CASCAR Castrol Super Series West Round ...
CASCAR Castrol Super Series West Round #4 / PGARA Speedway / Prince George, BC
KOMOKA, ON The CASCAR Castrol Super Series West held the first of its two events in British Columbia, this summer, in Prince George, BC on Saturday night (July 4). As an indication of the highly competitive nature of the Western series this season, the Auto Magic Tire 200, at PGARA Speedway, produced the fourth different winner in as many races. Carl Harr, of Edmonton, AB started fourth in the field of 16 starters, and ran a conservative pace. The GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Monte Carlo driver passed Calgary’s Wade Lee (GM Goodwrench Pontiac) on lap 142 of the 200 lap event, and went on to lead the final 58 laps. It was the first CASCAR feature victory in three years for the veteran driver, who last visited the winner’s circle in 1995 at Sunset Speedway in Wetaskiwin, AB. "We’ve had some seconds and thirds since that win," noted the relieved Harr. "We got within two inches of a win in Quesnel [BC] last year. It’s been a while coming."
For most of the early going, Harr was content to allow leader Kevin Dowler (Ford Quality Care Service Taurus) and the second-running Wade Lee to battle it out for the top spot. But eventually, that battle began to take its toll on both of their cars, and Harr was left in relatively good shape to go for the win.
"We qualified fourth, and it was pretty tight as it usually is among the top six. There was just a few 10ths of a second between us," continued Harr. "I pretty much settled in at the start. Wade [Lee] and Kevin [Dowler] were battling it out. Wade was running in second for about the first 50 laps and working on Kevin, who was leading. I just didn’t want to get tangled up in that, so I kind of bided my time and let them go after it.
"They kind of cooked their tires. Once Wade got around Kevin, he kind of took off on everyone and I was pretty comfortable where we were running. My car had a nice, steady pace to it. By lap 140, I guess, our car had gone away the least, is what it boiled down to." At the end, Dowler and Lee had fallen to third and fourth place, respectively. Second place went to Dallas Mayhert, who has one Super Series victory under his belt, but has been inactive on the CASCAR scene for the past few seasons. What made Mayhert’s accomplishment even more surprising was the fact that the Prince George Pontiac racer did it in a ‘Sportsman’ car, with a two-barrel carburetor, while usual front-runners like Harr, Lee and Dowler all have newer, four-barreled Late Model cars.
According to Harr, the condition of the Prince George track meant that horsepower wasn’t the primary determining factor in the outcome of the race. A gentle touch, and a good dose of patience were needed to be there at the end.
"We were all about a second slower by lap 100 than we were in qualifying, which is not unusual, but you couldn’t get onto the gas coming out of the corners," continued Harr. "It was just a matter of who had the best overall setup. It was just a good weekend all around for us. We had about a half a track lead on the second place car [Mayhert]. We lapped Wade, and Kevin played some tire strategy. We had a caution around lap 125 and he came in and took on new tires. We were pretty worried that he was going to come out pretty hooked up. But whether he got a bad set or changed the wrong two, it didn’t happen."
The next Western race is the July 18 ‘Gold Pan 150’ at Quesnel, BC’s Gold Pan Speedway. *** PIT NOTES: Continuing with the racing Harrs, Carl’s 16-year-old son, Daryl, is enjoying his inaugural season on the CASCAR Castrol Super Series. The Westworld Computers Chevrolet driver has been pleasantly surprised at his ability to get up to speed. "I really thought that it would be harder. I thought that getting used to the size of the cars would be harder, but after the first race, you just get used to it. The handling of the cars came to me rather quickly. In Prince George, I felt like it was just coming to me really well." The younger Harr was 9th at PGARA Speedway, and was encouraged at not having to do any major bodywork for the first time this year following the race…