BOWMANVILLE, ON At the end of April, Dave Whitlock announced that his newly created Team Taurus CASCAR Castrol Super Series operation would be joined by road racing star Scott Maxwell for the 300km road course event at Mosport Park on August 30.
BOWMANVILLE, ON At the end of April, Dave Whitlock announced that his newly created Team Taurus CASCAR Castrol Super Series operation would be joined by road racing star Scott Maxwell for the 300km road course event at Mosport Park on August 30. At the time, there was talk of a successful partnership for CASCAR's return to the Mosport circuit.
But Whitlock and Maxwell could hardly have imagined how well their teaming up was going to work out. At the end of the day on Sunday, Maxwell stood atop the podium with the biggest trophy in hand, following his first-ever CASCAR feature race. Not to be outdone, Whitlock the defending National champion raced to a solid seventh-place finish and took the points lead, with one National event remaining in his quest for a history making third National crown.
"I had a ball," said Scott Maxwell, following the 75-lap race. "It was a steep learning curve and one more day in the car would have been great. We took a bit of a chance with the setup and it really paid off." Specifically, Maxwell and his Multimatic road racing team opted for a stiffer suspension setup, which apparently helped their cause in the late going. A longtime road racer, Maxwell doesn't foresee a change to oval racing, in spite of his success in his CASCAR debut. According to the Toronto driver, his road racing experience was an advantage that wouldn't help him a whole lot on ovals.
"I'm lucky that I know my way around Mosport; that gave me a bit of an advantage," said the STP / Ford Performance Parts driver who also won the Canada Challenge GT race at Mosport, earlier in the day in his Multimatic Ford Mustang. "But trying to find two or three 10ths of a second on an oval would be a completely different situation and would be very tough. You'd have to commit to it 100 per cent, like Robin [Buck] has. But right now, I'm not willing to do that because I want to pursue my road racing career."
Dave Whitlock was happy with Maxwell's victory, the first of the year for Team Taurus. "It was a very good day for Team Taurus," said the Ford Quality Care Service Taurus driver. "All three cars finished the race and Scott won. So we are pretty happy. My team worked very hard getting that car together for Scott and they are really excited about how well it did."
Turning to Whitlock's fortunes and his hopes for a third CASCAR crown, the Petrolia, ON native was very pleased with the outcome of Sunday's road race. His Taurus lined up eighth for the feature and finished seventh.
"We had a little better car than the seventh finish shows," said Whitlock, who was given a stop and go penalty for speeding on pit road.
"The crew had to push the car to get it started after the pit stop and when the engine fired, the tires spun. We would have liked to have been third or fourth."
According to Whitlock, he directly benefited from Maxwell's Mosport experience. "I went with a setup that I knew would work and Scott helped me with finding a line around the track," continued Whitlock. "It was fun. I had a good time here. I wanted to be leading the points coming out of this race... but I was hoping to be more than eight points ahead." Team Taurus regular Sean Dupuis also competed in the 300 km Mosport endurance test. The Windsor driver raced under the Team Taurus banner on the weekend and lined up 29th in the field of 30 cars after suffering transmission troubles during Saturday's time trials and the heat races.
During Sunday's feature, the Panhard Bar broke on the #43 Taurus and the team lost five laps in the pits replacing the part. In the end, Dupuis notched a respectable 17th place finish.
"I think we did the best we could with this race," said Dupuis, who doesn't have much road racing experience. "The Panhard Bar broke and we fixed that and finished the race only five laps down. We have a little more work to do on our road course stuff," continued Dupuis. "We're just not as fast as we would like to be yet."
*** CARQUEST 300: The fourth and final race of the 1998 CASCAR Castrol National Super Series championship takes place Sept. 4-6 at London's Delaware Speedway Park. The CARQUEST 500 Weekend is Canada's most prestigious stock car event.
Qualifying for the 17th annual CARQUEST 300 begins Friday night with the Twin 100 heat races. The Final Qualifier race is scheduled for Saturday evening, while the 300 lap classic will commence Sunday afternoon. Team Taurus driver Sean Dupuis has won the race the last two seasons and is looking to make it a record-tying three in a row this Sunday.