Vancouver: Round seven preview

CASCAR teams set to kick off western swing at the Vancouver Indy with the Canadian Tire 100 VANCOUVER, BC - The CASCAR Super Series is set to take to the streets of Vancouver this weekend for its fourth annual appearance at the Molson ...

CASCAR teams set to kick off western swing at the Vancouver Indy with the Canadian Tire 100

VANCOUVER, BC - The CASCAR Super Series is set to take to the streets of Vancouver this weekend for its fourth annual appearance at the Molson Indy Vancouver. The Canadian Tire 100 is the third of three road racing events on the 2004 schedule. CASCAR's undisputed king of the road, Jeff Lapcevich, is heading to Vancouver as the odds-on favourite to complete a 'clean-sweep' of this season's CASCAR road course events.

The Tim Hortons / Fastline Chevy driver is the defending CASCAR Vancouver Indy race winner and has already made two trips to victory lane so far this season, after winning at Mosport Int'l Raceway and at the Toronto Indy, almost two weeks ago.

And although you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who would bet against Lapcevich in Vancouver, there are several competitors who are determined to put an end to his road racing dominance.

Peter Gibbons has always looked strong on the temporary street circuits, but he has yet to win one of the coveted Indy events. If the hard-driving points leader can put it all together in Vancouver, there's a good chance that he can accomplish his goal. And although second-place points contender Don Thomson Jr. is happy to be within striking distance of Gibbons after the first half of the Super Series season, he's also determined to end a nagging personal winless streak that dates back to August of 2002.

And if Gibbons and Thomson aren't up to the task of keeping Lapcevich from winning in Vancouver, there are several western-based racers showing up who have road racing in their blood and are bolstered by ample experience behind the wheel of CASCAR stock cars.

CASCAR EMCO Western Series points leader Kevin Dowler will be making his first Super Series appearance of the summer at the Vancouver Indy. He and his Apollo Motorsports teammate Trevor Seibert took second and third, respectively, in last year's Toronto Indy event. Dowler has a pair of Toronto Indy wins to his credit and is confident that he can add a Vancouver victory to his impressive list of accomplishments. Three-time Western Series champ Wade Lee has also registered for the event.

POINTS CHASE: The Canadian Tire 100 is the seventh Super Series race of the season and marks the start of the second half of the 2004 campaign. Leading the way in the points will be Canadian Tire / Monroe Brakes Chevy driver Peter Gibbons, who won the first two races of the season (Delaware and Cayuga) and since that time has been extremely consistent, posting three top-five finishes prior to taking 10th in the recent Toronto Indy. He holds a 20-point lead over Home Hardware Chevy driver Don Thomson who is in search of his fourth-consecutive National championship. And just three markers back of Thomson is Avenue / NMT Dodge driver Dave Whitlock, who is also in the hunt for his fourth CASCAR Super Series crown.

SCHEDULE: VANCOUVER INDY: CASCAR SUPER SERIES (JULY 23-24, 2004):

FRIDAY, JULY 23, 2004
8:15 9:00 a.m. CASCAR Super Series Practice
12:30 1:00 p.m. CASCAR Qualifying Session #1

SATURDAY, JULY 24, 2004
8:15 9:00 a.m. CASCAR Qualifying Session #2
4:30 5:45 p.m. START: CANADIAN TIRE 100 (100 KM) CASCAR RACE

CASCAR NOTEBOOK: For the second year in a row, several Canadian Tire dealers on BC's lower mainland have banded together to sponsor the CASCAR race at the Vancouver Indy. Saturday afternoon's 100 km chase around the Concord Pacific Place track will again be titled: The Canadian Tire 100-- Former CASCAR racer Al Turner won the inaugural CASCAR Vancouver Indy race, back in 2001. Another accomplished road racer, Robin Buck, tasted victory in 2002-- 2003 Vancouver Indy CASCAR race winner Jeff Lapcevich sat on the pole for last year's 35-lap chase around Concord Pacific Place after posting a lap of 1:23.780 around the 12-turn, temporary street circuit in the second of two qualifying sessions-- The last time a driver other than Jeff Lapcevich led a lap of a CASCAR race at either the Toronto or Vancouver Indy events occurred when Kevin Dowler led lap 32 of the Toronto event, on July 12, 2003. Lapcevich passed Dowler and went on to win that race, and since that time has led all 35 laps of last year's Vancouver Indy (July 26, '03) and all 36 tours of the recently completed Toronto Indy (July 10, '04)-- Pete Shepherd is the top rookie driver following the first half of the Super Series season, in 11th place. Fellow first-year Super Series campaigner Rob Graham is just nine points back of Shepherd (736 to 727), in 13th overall. Adding to one of the best CASCAR rookie chases in years is J.R. Fitzpatrick who is 14th overall with 704 points...

CASCAR 100 TORONTO INDY TELEVISION BROADCAST: The CASCAR 100 CASCAR Super Series race at the Toronto Indy will air starting Monday, Aug. 2 on SPORTSNET (ONTARIO & EAST) at 7:00 p.m. Viewers of SPORTSNET WEST & PACIFIC can catch the race starting the same night (Aug. 2) at 8 p.m.

-cascar-

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Series NASCAR Canada
Drivers Kevin Dowler , Peter Gibbons , Dave Whitlock , Robin Buck , Al Turner , Don Thomson Jr. , Jeff Lapcevich , Trevor Seibert , Pete Shepherd , J.R. Fitzpatrick