CASCAR Castrol National Super Series: Round ...
CASCAR Castrol National Super Series: Round #4 CARQUEST 300 Delaware Speedway Park
KOMOKA, ON The CASCAR Castrol National Super Series came to an exciting climax on Sunday afternoon at Delaware Speedway Park with the running of the 17th Annual CARQUEST 300. Chevrolet racer Peter Gibbons was the class of the 38 car field and powered away to a solid victory in the Labor Day classic. Gibbons, who also won the first National event, on July 26 in Calgary, did all he could in his quest for a first National championship.
But reigning champion Dave Whitlock, of Petrolia, ON had other ideas and knew what he had to do to win a record third CASCAR crown. The Ford Quality Care Service Taurus driver stayed out of trouble in the late going and rode to a solid sixth place finish. Whitlock's crew had done the math and knew that they had a bit of a cushion to play with, and still come out on top. When all was said done, Whitlock won the championship by just 10 points over Gibbons.
"It feels good. This one was tough," exclaimed Whitlock after emerging from his Ford. "The guys worked hard all year and I think that showed in the consistency, this time. We didn't get any wins in the National championship this year but we worked hard, ran consistent and I think that's what won us this championship."
Regarding the state of his car at the end, Whitlock was happy with his vehicle, but just wanted to stay clear of traffic. "It was pretty good. Everybody ran me pretty hard nobody wanted to give it to me. I had to work for every position all day. We ran near the front all day, but backed up to sixth at the finish, which was fine with me. I'm happy. I knew how many positions I had to stay within Pete [Gibbons] to win. I just had to keep him in sight." For his part, Gibbons was encouraged by the fact that he'd done everything he could possibly do to try and win the title. The Canadian Tire Monte Carlo just got better and better for the final 50 lap run and won, going away.
"Our car just ran great all day long," said Gibbons, who took the lead for keeps on lap 260. "We've been fast but struggled in the last few races. We did what we had to do." Indeed, if it wasn't for his misfortune in both the Edmonton and Mosport road course feature races, Gibbons would have easily won the championship.
"At first, we were a bit loose, so I just tried to pace myself," continued the reigning Eastern Super Series winner. "The motor got hot and I slowed off a bit. We're pretty well geared up to run long races and it was pretty easy. We knew we were going to come into a hard battle here with the points. The two races before kind of put us behind. We're here to win races and put a show on for the fans."
Second place went to Brantford's Alex Nagy, driver of the AC Delco / Snap On Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Nagy is a former winner of the event and was happy to score a top finish near the end of what has been, for him, a somewhat frustrating season.
The race started out with a bang for the veteran driver as a brake-check buckled Nagy's hood. It looked like more of the same bad luck for the Chevy racer, but Nagy and his crew were able to get their car back on the track without missing a beat. Although Nagy wasn't a threat to Gibbons at the finish, the runner-up showing turned many heads.
"It was a great run. The car ran well all day," said Nagy, who started 33rd in the field.
"We had a tough year, but today, you'd have thought we'd won every race the way the crew was so enthused." Windsor's Ron Beauchamp Jr. completed the podium finishers, coming from fifth. "It was a good car and we had good calls on the pitsops. My brakes started to go for a while, but we got some cautions that cooled them down."
A crowd of over 12,000 fans was on hand for Sunday's feature race, which had 14 different leaders.
CARQUEST 300 Notes:
PIT NOTES: Steve Robblee sat on the pole for the CARQUEST 300, while DJ Kennington and Pete Vanderwyst each won 100 lap qualifying races.