Peterborough III: Championship Showdown preview

Championship Weekend at Kawartha will determine the Super Series and CARQUEST Series champs LONDON, ON - CASCAR will crown a pair of champions this weekend at Kawartha Speedway. On Sunday afternoon, the 250-lap Super Series season finale ...

Championship Weekend at Kawartha will determine the Super Series and CARQUEST Series champs

LONDON, ON - CASCAR will crown a pair of champions this weekend at Kawartha Speedway. On Sunday afternoon, the 250-lap Super Series season finale will determine whether or not Don Thomson is able to earn his fourth consecutive National title. Standing in the way of that amazing feat will be two-time Super Series champ Peter Gibbons, who enters the event just 17 points back of Thomson.

CASCAR has twice raced at the 3/8-mile, high-banked Peterborough-area oval. On both occasions, Thomson made the trip to victory lane after the event; a fact that bodes well for his chances on Sunday.

"Obviously, I like racing there," said Thomson, who drives the Home Hardware Chevy. "We'll do what we have to do to be the best there again. What people don't remember is that Peter Gibbons runs very well there. The last time CASCAR was there he got a flat tire when he was running away from us and that's how I got the lead."

All season long, Thomson and Gibbons have been the prime combatants for the title. Gibbons came out of the starting blocks with an uncharacteristic pair of wins in the season's first two events. Over the years, the Canadian Tire Chevy driver has started slowly and built momentum over the course of the season. And by the end of the schedule, he has quite often appeared to be dominant in terms of collecting checkered flags.

But this year, the tables were turned somewhat. Gibbons' early season strength waned as Thomson slowly nibbled away at Gibbons' points lead. Thomson moved into top spot on the strength of his first win in two years, on Aug. 21 at Mosport Speedway. He backed that up with another victory, one week later, at Peterborough Speedway.

Undeterred by Thomson's back-to-back wins, Gibbons shot back with a stunning 'back-to-front' run at Delaware, on Labour Day, to take the checkered flag in the Great Canadian 300 for the fifth time in his illustrious career.

Looking ahead to the Kawartha showdown with Thomson, Gibbons knows that the two are evenly matched and that whoever emerges victorious on Sunday will most likely be the one who has good fortune on his side. "It's going to come down to who has trouble at the last race because we're so close," said Gibbons. "It's not like one driver is any better than another. It will be settled by who gets the breaks on that day."

Doing double-duty this weekend at Kawartha will be Brad Graham of Glencoe, ON. Graham is a Super Series veteran, but he will also take to the track for Saturday's season-ending, 100-lap CARQUEST Series race with a 26-point lead in the championship chase. Graham is hoping to stay ahead of challengers Andre Coursol, Jason Hathaway and Steve Munro to win the championship that belonged to Steve Robblee for the first four years of its existence.

In addition to the Super Series (Sunday) and CARQUEST Series (Saturday) finales, Kawartha Speedway will be busy on Friday night (Sept. 17) with its "Summer Sizzler Late Model Invitational".

EMCO WESTERN SERIES: Derek Polack of Stony Plain, AB won the season-ending CASCAR EMCO Western Series race on Saturday night at Sun Valley Motor Speedway in Vernon, BC. Polack started seventh in the field of 23 competitors and worked his way to the front on lap 118 of the 200-lap AC Delco / Lordco 200. Kevin Dowler finished second at Sun Valley to successfully defend his EMCO Series championship. The Sherwood Park, AB racer now has four Western titles to his credit. Darren Turner of Kelowna, BC took the final podium position.

<pre> CASCAR CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND SCHEDULE SATURDAY, SEPT. 18, 2004 9:30 a.m. 11:50 a.m. Rotating Practice 12:30 p.m. CARQUEST Series Time Trials 1:15 p.m. CARQUEST Series Driver Introductions 1:30 p.m. START: CARQUEST SERIES FEATURE (100 LAPS)

SUNDAY, SEPT. 19, 2004 10:00 a.m. CASCAR Super Series Practice 12:30 p.m. Super Series Time Trials 1:15 2:00 p.m. CASCAR Autograph Session 2:15 p.m. Driver Introductions & Anthems 2:30 p.m. START: CASCAR SUPER SERIES FEATURE (250 LAPS)

</pre> CASCAR SUPER SERIES POINTS AS OF SEPT. 14, 2004 (TOP 20): 1. #4 Don Thomson Jr. (1886); 2. #1 Peter Gibbons (1869); 3. #39 Dave Whitlock (1829); 4. #23 Jeff Lapcevich (1708); 5. #02 Kerry Micks (1654); 6. #22 Scott Steckly (1649); 7. #64 Mark Dilley (1646); 8. #60 Ron Beauchamp Jr. (1608); 9. #17 D.J. Kennington (1559); 10. #19 Brad Graham (1544); 11. #50 Pete Shepherd ® (1533); 12. #84 J.R. Fitzpatrick ® (1513); 13. #25 Jim Lapcevich (1468); 14. #55 Rob Graham ® (1445); 15. #88 Dave Jacombs (1422); 16. #10 Doug Brown (1086); 17. #42 Sean Stafford (1036); 18. #86 Kenny Forth (984); 19. #11 Ron VanEs ® (974); 20. #32 Mike Alguire (812)

CASCAR EMCO WESTERN SERIES POINTS AS OF SEPT. 11, 2004 (FINAL): 1. #35 Kevin Dowler (1141); 2. #12 Ron Larson (1070); 3. #09 Trevor Seibert (1017); 4. #30 Derek Polack (1012); 5. #14 James VanDomselaar (997); 6. #6 Todd Nichol (997); 7. #26 Shaun Polack (983); 8. #22 Bill Dawson (768); 9. #87 James Ward (673); 10. #31 Sean Maltman (518); 11. #71 Daryl Harr (463); 12. #34 Darren Turner (456); 13. #2 Carl Harr (425); 14. #38 Jim White (403); 15. #53 Scott Kessler (391); 16. #27 Mark Derks (358); 17. #95 Paul Savoie (280); 18. #74 Dennis Masse (279); 19. #64 Shane Charlton (259); 20. #17 Randy Kozek (249); 21. #1 Jason White (238); 22. #64 Chris Shirley (176); 23. #22E Scott Steckly (161); 24. #36 Jim White (157); 25. #01 Wade Lee (141)

CASCAR CARQUEST SERIES POINTS AS OF SEPT. 14, 2004 (TOP 20): 1. #6 Brad Graham (520); 2. #18 Andre Coursol (494); 3. #76 Jason Hathaway (493); 4. #00 Steve Munro (473); 5. #80 Mike Hryniuk (458); 6. #16 Paul DeJong (427); 7. #36 Ken Grubb (426); 8. #7 Jerry Marinuk (410); 9. #09 Kent Nuhn ® (407); 10. #66 Josh Wood ® (392); 11. #02 Scott O'Connor ® (383); 12. #12 Mark Patrick (379); 13. #8 Michael Wagner ® (318); 14. #03 Jesse Kennedy (282); 15. #67 Scott Mitchell (253); 16. #45 Bob Merrifield (176); 17. #5 Jay Christie (130); 18. #46 Kevin Trevellin (126); 19. #81 Chad McGlynn (124); 20. #39 Mark Dilley (93)

CASCAR ON TV: For information regarding initial airings and replays of Super Series races on SPORTSNET, please check your local listings or visit http://www.cascar.ca/schedule/tv_schedule.html.

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Series NASCAR Canada
Drivers Darren Turner , Jason White , Dave Jacombs , Kevin Dowler , Peter Gibbons , Dave Whitlock , Jesse Kennedy , D.J. Kennington , Mark Dilley , André Coursol , Ron Beauchamp Jr. , Brad Graham , Kerry Micks , Mike Alguire , Scott Steckly , Jim Lapcevich , Daryl Harr , Carl Harr , Kenny Forth , Jeff Lapcevich , Trevor Seibert , Sean Stafford , Pete Shepherd , J.R. Fitzpatrick , Jason Hathaway , Kent Nuhn