Caistor Centre’s Don Thomson Jr. has a score to settle in Trois-Rivières. Five years ago, Thomson lead the CASCAR Super Series event in the Quebec City street course for the entire race. But with victory so close, the Home Hardware Chevy’s transmission died on the final lap with just a few corners to go. Instead, the victory went to Canadian Tire Chevy driver Peter Gibbons.
Thomson went on to win his first of five consecutive CASCAR Super Series National championships that season, but Trois-Rivières sticks out in his mind as unfinished business.
“When we go to Trois-Rivières, I don’t care how many laps I lead, as long as we lead the last one,” jokes Thomson. In the 2001 race, he was actually pushed across the finish line by teammate John Fitzpatrick’s car.
“Last time we were there, I led every lap but the last one. I’m looking forward to that race especially because it was a great event with so many thousands of fans there to watch us. There were huge crowds there to watch CASCAR racing.”
This weekend, the CASCAR Super Series returns to Trois-Rivières for its second-ever appearance in the 37th edition of the legendary Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières.
Sunday’s (August 6) 100 km CASCAR Super Series feature race at the G.P. de Trois-Rivières takes the green flag at 11:15 a.m. Two practice sessions are scheduled for today (Friday), in advance of the half-hour qualifying session tomorrow morning. That session will set the starting field for Sunday’s main event.
While the Fitzpatrick Motorsports duo of Thomson and Fitzpatrick were central to the finish of the Trois-Rivières CASCAR race in 2001, there’s a good chance that the newest addition to the team will play a factor in this race.
J.R. Fitzpatrick leads the CASCAR Super Series points chase after five events. On the strength of his first career feature win and several other strong runs, the Milwaukee Tools Chevy driver is brimming with confidence, making it clear to all that he belongs on the list of contenders for this year’s championship.
The Cambridge driver has been competitive in every event so far this year, shining on ovals and road courses, alike. The Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières is the third of four road races on the 2006 schedule. Kerry Micks won the Father’s Day race at Mosport International Raceway, while Hamilton’s Jeff Lapcevich won CASCAR’s most recent race, the Griddly Headz 100 at the Grand Prix of Edmonton. J.R. Fitzpatrick started on the pole at both Mosport and Edmonton.
NOTEBOOK: Thomson won the pole for CASCAR’s race at the G.P. de Trois-Rivières in 2001… That year, Micks started at the back of the 23-car field and made an impressive charge to third, at the finish, just behind Castrol Dodge driver DJ Kennington… In addition to CASCAR, several other series will be in action this weekend at Trois-Rivières, including: Skip Barber, SCCA Mazda MX-5, Grand Am Cup, Star Mazda, Formula 1600 and the Echo Pirelli Series.
STANDINGS: CASCAR SUPER SERIES (As of July 25, 2006): 1. J.R. Fitzpatrick (907 pts.); 2. Kerry Micks (902); 3. Scott Steckly (889); 4. Don Thomson Jr. (877); 5. DJ Kennington (860); 6. Dave Whitlock (852); 7. Brad Graham (849); 8. Doug Brown (837); 9. Mark Dilley (819); 10. Peter Gibbons (816); 11. Jim Lapcevich (809); 12. Ron Beauchamp Jr. (801); 13. Jason Hathaway (772); 14. John Fitzpatrick (752); 15. Ron Van Es (716)
STANDINGS: FLO~PRO.COM WESTERN SERIES (As of July 25, 2006): 1. Jim White (705); 2. Kevin Dowler (694); 3. Derek Polack (678); 4. Daryl Harr (668); 5. Todd Nichol (650); 6. Carl Harr (640); 7. Shaun Polack (612); 8. Wade Lee (601); 9. Jason White (599); 10. Shawn Press (580); 11. Scott Dennis (572); 12. Norm Hunger (478); 13. James Ward (468); 14. Dale Biesick (458); 15. Lyle Paulson (443)
STANDINGS: SPORTSMAN SERIES (As of July 11, 2006): 1. Dion Verhoeven (165); 2. Mike Alguire (164); 3. Steve Munro (154); 4. Shawn McGlynn (150); 5. Cole Weber (147); 6. Ron Lethbridge (140); 7. Dave Didero (136); 8. Scott Mitchell (136); 9. Dave Connelly (136); 10. Cathcart (135); 11. Alan Lebert (133); 12. Joey McColm (127); 13. #66 J