LONDON, ON - When the Castrol Super Series makes its annual visit to Mosport Speedway, this Saturday, June 9 for the 'National Fast Freight delivers the Exide Batteries 250', there will be several prominent themes to consider. First, two-time...
LONDON, ON - When the Castrol Super Series makes its annual visit to Mosport Speedway, this Saturday, June 9 for the 'National Fast Freight delivers the Exide Batteries 250', there will be several prominent themes to consider. First, two-time CASCAR champion Don Thomson Jr. will be looking to make it three wins in a row for his Home Hardware Chevy at the half-mile Mosport oval, located an hour east of Toronto.
Thomson, from Ayr, ON, currently sits eighth in the hunt for the Castrol Cup and will be looking to recapture his Mosport magic in hopes of making a jump up the points ladder, at the track he's dominated in CASCAR's previous two visits.
"I've had a bit of success there," said Thomson, in his usual, low-key manner. "I can't wait to go back. I've just got a really good setup there and we'll go back with the same setup that saw us win there the last two years."
Thomson's plan to repeat the strategy that guided him to Mosport's Victory Lane in '99 and '00 may require a little tweaking, however. Getting back to the list of 'things to watch' in the Exide 250, Thomson anticipates that he'll have to worry about preserving his brakes more than ever before at Mosport. According to Castrol Super Series veteran, the additional 50 laps that have been tacked onto this year's race will have a huge impact in determining which cars will still be in competitive form when it comes time for the final sprint to the checkered flag.
"Brakes are going to be a major issue. I don't know how we're going to deal with it," continued Thomson. "I thought I saved my brakes there last year in the 200 lapper. But I didn't have anything left at the end of the race. We're really going to have to save the car. At some point, I'm going to have to just ride around for 50 laps and not touch the brakes. I'm probably going to lose track position. But at the end, it will be worth it. Whoever passes me at that point [when he's taking it easy] won't have any brakes left at the end. That's what we're hoping for."
Joining Thomson on the list of racers hoping that the 'National Fast Freight delivers the Exide Batteries 250' will signal a change in their fortunes will be two-time and defending Castrol Super Series champion Peter Gibbons. The Stouffville, ON racer was hit by electrical gremlins in the season opener at Delaware, on May 20, and didn't end up taking the green flag. The following week, at Peterborough, Gibbons posted a 10th-place result on the 1/3-mile bullring, and currently sits 25th in his quest for a third consecutive Castrol Cup.
Several Castrol Super Series drivers have extensive experience on Mosport's demanding oval. Veteran Kelly Williams competed in a Street Stock at Mosport for a few seasons. She now pilots the Westburne Electric Pontiac Grand Prix and will no doubt be looking to capture her first Super Series feature victory on her former hometrack.
Another driver who knows his way around Mosport Speedway is nearby Port Perry resident Rod Sauder. A veteran of many forms of racing - including Late Model and Open Wheel Modified - Sauder has dedicated himself to the Castrol Super Series in 2001 and is looking forward to the Exide Batteries 250 at Mosport. The track is 'home' to Sauder, who is anticipating competing in Canada's top racing series, in front of the same fans who have watched him collect so many checkered flags in recent years. The soft-spoken driver of the TTR Transport Intrepid finished 15th at Peterborough in the second round of the Castrol Super Series and is heading to Mosport as a confident underdog.
"Yeah, I'm really looking forward to all of them [the Super Series tracks]. I've raced just about every track in Southern Ontario. I'm looking forward to going head-to-head with all the guys with their huge budgets... As far as I'm concerned they're all black with a curved thing at the end of them."
MOSPORT SCHEDULE: Spectator gates for the 'National Fast Freight delivers the Exide Batteries 250' open this Saturday (June 9) at 3:30 p.m. Time Trials start at 4 p.m., with the Driver Autograph session is slated for 6:00 p.m. and the green flag to follow at 7:30.