Mosport II preview

The CASCAR Super Series returns to Ontario for this Saturday's Mosport Speedway 200 TORONTO, ON -- This Saturday, the CASCAR Super Series returns to action in Ontario with a stop at Mosport Speedway, near Bowmanville, ON. Over the years, the ...

The CASCAR Super Series returns to Ontario for this Saturday's Mosport Speedway 200

TORONTO, ON -- This Saturday, the CASCAR Super Series returns to action in Ontario with a stop at Mosport Speedway, near Bowmanville, ON. Over the years, the half-mile oval has been the site of some of the most entertaining and competitive CASCAR races in series history.

Last year, Castrol Dodge driver DJ Kennington won his third Super Series feature in a row with a spectacular late-race pass on leader Don Thomson Jr. (Home Hardware Chevy), with just two laps to go.

Back in 2004, Don Thomson emerged victorious in the Mosport Speedway 200, putting an end to a two-year winless streak, and moving him into the points lead en route to his fourth National title.

And who could forget the 2003 edition of this mid-summer classic, when championship rivals Don Thomson and Kerry Micks swapped the lead 11 times, before Micks powered ahead for keeps to take the checkered flag? No other racer led during the 200-lap head-to-head battle, which is widely considered to be one of the best CASCAR races of all time. Fans attending the Aug. 12 Mosport Speedway 200 should expect more of the same.

And while many of the contenders for victory in 2006 will be familiar to the fans -- drivers like Thomson, Kennington, Micks, Peter Gibbons, Mark Dilley, Dave Whitlock and Ron Beauchamp Jr. -- a new breed has come to the fore in 2006, refusing to back down to the established giants of Canadian stock car racing. Leading the upstarts is Thomson's Fitzpatrick Motorsports teammate J.R. Fitzpatrick. After demonstrating so much potential in his first two seasons on CASCAR's elite tour, the #84 Milwaukee Tools Chevy Monte Carlo driver has been the man to beat in the first half of the schedule.

Just last month, the Cambridge, ON youngster broke through to victory lane winning his first Super Series feature in the MOPAR Canada Day 300 at Barrie Speedway. The second-generation racer finds himself atop the points chase heading to Mosport, and has demonstrated clearly that he's a serious championship contender.

Scott Steckly and Brad Graham are two other CASCAR veterans who have broken through to victory lane for the first time in their Super Series careers in 2006. Steckly took advantage of the big horsepower under the hood of his ERB Dodge Charger in the season opener at Barrie, while Graham got the monkey off his back at Vernon, BC's Sun Valley Speedway, in July, when he survived a late-race challenge from Kennington to guide his Challenger / Logel's Dodge Charger to its first-ever feature win.

While drivers like Fitzpatrick, Steckly and Graham have had the skill and equipment to win races for the past few years, they've taken their games to the next level in 2006 and have added to an already entertaining show by becoming serious contenders in every race. Appin, ON racer Jason Hathaway is the leading rookie on the Super Series tour and has put his years of experience in stock car racing to good use en route to several solid finishes in his Snap On Dodge Charger.

But in the end, the big question on the minds of the fans in the stands on August 12 at Mosport Speedway will be whether or not one of the proven veterans or the surging youngsters will be capable of dethroning five-time and current Super Series champ Don Thomson Jr.

Thomson is coming off his first win of the season, on the streets of Trois-Rivières, and has narrowed young Fitzpatrick's points lead down to just 15 markers, after six events. Any way you look at it, Thomson finds himself in a dogfight with his teammate, and several other contenders, to retain his crown. The Mosport Speedway 200 will go a long way toward determining whether or not he is ultimately successful.

Time trials for the Mosport Speedway 200 start Saturday at 4:45 p.m. and will be followed by the Driver Autograph Session on the front-straight. The green flag on the 200-lap feature race is scheduled for 7 p.m.

-credit: cascar

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Series NASCAR Canada
Drivers Dave Whitlock , Mark Dilley , Ron Beauchamp Jr. , Brad Graham , Kerry Micks , Don Thomson Jr. , Scott Steckly , J.R. Fitzpatrick , Jason Hathaway