Broken bolt sours Mark Dilley's run at Trois-RiviÃ¨res BARRIE, ON -- While Mark Dilley's Dodge-sponsored ...
Broken bolt sours Mark Dilley's run at Trois-Rivières
BARRIE, ON -- While Mark Dilley's Dodge-sponsored #9 Dodge Avenger was very competitive through practice, qualifying and the first third of Sunday's 41-lap NASCAR Canadian Tire Series race at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières, it was the proverbial '10 cent part' that spoiled his run.
The Barrie, ON racer qualified 10th-fastest in the field of 28 for the fourth and final road course race of the Canadian NASCAR season. The #9 Dodge / Mobil1 / Exide / MOPAR / Leland / Wild Wing / CRS Dodge Avenger was up to seventh when a bolt that attaches the shifter to the transmission let go during the lap 12 restart, ending Dilley's hopes for a top finish.
The temporary street circuit puts a heavy strain on a racecar and the broken bolt resulted in the loss of third gear. Unfortunately for Dilley, that's the gear that is used most often in Trois-Rivières. From there, the #9 Dodge-sponsored Avenger went on to a 19th-place, lead-lap finish.
"A bolt broke off of the shifter where it's connected to the transmission," said Dilley. "The shifter got loose and that's why it wouldn't go into gear. Eventually, it ripped third gear out of it because it would only get partway in."
The Dodge driver continued, "Our Avenger was very good during practice and qualifying. I time trialled 10th fastest and we were seventh-best in practice. I had a good racecar, but it was just some bad luck that got us in the race."
The eight races that made up the first two-thirds of the season included four oval events and four road course races. Dilley is pleased that the final third of the NASCAR schedule will feature exclusively oval races, starting with the Labour Day event at Cayuga Speedway (near Hamilton, ON) where he finished second in the season opener, in May.
"We've been pretty good on the ovals so far this year, so we're looking forward to the last four races of the season. We've been on the podium for every oval race except for Vernon (BC). We're very excited about going back to Cayuga where we came home second in the spring. We're looking to boost our position in the points chase before it's finished," concluded Dilley, who sits seventh in the overall point standings thanks largely to three top-three finishes (at Cayuga, Barrie and Mosport) so far in '07.
"Our car has been very strong all summer and we know our Dodge-sponsored Avenger can put on a great show for the fans and our sponsors in the final four races of the season."
Veteran stock car driver Kerry Micks has a thing for racing in Quebec. Following his win in Sunday's Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières, the Mt. Albert, ON racer has gone to victory lane three times in the past year in La Belle Province.
Last year, he bested Robin Buck in the CASCAR Super Series race at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. And just a few weeks ago, Micks came out on the winning end of a late-race battle with stock car rookie Andrew Ranger at the same facility, during the NASCAR Busch Series race weekend.
On Sunday at Trois-Rivières, Ranger was once again fell victim to Micks' last-lap heroics. The two banged doors to the finish line, with Micks crossing just 0.012 in front of Ranger, the crowd favourite. The final podium position went to Williams Lake, B.C. resident Trevor Seibert, who started eighth in the field of 28 for the 41-lap chase around the 1.53-mile street circuit.
LOOKING AHEAD: Cayuga on Labour Day
After a busy three-week stretch, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series will be off this coming weekend to prepare for the Saturday, Sept. 1 race at Cayuga Speedway. The Subway 200 will be Round #9 of the 12-event 2007 schedule. In the NCATS season opener, back in late May, Mark Dilley finished second in the Dodge Dealers 200 at the 5/8-mile speedway.