CENTENNIAL CHRYSLER'S JOHN GAUNT NINTH IN NOVA SCOTIA BARRIE, ON -- John Gaunt advanced 10 positions during the course of Sunday's Atlantic Dodge Dealers 300 at Antigonish, Nova Scotia's new Riverside International Speedway. The...
CENTENNIAL CHRYSLER'S JOHN GAUNT NINTH IN NOVA SCOTIA
BARRIE, ON -- John Gaunt advanced 10 positions during the course of Sunday's Atlantic Dodge Dealers 300 at Antigonish, Nova Scotia's new Riverside International Speedway. The #12 Centennial Chrysler-sponsored Dodge Avenger driver finished ninth in his first visit to the high-banked, one-third mile oval, after starting 19th.
A lengthy green flag run during the middle portion of the race prevented the crew of the #12 Centennial Chrysler / AKN Sikkens / Vital Signs / Mobil1 / Unitec / Plumbtech/Moen Dodge Avenger from making handling changes until late in the contest. By that point, the Barrie, ON resident had lost several laps to the leaders.
"We had a very loose car at the beginning of the race, which was just a continuation of what happened in qualifying," explained Gaunt, after the race. "We went with too much right-rear spring. We pitted early to make some adjustments, but that wasn't enough and then the race went 'green' for a long, long run and that really hurt us because we got lapped a few times. Peter Gibbons was leading at that point and was so strong that he put a bunch of us down."
However, once he was able to pit and the team made adjustments, the #12 Centennial Dodge was more competitive. "Once we got some cautions we were able to work on our setup and that improved the car, but we just couldn't recover from the setback of losing laps on the long 'green' run. My crew did a great job making the car tighter once they had a chance and I felt a lot 'racier' after that. We actually had two front tires go flat during the long run."
Gaunt summed up his inaugural run at Riverside saying, "We had a pretty good car at the end, but we paid the price for going too aggressive on some of the spring settings early. In the end, we finished ninth which isn't too bad, so we'll take that. On the bright side, we managed to stay out of the wrecks, too. This is a super racetrack [Riverside] and we're looking forward to coming back because now we have some ideas on how we can do better. We're still learning with these cars and tires."
NEXT RACE: KAWARTHA SPEEDWAY
This Sunday, Kawartha Speedway will host the 12th and final race of the 2007 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. Located near Peterborough, ON, the facility is similar to Riverside Int'l Speedway in that it is a significantly-banked 1/3-mile oval.
Gaunt has raced at Kawartha on several occasions and is looking forward to competing in the #12 Centennial Dodge Avenger at a familiar facility. "We're looking forward to going to Kawartha," continued Gaunt. "I've raced a Limited Late Model there a couple of times and it's a great facility, too."
Time Trials for Sunday's Dodge Charger 250 at Kawartha will take place at 3 p.m. The green flag to start the last race of Canada's inaugural NASCAR season will fly at 6:05 p.m. Stock car rookie Andrew Ranger leads DJ Kennington by 41 points in the championship chase.
RIVERSIDE INT'L SPEEDWAY SUMMARY
Dodge driver Mark Dilley overcame running out of fuel with less than 100 laps to go in Sunday's NASCAR Canadian Tire Series race at Antigonish, NS's Riverside International Speedway to win the Atlantic Dodge Dealers 300.
The Barrie, ON racer passed eventual second-place finisher J.R. Fitzpatrick with less than 40 laps to go in the 300-lap chase. Points runner-up DJ Kennington was third, drawing to within 41 points of leader Andrew Ranger, who finished 13th after suffering a blown motor.