Micks Wins NAPA AUTOPRO 100 On Last Lap Pass MONTREAL (Aug. 4, 2007) -- Kerry Micks (No. 02 Beyond Digital Imaging Ford) and Andrew Ranger (No. 27 Wal-Mart/Tide Ford) staged a tremendous battle over the final five laps of the NAPA AUTOPRO 100...
Micks Wins NAPA AUTOPRO 100 On Last Lap Pass
MONTREAL (Aug. 4, 2007) -- Kerry Micks (No. 02 Beyond Digital Imaging Ford) and Andrew Ranger (No. 27 Wal-Mart/Tide Ford) staged a tremendous battle over the final five laps of the NAPA AUTOPRO 100 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Micks ultimately passed Ranger on the white flag lap as the two cars navigated the final few turns of the demanding permanent street course.
Last lap passes for the win have become the norm in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Sirius Satellite Radio. The last three races have been decided in that fashion. J.R. Fitzpatrick (No. 84 Milwaukee Electric Tools Chevrolet) won the first two prior to Micks' daring moves to earn today's victory.
Micks, of Mt. Albert, Ont., came into the race with a strategy of pushing hard in the early stages of the race before moving into brake and tire-management mode over the middle portion of the event in order to have something left at the end. The plan worked, but not exactly as he envisioned. Starting in the third position, Micks was able to work past outside polesitter Ranger on the initial start and overcame polesitter Fitzpatrick on the race's second lap to assume the lead which he held for the next 19 laps, but he was not on cruise control.
"I jumped out early just as I planned, but the middle portion was a little more difficult than I anticipated," said Micks. "I was going along there at about 90 to 95 percent, but (Robin Buck) was starting to give me some pressure that I really didn't need."
Roxton Pond, Quebec native and hometown fan favorite Ranger pushed his way past Micks to assume the lead for laps 21 and 22 of the 23-lap event much to the delight of the large crowd on hand at the historic track. He appeared to be on his way to his second victory of the year before Micks staged his late comeback. It was the second time in as many races that Ranger fell victim to a last lap pass. Two weeks ago at the Grand Prix Edmonton, Fitzgerald rallied for the win on the final lap.
"It is difficult to lose that way, but I am proud of second place," stated Ranger. "My car was really strong today, but we fell a little short."
For Micks, it was his first NASCAR Canadian Tire Series victory and it came on perhaps the biggest weekend of the season for the first-year series. The Canadian Tire Series event was held in conjunction with the first NASCAR Busch Series race in Canada making the triumph very special for the veteran driver.
"I've had some great wins in my career, but this one has to rank at the top," said Micks. "This was such a big race for us, being here with the (NASCAR Busch Series). It is definitely a special, special win."
Road course specialist Robin Buck (No. 88 Ron's Burner Service/Jennifer Ashleigh Children's Charity Ford) started the race in the fifth position and finished third for the second straight race. D.J. Kennington (No. 17 Castrol/Krispy Kreme Dodge) and Scott Steckly (No. 22 Erb Group Dodge) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Don Thomson Jr., Peter Gibbons, Jeff Lapcevich, Jim Lapcevich and Trevor Seibert rounded out the top 10.
The race was slowed by just three caution periods covering eight laps. Micks led the most laps at 20. Ranger paced the field for two laps while Fitzpatrick led one.
Fitzpatrick won the Bud Pole Award and was set up for a possible third consecutive victory, but a blown motor on lap 14 ended that bid.
In the championship point standings, Ranger continues to lead and now leads Kennington, who moved into second place, by 74 points. Peter Gibbons (No. 1 Canadian Tire/Mastercraft Chevrolet) is just a single point behind Kennington.
The Canadian Tire Series is back on an oval track next Saturday as it travels to Mosport Speedway for the Full Throttle 200 presented by Canadian Shield Anticrime Response.