LONDON, ON – Don Thomson Jr. is heading to this weekend’s CASCAR Super Series season finale at Kawartha Speedway in a familiar position. This Sunday’s ‘Dodge Ram Tough 250 presented by the Dodge Dealers of Ontario’ will mark the fifth consecutive time that the #4 Home Hardware Chevy driver will take to the track for the final race of the season as the points leader.
So far, the Hamilton, ON racer is four-for-four in terms of closing the deal. And all indications are that by Sunday evening, Thomson will have been successful in his ‘Drive For Five’ that started back in May at Delaware Speedway.
The veteran Fitzpatrick Motorsports racer is going to Kawartha – a place where he’s won twice in the past – with a commanding 89-point lead over Peter Gibbons. The Canadian Tire Chevy driver has won the last two Super Series races (at Delaware and Cayuga), but has done little to cut into Thomson’s significant points lead during that time. Thomson was the runner-up in both events and scored bonus points for earning the pole and leading the most laps at Cayuga, thereby preventing Gibbons from picking up even a single point on the championship leader at Cayuga.
Thomson’s current 89-point comfort margin is the biggest he has ever taken into the season finale; another statistic that doesn’t bode well for Gibbons’ hopes of winning his third Super Series National title. In 2003, PowerWater Taurus driver Kerry Micks narrowed Thomson’s winning margin from 55 to 39 points in the final race of the campaign, at Cayuga 2000 Speedway, to narrow the gap by 16 points. That effort by the Mt. Albert, ON racer was the most that any championship challenger has ever carved into Thomson’s lead in the final event. In fact, on two occasions (in 2001 and 2004), Thomson padded his lead by an additional 50 and 35 points, respectively, in the championship determining race.
In spite of his enviable position, Thomson isn’t taking anything for granted. Rather, he says he is hoping to improve his car for the Dodge Ram Tough 250 so that he can make amends for a few of the potential wins that slipped through his fingers in 2005. “We’re feeling pretty good about our chances going to Kawartha,” said Thomson, who won two CASCAR Eastern Series titles immediately prior to starting his domination of the National championship, in 2001. “Last year, we went there [Kawartha] with only a 17-point lead, so this feels better. We’re definitely going to give it a shot to win this weekend. I gotta get the car a little better because it seems to be getting consistently loose at the end of the race on these tires. Hopefully, I can drum up something a little different so that it’s strong at the end.”
The upcoming weekend will be a busy one at Kawartha Speedway. On Friday evening, the track will host the “Summer Sizzler” featuring triple-50s for the Late Models. On Saturday (Sept. 17), the CASCAR PowerWater Series will conclude its season with a 100-lap feature, leading up to the Super Series season finale on Sunday afternoon.
KAWARTHA NOTES: Don Thomson won at Kawartha Speedway in the Super Series’ first two visits to the Peterborough-area oval, in 2001 and 2002. The tour returned to the track in 2004 after a year off the schedule in ’03. Kerry Micks won last year’s season finale at Kawartha by mastering the high-line around the 3/8-mile oval… Thomson won the pole for last year’s race at Kawartha… A lucky fan at this weekend’s races at Kawartha can win $10,0000!. Kawartha Speedway is once again holding its popular Crossover Draw that gives race fans a chance to walk away with $10,000! Visit www.kawarthaspeedway.com for more details.
POWERWATER SERIES FINALE: Dion Verhoeven leads the CASCAR PowerWater Sportsman Series points chase heading into this Saturday’s sixth and final race of the 2005 season. The Kerwood, ON racer has a narrow, 12-point lead over former Super Series racer Mike Alguire, who hails from London, ON. Reigning Sportsman champ Brad Graham is a close third in the points and will be doing double duty this weekend at Kawartha as he will start Sunday’s Super Series closer in seventh-place in the points in his Challenger / Logel’s Dodge Charger.
OUT WEST: Kevin Dowler earned his fifth CASCAR Western Series championship on Sunday afternoon at Sun Valley Speedway, in Vernon, BC. Dowler’s EMCO Taurus moved to the front prior to the halfway point of the Lordco Auto Parts 200 and never looked back.
CASCAR ON TV: Catch the APC 300 Great Canadian Race from Delaware Speedway starting Saturday afternoon (Sept. 17) at 2:30 p.m. For information regarding initial airings and replays of Super Series races on SPORTSNET, please check your local listings or visit http://www.cascar.ca/schedule/tv_schedule.html.
SUPER SERIES POINT STANDINGS: Top 15 after 11 events. Unofficial as of September 10, 2005: 1. #4 Don Thomson Jr. (2055 pts.); 2. #1 Peter Gibbons (1966); 3. #17 DJ Kennington (1894); 4. #39 Dave Whitlock (1861); 5. #60 Ron Beauchamp Jr. (1845); 6. #02 Kerry Micks (1835); 7. #19 Brad Graham (1815); 8. #9 Mark Dilley (1810); 9. #84 J.R. Fitzpatrick (1776); 10. #88 Dave Jacombs (1695); 11. #10 Doug Brown (1649); 12. #22 Scott Steckly (1614); 13. #11 Ron VanEs (1582); 14. #37 Tara MacLeod (1558); 15. #3 Stu Robinson Jr. (1500)
SCHEDULE: KAWARTHA SPEEDWAY (Peterborough, Ontario)
CASCAR Super Series & Power Water Series
Dodge Ram Tough 250, presented by the Dodge Dealers of Ontario
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2005
1:00 p.m. CASCAR PowerWater Series Time Trials
1:30 p.m. Kawartha Home Class Heats and Features
3:00 p.m. START: CASCAR POWERWATER SERIES 100 LAP FEATURE RACE
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2005
12: 30 p.m. CASCAR Super Series Time Trials
1:30 p.m. Driver Autograph Session
2:10 p.m. Super Series Driver Introductions
2:30 p.m. START: DODGE RAM TOUGH 250
PRESENTED BY THE DODGE DEALERS OF ONTARIO
Contact CASCAR at (519) 641-1214 or visit www.cascar.ca
Prepared by Inside Track Communications. // Contact: Greg MacPherson (416) 561-2320 (cell).
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