CASCAR western swing kicks off this weekend at BC's Sun Valley Speedway TORONTO, ON -- This weekend, the CASCAR Super Series will make its second-ever appearance at Sun Valley Speedway. Canada's top stock car series will be the centerpiece of a...
CASCAR western swing kicks off this weekend at BC's Sun Valley Speedway
TORONTO, ON -- This weekend, the CASCAR Super Series will make its second-ever appearance at Sun Valley Speedway. Canada's top stock car series will be the centerpiece of a busy weekend of racing action at the scenic half-mile tri-oval, located in Vernon, British Columbia.
In addition to Sunday afternoon's 300-lap feature race, the schedule will also include a pair of 100-lap qualifying sprint races on Saturday evening. The race at Sun Valley race is the first of two CASCAR 'crossover events,' to be held on consecutive weekends in western Canada. The second takes place the following weekend at the Grand Prix of Edmonton.
As well as being full CASCAR Super Series National Championship points events, these special crossover races are also CASCAR Flo~Pro.com Western Series full points events. The 'race within a race' format adds extra drama, as the Western Series competitors will do battle against the top National drivers, and each other, at the same time.
Heading to Sun Valley, Milwaukee Tools Chevy driver J.R. Fitzpatrick leads the CASCAR Super Series points for the first time in his career. The Ayr, ON resident is riding high after winning his first-ever CASCAR feature race, two weekends ago, in the MOPAR Canada Day 300 at Barrie Speedway. Fitzpatrick will undoubtedly have a good feeling about Sun Valley, too, as he earned a checkered flag there during his 100-lap qualifying sprint race in 2005.
Another driver hoping to recapture the magic from last summer is Castrol Dodge Charger driver DJ Kennington. The St. Thomas, ON racer caught fire during CASCAR's western swing with victories at Sun Valley Speedway in his 100-lap sprint race, as well as in the 300-lap feature race. Those wins came on the heels of his checkered flag performance at Calgary's Race City Speedway, a week earlier. Kennington's western tear launched him into contention for the championship in 2005, and set the stage for his stunning late-season charge to third in the points.
And while drivers like Fitzpatrick and Kennington have enjoyed success at the Vernon, BC facility, they can't hold a candle to five-time Western Series champion Kevin Dowler, driver of the EMCO Taurus. The Sherwood Park, AB racer has earned numerous victories at Sun Valley Speedway, most recently on June 10 of this year. Dowler finished ninth in last year's CASCAR Super Series results at Sun Valley, while collecting maximum points for being the top finishing Flo~Pro.com Western Series in the field.
"We love racing at Sun Valley," said Dowler, who is currently leading the Western Series points chase, in what he has declared to be his final season behind the wheel. "I think we're about seven for 10 in terms of feature wins in races we've participated in there. We won our last race there (in June), and at the end of last season, we collected our fifth CASCAR Western Series championship at Sun Valley. So it's safe to say that we feel good about heading there again."
CASCAR time trials will take place starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday, to be followed by the Twin 100 Qualifying Sprint Races at 7 p.m. and a full slate of local feature races at 8:45 p.m. Sunday's 300-lap feature race at Sun Valley Speedway will take the green flag at 2 p.m.
PIT STOP DEMONSTRATIONS: In advance of this weekend's racing activities at Sun Valley Speedway, a series of pit stop demonstrations are being held at various locations in the region. The first takes place Thursday afternoon (July 13 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.) at Zimmer Wheaton Pontiac Buick in Kamloops, BC. On Friday, the demonstrations will take place at Interior Truck & Trailer in Kelowna, BC (from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.), and in the parking lot adjacent to Watkin Motors in Vernon, BC (from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.)