Initially the driver and crew suspected the force of the accident had merely jammed the transmission into second gear but during a hectic attempt to repair the problem on pit road the ring gear was damaged.
A further inspection of the car the following day uncovered a piece of the shifter had broken off subsequently jamming the transmission and adding to the problems.
The DNF marked the third time in four NASCAR Canadian Tire Series events at the fast 5/8th-mile oval for the Haldex Dodge–sponsored team -a record that is not one they had hoped to gain recognition for. Brown had started the day with fourth quickest time in the early practice sessions but qualified a puzzling 12th in time trials.
Despite the disappointing starting spot, the veteran campaigner was on the move early and made steady forward progress until encountering difficulty passing the Chevrolets of Peter Gibbons and JR Fitzpatrick. When he finally broke free he was running a strong seventh until the racing accident ended his run.
“I don’t know what to say,” the disgruntled driver responded when questioned for his thoughts on the evening and the way the season has developed. “It sure seems this track has a hex on us but there is nothing we can do. The engine was really strong and the car was extremely comfortable right from the drop of the green and then this happens. We’ll just have to head to Barrie next weekend with confidence. I like the short Barrie oval and hopefully we can salvage better results with a strong run there and in the remaining events at Antigonish and Kawartha.”
“It’s not just the disappointment for myself and the team but also for the folks at Haldex who continue to show strong support for our efforts. We feel that we’re letting them down.’
Mark Dilley of Barrie in the Dodge-sponsored Dodge Avenger won the Coke Zero 200 presented by Sicard Holiday Campers after waging a torrid battle with fellow Dodge driver Ron Beauchamp of Windsor through the early stages of the race then withstood a late charge from Andrew Ranger in the Wal-Mart/Tide Ford Fusion to cap the victory, It was Dilley’s first win of the season.
The race was forced into overtime when a late race spin brought out the caution setting up a green-white-checkered flag finish.
Derek Lynch of Warkworth finished a strong third with Jason Hathaway of Appin and Beauchamp rounding out the top five.
Points’ leader Scott Steckly of Milverton fell off the pace early after qualifying second and finished 18th, ten laps down to the leaders. Don Thomson Jr, started on the pole and managed to finish 7th after some early race problems.
Prepared By Ken Spencer - HB Motorsports