ST. THOMAS, ON Pete Vanderwyst's most recent CASCAR Castrol Super Series outing held this past Saturday night at Autodrome St-Eustache concluded much better than it started. The Loctite Chevrolet driver "missed the setup" during qualifying for the...
ST. THOMAS, ON Pete Vanderwyst's most recent CASCAR Castrol Super Series outing held this past Saturday night at Autodrome St-Eustache concluded much better than it started. The Loctite Chevrolet driver "missed the setup" during qualifying for the 150-lap feature race and posted a 'middle of the pack' lap speed during time trials. In his qualifying heat race, the St. Thomas, ON native was tagged and spun, which left him to start 28th in the field of 31 who lined up for the evening's main event. The flat, 2/5-mile Montreal, QC area oval is noted for being a difficult place to pass and a huge, lap 1 pile-up made matters worse for Vanderwyst, who along with the rest of the field saw almost two dozen precious laps tick off under caution. "That first caution knocked over 20 laps off the race, so that took away a lot of opportunity to come back," lamented Vanderwyst. But changes made to the Loctite car prior to the feature proved effective and once the green flag emerged, Vanderwyst took off for the front of the pack. Stopping for tires just past the mid-point of the race, Vanderwyst resumed his charge with fresh rubber. "It was a gamble to stop. We were 12th at the time and there were still 20 cars on the lead lap. But we knew that the only way to win was to put on some new tires and go for it. There were some guys ahead of me at the end who I could have passed with more time. "I was on the outside for most of the night and it was 'hooked'," continued Vanderwyst. "There were a lot of cars on the lead lap and we got by a whole bunch of them. If there had been another 20 laps, we'd have been in good shape and probably would have made it to the podium because the car was 'truckin'." At the end of 150 laps, the Loctite Chevy has climbed to seventh and had earned a solid finish from what had previously been a frustrating day on the track. Coming from 28th to 7th in less than 100 green flag laps, Vanderwyst was understandably pleased with the run, but he is adamant in his desire to start further up in the field next time so that such a charge isn't necessary. "By race-time, we had a much better setup than we did for time trials, but I'm still not 100% satisfied with how the car is operating. We have some more ideas that we'd like to try this weekend at Mosport. We're pretty confident there because we finished third in that race last year and were quick with the new Goodyear tires at the Media Day in early May." According to Vanderwyst, it's been the learning process with the new Goodyear racing tires that has kept him guessing with the qualifying setup on Loctite racer. "So far, it's really just the tires that have gotten us. There's a balance in the car that we're still looking for. I need to find what we had last year. We haven't found it yet. We want to be fast out of the box, fast in qualifying and fast throughout the race. Some of the other teams that seem to have found what we're looking for have turned a lot of laps in testing. We're just a bit behind some of the others on the handling side." Already three races into the 2000 Eastern season, Vanderwyst wants to find the answer to his dilemma in short order. "We're hoping to find what we're looking for pretty soon so that we can make a charge for the championship. But we're sure not where we want to be right now."
Loctite Notes: Following up on the successful Loctite Customer Appreciation Day at Cayuga Speedway a week earlier, Loctite again hosted a hospitality centre for their friends and clients, this time at Autodrome St-Eustache. "Loctite had another big contingent at St-Eustache," said Vanderwyst, who mingled with the guests when not preparing for the 150 lap race. "It was a big Customer Appreciation event like the one they put on at Cayuga;, with a hospitality area and a show car. Once again, everyone had a great time."
Race Report: CASCAR veteran Kerry Micks led all 150 laps at Autodrome St-Eustache to earn the 10th feature checkered flag of his Super Series career. Al Turner, who won the first two races of the season, was involved in a lap 1 incident that collected several cars and finished 26th. Reigning Super Series East champ Don Thomson Jr. started on the pole and finished second, ahead of Dave Jacombs. The CASCAR Castrol Super Series East resumes this Saturday (June 17) at Mosport Int'l Speedway, just northeast of Oshawa, ON.