National Series - Round #1 - Calgary Report

CASCAR Castrol Super Series - National Race City Motorsport Park / Calgary, AB For immediate release / July 27, 1998 CALGARY, AB - The opening round of the four-race CASCAR Castrol Super Series National championship was held Sunday afternoon at...

CASCAR Castrol Super Series - National Race City Motorsport Park / Calgary, AB For immediate release / July 27, 1998

CALGARY, AB - The opening round of the four-race CASCAR Castrol Super Series National championship was held Sunday afternoon at Calgary's Race City Motorsport Park. The high-banked half-mile oval played host to 35 of Canada's top stock car drivers for the Mopar 300. A crowd of 6,500 racing fans watched Peter Gibbons win the Calgary National series race, for the second time in his career. The Stouffville, Ontario racer started fourth in the field for the 300 lap event and took the lead from Dan Shirley of Saskatoon (SK) with just five laps remaining.

Shirley's AC Delco Chevrolet Monte Carlo looked headed to victory lane as he took the green flag to re-start the race with just five laps to go. But his car suddenly lost power on the lap 295 restart, which allowed Gibbons's Canadian Tire Chevy to move to the lead. After pitting and recovering power, Shirley went on to finish eighth, which was still the best finish among the dozen Western series regulars in the Mopar 300.

Following Shirley's misfortune, Gibbons was unchallenged the rest of the way. Finishing second to Gibbons, almost a full second behind, was Windsor, ON racer Sean Dupuis (STP / Ford Performance Parts Taurus). Dupuis led a group of four Ford Taurus drivers across the line in Gibbons' wake. They included Kerry Micks (Mt. Albert, ON / Ford Fast Lane Taurus), reigning National champion Dave Whitlock (Petrolia, ON / Ford Quality Care Service Taurus) and Jim Lapcevich (Hamilton, ON / Tim Hortons Taurus) who started 34th and climbed steadily throughout the event.

"I knew Dan had a great car when we were running behind him," said Gibbons, of Shirley after the race. "We were getting ready to make a move near the end when he slowed down." Shirley later described his power failure as "devastating". It would have been the first-ever victory by a Western driver in a CASCAR National series event.

PIT NOTES: During qualifying runs for the Mopar 300, held on Friday night, Peter Gibbons and Dan Shirley took checkered flags in their respective 100 lap heat races. Gibbons is the defending Eastern series champion, while Shirley won the '97 CASCAR Western division championship... Saturday's 'Final Qualifier' race was won by Western series rookie Fred DelPero, whose Ford Taurus is the re-skinned Chevrolet Monte Carlo that Dan Shirley employed last year. The car was the record-setting pole winner for last year's Mopar 300 and was purchased by DelPero during the off-season. Shirley's new car earned him another record lap and pole this year.

The Mopar 300 was a physical race, with many of the cars requiring considerable repair in preparation for this weekend's second National championship event, the Bumper to Bumper Classic 300km road course race on the tarmac of Edmonton's City Center Airport. And while some teams have two cars  one oval and one road course  the vast majority of the teams have just one racing machine and will spend the early part of this week changing their cars over from an oval setup to a neutral road course configuration... There was a pair of big crashes during the Mopar 300. In the first, John Gaunt of Barrie, ON slammed head-on into the outside wall on the backstraight near where the cars enter the track. The impact was cushioned by a combination water/tire barrier and allowed Gaunt to emerge unhurt from his crushed car. In the other significant incident, Bill Rowse Jr. of Corunna, ON was involved in a multi-car crash that saw his already damaged racer endure a similar head-on crash. Rowse was knocked unconscious but was quickly revived and taken to a Calgary hospital for observation and tests. Rowse's team owner, Mike McColl, later reported that Rowse was relaxing in hospital... CASCAR now has a website that carries race reports and results, shortly after the conclusion of Super Series events. You can follow the action at http://www.cascar.ca/

CASTROL SUPER SERIES NATIONAL SERIES POINTS (July 26, 1998)

Position Driver (Hometown / Points) 1. Peter Gibbons (Stouffville, ON / 338) 2. Dan Shirley (Saskatoon, SK / 330) 3. Sean Dupuis (Windsor, ON / 318) 4. Dave Whitlock (Petrolia, ON / 310) 5. Dan Shirtliff (Huntsville, ON / 284) 6. Kerry Micks (Mt. Albert, ON / 282) 6. Ron Beauchamp Jr. (Windsor, ON / 282) 6. Neil Fair (Ancaster, ON / 282) 9. Alex Nagy (Brantford, ON / 276) 10. John Gaunt (Barrie, ON / 268) 11. Jim Lapcevich (Hamilton, ON / 266) 12. Dave Jacombs (Mt. Hope, ON / 264) 13. Rob Neely (Milton, ON / 260) 13. Pete Vanderwyst (St. Thomas, ON / 260) 15. Jack Monaghan (Harrow, ON / 258)

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Series NASCAR Canada
Drivers Dave Jacombs , Peter Gibbons , Bill Rowse Jr. , Dave Whitlock , Ron Beauchamp Jr. , Neil Fair , Pete Vanderwyst , Kerry Micks , Jim Lapcevich , John Gaunt