to be the top-finishing Dodge team in the Dodge Dealers 200. We appreciate the support of the Dealers for our racing efforts and we're glad we could put on a good show for them today. Everyone at Dodge is on a mission to win races and championship and we're happy to be part of the team."
CAYUGA NOTEBOOK: During qualifying for the Dodge Dealers 200 at Cayuga, Mark Dilley's #9 Dodge-sponsored Avenger posted the seventh-fastest time (21.081 seconds). MOPAR-powered Charger driver DJ Kennington earned the pole for the race with a time of 20.785 seconds-- The next NASCAR Canadian Tire Series race takes place on the Father's Day weekend (June 16-17) on the road course at Mosport International Raceway.
-credit: whitlock motorsports