Saturday night's 'Mosport Speedway 200' marks the start of the final third of the Super Series season LONDON, ON - The CASCAR Super Series will commence the final third of its 2003 schedule on Saturday night (Aug. 23) at Mosport Speedway, ...
Saturday night's 'Mosport Speedway 200' marks the start of the final third of the Super Series season
LONDON, ON - The CASCAR Super Series will commence the final third of its 2003 schedule on Saturday night (Aug. 23) at Mosport Speedway, near Bowmanville, Ontario. The Mosport Speedway 200 will be the ninth of 12 events on the Super Series calendar and should offer a strong indication as to whether or not two-time and defending CASCAR National champion Don Thomson Jr. can still be considered a threat to capture a record-tying third National title.
Just prior to the series' last race, on Aug. 9 at Autodrome Old Milwaukee / St-Eustache, Thomson received devastating news. The rig, hauler and racecars of Fitzpatrick Motorsports were stolen from a Montreal hotel parking lot. Miraculously, Thomson salvaged a third-place finish at St-Eustache, in a car loaned to him by one of his prime championship rivals, DJ Kennington. Thomson managed to leave Montreal with a 26-point championship lead over Kerry Micks, with Kennington lurking not far behind, in third.
In the time since the St-Eustache event, Thomson and the entire Fitzpatrick Motorsports crew have been a whirlwind of activity, doing everything possible to line up competitive replacement racecars for Thomson and John Fitzpatrick for the final third of the campaign.
In Fitzpatrick's case, the team has purchased cars from Joe Plazek, last year's Super Series rookie of the year. Thomson, however, is digging into the team's existing stock for his replacement. According to Thomson, he plans to use the converted CASCAR Sportsman car of John Fitzpatrick's son, John Ryan Fitzpatrick, in each of the season's final four events.
Thomson received many kind and generous offers since the theft at St-Eustache. Ron Beauchamp Sr., of Beauchamp Motorsports, offered him the use of the MOPAR-powered car that Sterling Marlin raced in the Canada Day Shootout at Cayuga. Thomson even went so far as to test the car at the Mosport oval, but ultimately opted to use John's Ryan's car instead. "The generosity of the other teams since this happened has been awesome," said Thomson. "We tested the [Beauchamp] car, but our own engine-builder came through with a new replacement motor for us. We thought this might be the way to go because we're more experienced with this [Chevrolet] car and motor combination."
Thomson also noted the independent nature of the Fitzpatrick Motorsports operation. "People have loaned us stuff and have bent over backwards for us. John [Fitzpatrick] is the type of guy who likes to have his own stuff. We don't like to burden people, and we burdened them enough at St-Eustache. This is a better way to go. We're not borrowing anything, so we don't have to worry about wrecking someone else's stuff."
In last year's CASCAR race at the Mosport oval, Thomson dominated en route to winning the event by almost 13 seconds over his closest rival. He hopes that a similar setup on his replacement #4 Home Hardware car will put him in position to repeat his performance.
"I'm not even sure if I can get the same setup in the spare car. Every car has its own characteristics, even if they're built one after the other. No two cars are exactly the same. I'm going to go to Mosport with a setup similar to what worked last year, and hope it works again."
EVENT SCHEDULE MOSPORT SPEEDWAY 200 MOSPORT SPEEDWAY
SATURDAY, AUGUST 23, 2003
3:30 p.m. CASCAR Super Series Time Trials
5:00 6:00 p.m. CASCAR Driver Autograph Session
6:30 p.m. Super Series Driver Introductions
7:00 p.m. START: MOSPORT SPEEDWAY 200
CASCAR NOTEBOOK: The Ontario Super Late Racing (OSLR) Series will have a 30-lap feature race following Saturday night's Mosport Speedway 200... The CASCAR EMCO Western Series will make its lone appearance of 2003 at Calgary's Race City Motorsport Park on Saturday evening. The AvenueWest Auto Parts 200 will commence time trials at 5:15 p.m. and will take the green flag for the 200-lap feature race at 7:00 p.m. Kevin Dowler leads Ron Larson by 23 points in the championship hunt...