Riverside: Round 11 preview

* The Long Journey Of Jason White * ATTO 300 Post-Race Notes * Canadian Tire Series Treks East DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 11, 2007) -- No doubt about it; Canada covers quite a bit of territory and Jason White (No. 21 Timeless Developments/Powder...

* The Long Journey Of Jason White
* ATTO 300 Post-Race Notes
* Canadian Tire Series Treks East

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 11, 2007) -- No doubt about it; Canada covers quite a bit of territory and Jason White (No. 21 Timeless Developments/Powder Ventures Excavations/Zimmer-Wheaton GM Chevrolet) and his team will see much of it over a short three-week period.

The British Columbia-based race team is making a long 7,400-mile round trip to participate in the final two NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Sirius Satellite Radio races of the 2007 season -- the Atlantic Dodge Dealers 300 at Riverside Speedway in Antigonish, Nova Scotia on Sept. 15 and the Dodge Dealers of Ontario Dodge Charger 250 at Kawartha Speedway in Fraserville, Ontario on Sept. 23.

It's a tall and daunting task, to say the least. It's one that could keep a team of psychologists working around the clock to answer that one burning question. Why?

"I don't think it is crazy at all," said White. "Well, I guess it does sound a little nuts, but the reason is very simple. We want to race and we want to do it in Canada's premier racing series -- the Canadian Tire Series."

While many of the series' competitors are gathering at Barrie (Ontario) Speedway for the Sept. 8 running of the ATTO 300, White's hauler had already left home and was headed eastward for Nova Scotia.

The only real hurdle according to White was formulating the lengthy itinerary for team travel. Hotels and flights took more time and proved to be a little harder than originally thought.

While White, 34, does want to satisfy his racing itch, he has ulterior motives for this trans-Canadian trip.

"This is a national series not unlike the three national NASCAR series in the United States," White stated. "The (Canadian Tire Series) is off to a great start in its first year and we need to continue to grow it."

The Canadian Tire Series' 12-race schedule includes races in five provinces, but nine of those events come in Ontario and Quebec. There is a two-race swing to the western provinces of Alberta and British Columbia and the one event in the maritime province of Nova Scotia.

"The bulk of the races happen in Ontario and most of the race teams are situated in that area. That's fine," said White. "Once upon a time, much of the (NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series) was centralized in a relatively small portion of the U.S. It takes time."

At the end of the day, White sees his race team no differently than any of the others currently racing the full season.

"There was something like 25 teams that hauled cars from the east to race at the two tracks out here in the west this year," White said. "They did it, so why can't we?"

The key to open that door of opportunity is sponsorship. The Canadian Tire Series has its share of large, multi-national sponsors with the likes of, Castrol, Dickies, Dodge and Milwaukee Electric Tools. White believes that is just the tip of the iceberg.

"Those guys went out and worked for their sponsorship. They earned it both on and off the track. It had little or nothing to do with where they lived or based their operation," said White.

The Sun Peaks, B.C., native is no stranger to making long trips to compete. He was a member of the Canadian National Speed Skiing Team for three that competed worldwide. Speed skiing is winter's answer to drag racing -- go as straight and as fast as possible. And he has discovered that the two sports share more than just speed.

"The high reliance on safety, the officials needing to keep the competitors on an even playing surface, so to speak, and the role of aerodynamics are some of the big ones," said White. "It's uncanny how similar the two are."

Even though the voyage is long and the odds of everything falling into place, with no major glitches in the plan, are fairly steep, White, the eternal optimist, is eager to get underway and confident of success. Success, in this case, will be judged objectively.

"We're not out there every race with these guys, so we're a little behind the curve, but if we can finish both races and maybe pick up a top 10, then it'll be a great trip," he said. "The most important thing is to get out there and compete. Get some exposure and tangible facts to present to sponsors so we can run them all next year."

The marketing-savvy White's desire to compete and dedication to the series, as well as the sport, should not be treated as a novelty act, but rather as a rubric or pilot case for future Canadian Tire Series competitors.


* Kennington joins club ... It took five races into the 2007 season to get a repeat winner in the Canadian Tire Series. Now, 10 races into the 12-race schedule, there are four two-time victors. D.J. Kennington (No. 17 Castrol/Krispy Kreme Dodge), with the ATTO 300 win, swept the two Barrie (Ontario) Speedway events and joined J.R. Fitzpatrick (No. 84 Milwaukee Electric Tools Chevrolet), Kerry Micks (No. 02 Beyond Digital Imaging Ford) and Don Thomson Jr. (No. 4 Home Hardware Chevrolet) as multi-race winners.

* Chevy continues to lead the way ... Dodge picked up its third win of the season courtesy of Kennington, but Chevrolet continues to lead the Canadian Tire Series manufacturers' standings. Chevy, with 68 points, has four wins in 10 events this season -- two each by Fitzpatrick and Thomson. Derek Lynch (No. 77 Allied Steel Buildings/Canadian Shield) is the other Dodge driver with a triumph. Ford has three wins on the season as well at the hands of Micks and Andrew Ranger (No. 27 Wal-Mart/Tide Ford).

* Mobil 1 Oil "Command Performance of the Race" Award ... As a reward for his NASCAR Canadian Tire Series victory at Barrie Speedway, Kennington collects his second $1,500 check from Mobil 1 for his effort.

* Mopar Fast Five ... This program awards the top-five finishing Dodges in the race. In the ATTO 300, the Dodge of Kennington, obviously, was the top finisher and was awarded $2,000. Dave Whitlock (No. 39 Dickies/Hamilton Tiger-Cats Dodge) with his season-best second-place finish was the second-highest finishing Dodge and earned $1,250. Barrie resident John Gaunt (No. 12 Centennial Chrysler Dodge), who notched his first top-five finish of the season, collected $1,000 for finishing third among the Dodge entrants. The fourth-highest finishing Dodge was that of Lynch which netted him $500. Jason Hathaway (No. 3 Snap-on Tools/Super 8 Dodge) completed the Mopar Fast Five with his eighth-place finish and will receive $250.

* Ranger closing in ... Ranger continues to close in on the first-ever Canadian Tire Series championship with just two races left on the slate. He was able to avoid trouble on the cozy 1/3-mile track to finish sixth, his ninth top-10 finish out of the 10 races, so far, this season. However, Kennington, with the win, was able to carve into the 122-point lead Ranger brought into the ATTO 300 and now trails by 87 points as the second-ranked competitor. Peter Gibbons (No. 1 Canadian Tire/Master Craft Chevrolet), in third, also was able to nudge closer to Ranger with his fourth-place effort at Barrie. Gibbons is now 144 points off Ranger's pace.

* Standing room only ... Barrie Speedway operator Brad Moran had to bring in additional seating to accommodate the ticket demand for the ATTO 300. Nearly 10,000 spectators jammed their way into the track that holds just over 4,000 fans for a standard Saturday night of racing action. The Canadian Tire Series has now raced in front of seven crowds at or in excess of capacity, including gatherings of more than 60,000 at both Edmonton and Montreal.

* In case you missed it ... If you were not able to attend the ATTO 300 last Saturday evening, TSN and TSN HD will air coverage of the race on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 11:30 a.m. E.T.


* The race ... This event is the 11th race for the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Sirius Satellite Radio in 2007. It will mark the Canadian Tire Series' first visit to Nova Scotia and the Maritime Provinces. It will also complete the five-province (Alberta, B.C., Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec) tour this season. Local racer Donald Chisholm will be making his series debut in the Atlantic Dodge Dealers 300.

* The track ... Riverside Speedway originally opened in 1969 and was modeled after the legendary Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. In 2005, the track was completely demolished and rebuilt including a new racing surface, concrete walls, lighting, grandstands and control tower. Like its counterpart, Riverside features high-banked turns with the turns having 14 degrees of banking. The front stretch is 440-feet long with a banking of six degrees while the back stretch is also 440 feet but with a five-degree banking.

* Unknown quantity ... None of the regular Canadian Tire Series competitors have in-depth knowledge of Riverside Speedway making the two early Saturday afternoon practices crucial. Additionally, the teams coming off last week's ATTO 300 at Barrie Speedway will have to make any necessary repairs quickly before having to get the haulers on the road by midweek.

* Ticket information ... For more information about tickets for the Atlantic Dodge Dealers 300, call the speedway at (902) 863-2410 or visit online at www.riversidespeedway.ca.

Fast Facts

What: Atlantic Dodge Dealers 300,NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Race # 11.

Where: Riverside Speedway, Antigonish, Nova Scotia.
When: 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 15.

Track layout: 1/3-mile oval.
Distance: 300 Laps, 99.99 miles.

Posted Awards: $88,354 CAD

2006 winner: Inaugural event.
2006 polesitter: Inaugural event.

Records: To be established in inaugural event.

Pre-race schedule: Practice, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Qualifying, 3:30 p.m. Note: All times subject to change.

NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Top 10: 1. Andrew Ranger 1622; 2. D.J. Kennington 1535; 3. Peter Gibbons 1478; 4. Don Thomson, Jr. 1473; 5. Kerry Micks 1461; 6. J.R. Fitzpatrick 1441; 7. Derek Lynch 1388; 8. Mark Dilley 1371; 9. Jason Hathaway 1355; 10. Dave Whitlock 1309.

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR Canada
Drivers Jason White , Peter Gibbons , Dave Whitlock , D.J. Kennington , Kerry Micks , Don Thomson Jr. , Andrew Ranger , J.R. Fitzpatrick , Jason Hathaway , John Gaunt , Derek Lynch