Prepared By Ken Spencer, Marketing and Media Relations, Brown Auto Racing
It was manpower over horsepower for Doug Brown and his Brantford-based team at Kawartha Speedway on Sunday afternoon and the end result secured eleventh place for the driver of the NAPA/Autopro Monte Carlo in the final Super Series standings.
Minutes into the compressed late morning practice sessions, something broke in the car’s new power plant forcing the crew to begin the tedious task of swapping engines as the clock ticked down to the mandatory pre-race time trails.
With time virtually running out, the final hock-ups were completed, the car rushed through final inspection and pushed to the last spot in the qualifying line-up.
The result was a surprising tenth fastest time among the 29 cars set to take the green flag for 250-laps on the fast 3/th-mile oval.
But the day was only just beginning for the tired and beleaguered crew and driver.
Just 20 laps into the race, the engine suddenly quit and the car stopped during a caution flag break stranding Doug between turns three and four and beyond the entry point to the pit area. By the time the car was pushed to his pit stall with the help of several other teams’ crewmembers, Doug had lost several laps to the leaders. The crew managed to get the car refired only to have it quit again a few laps later. Once the wiring harness was replaced under green flag conditions, Doug returned to action and turned in some blistering lap times but had lost a total of 30 laps as the result of the problems.
His focus was now on keeping in tact his slim margin over Milverton’s Scott Steckly in the standings. With Scott having a solid afternoon running in the top ten, Doug had to finish within the top 24 and managed to come home 22nd at the end of the afternoon.
The crew later discovered that part of the wiring harness had melted when it came in contact with the headers, a problem likely caused through an oversight when the hasty engine swap was made.
“I guess you have to chalk that one up to racing luck”, Doug mused as he slumped into a lawn chair at the end of the day.” If weather hadn’t shortened the three-day event into two, we probably would have had the engine problem on Saturday and had plenty of time to make the change. As it was, we didn’t have enough time to check things over and missed a simple hook-up (referring to the wiring problem.) I still feel we’re a top-ten team in this Series but we’ll have to wait ‘till next year to prove it.”
Dodge driver DJ Kennington of St Thomas captured the “Dodge Dealers of Ontario Ram Tough 250” in dominating fashion by first setting fast time then leading 193 laps during the afternoon. Dave Whitlock of Wyoming driving a Dodge and Peter Gibbons of Stouffville in a Chevrolet finished second and third respectively.
With his fourth-place finish, Don Thomson Jr. of Hamilton scored his fifth straight CASCAR Super Series Championship.
Brad Graham of Glencoe, John Fitzpatrick of Ayr, Pete Shepherd III of Brampton, Dave Jacombs of Mt. Hope, Scott Steckley of Milverton, and rookie Kenny Habel of Etobicoke rounded out the top ten.
A special thanks is extended to those crewmembers from teams further down pit lane who helped push the #10 team to its pits stall. Their efforts go a long way in demonstrating teamwork among fellow competitors in Canada’s leading stock car racing series.