Brad Graham wins the Castrol 300 CASCAR Super Series race at Sun Valley Speedway VERNON, BC - Brad Graham won the Castrol 300 CASCAR Super Series race at Sun Valley Speedway on Sunday afternoon. With the victory, the Challenger / Logel's Dodge...
Brad Graham wins the Castrol 300 CASCAR Super Series race at Sun Valley Speedway
VERNON, BC - Brad Graham won the Castrol 300 CASCAR Super Series race at Sun Valley Speedway on Sunday afternoon. With the victory, the Challenger / Logel's Dodge Charger driver became the third first-time Super Series winner in four races in 2006.
Heading into the final laps of the 300-lap race at the Vernon, BC half-mile tri-oval, Graham was in a familiar and somewhat uncomfortable position. Graham had taken the lead from points leader J.R. Fitzpatrick on lap 296 and found himself in the lead with veteran racer DJ Kennington hot on his heels.
In 2005, in this race, Kennington passed Graham with just three laps to go, thereby denying the Glencoe, ON racer his first trip to victory lane on CASCAR's top circuit. This time, however, Graham would not be denied. At the finish, the former Sportsman Series champ beat Kennington's Castrol Dodge Charger across the finish line by 0.647 seconds to earn his first-ever Super Series win.
"I knew it was DJ [Kennington] behind me again," said Graham, after the race. "It wasn't going to happen to me twice. This track kind of owed me one. It feels pretty awesome to win, for me and my whole family, who have been supportive of me doing this for the past 20 years. I'd also like to thank my five-year sponsor Challenger Motor Freight and John Logel, who came on last year. We've built a top-notch team together."
Graham also discussed how he got the #19 Dodge into position to win. "We had a great car all day, running in second and third for most of the race. But we got pinned in our pit stall when we made our stop and ended up at the back of the lead lap cars. We fought back from there and drove around J.R. [Fitzpatrick] with five to go."
With the victory, Graham became the fourth different winner in as many races in 2006. Scott Steckly, Kerry Micks and J.R. Fitzpatrick have also collected single checkered flags so far this season.
J.R. Fitzpatrick (Milwaukee Tools Chevy) finished third in the Castrol 300, in front of Steckly (ERB Dodge Charger) and Kerry Micks (Canadian Detailing Services Ford Taurus).
In addition to being a CASCAR Super Series race, the Castrol 300 was also a full-points race for the Flo~Pro.com Western Series. Former Western champion Daryl Harr brought his Westworld Chevy home in 14th-place to record the top finish by the Flo~Pro.com tour regulars. The next CASCAR Super Series / Flo~Pro.com Western Series takes place next weekend in Edmonton, Alberta, during the Grand Prix of Edmonton ChampCar race weekend.
QUALIFYING: Time Trials and Qualifying Sprint Races were held on Saturday at Sun Valley to set the starting grid for Sunday's Castrol 300. Don Thomson Jr. posted the fastest lap during time trials (18.459 seconds) to set a new Super Series record at the Vernon, BC track and secure the pole position for Sunday's race. Kerry Micks was second quickest, to lock himself into the second starting spot for the feature event.
In the Twin 100 Sprint Races, Don Thomson dominated the first heat, leading the final 98 laps en route to the checkered flag. J.R. Fitzpatrick and Scott Steckly were second and third, respectively. In the second 100, Kerry Micks earned the victory, coming home in front of Peter Gibbons (Canadian Tire Chevy) and Brad Graham.
POINT STANDINGS: CASCAR SUPER SERIES: Unofficial after 4 events (top 15):
1. #84 J.R. Fitzpatrick (776 pts.); 2. #22 Scott Steckly (761); 3. #02 Kerry Micks (745); 4. #4 Don Thomson Jr. (731); 5. #39 Dave Whitlock (716); 6. #10 Doug Brown (715); 6. #19 Brad Graham (715); 8. #17 DJ Kennington (707); 9. #1 Peter Gibbons (682); 10. #9 Mark Dilley (681); 11. #25 Jim Lapcevich (677); 12. #60 Ron Beauchamp Jr. (661); 13. #3 Jason Hathaway (652); 14. #14 John Fitzpatrick (632); 15. #11 Ron VanEs (606)