TROIS-RIVIERES – It was a long wait, but in the end it was worth it. Don Thomson Jr., grabbed the checkered flag at the Arctic Cat 100, navigating the streets of Trois-Rivières to finish in victory lane of the CASCAR Super Series event.
Five years ago, Thomson was leading the field in the final lap of this race when his car gave up the ghost. On Sunday his Home Hardware Chevy didn’t disappoint and the Caistor Centre driver could erase August 7, 2001 from his mind.
“After what happened here five years ago, I didn’t know if we would ever come back to Trois-Rivières,” said Thomson, almost exactly five years to the day from CASCAR’s only other appearance at the legendary Canadian road racing event. It feels really good, especially considering the disappointment of losing the race with one corner to go the only other time we were here.”
The win, Thomson’s first of the season, vaulted him to second spot on the CASCAR Super Series points list. That’s right behind points leader J.R. Fitzpatrick, Thomson’s Fitzpatrick’s Motorsports teammate.
On Sunday, Fitzpatrick in his Milwaukee Tools Chevy, was right behind Thomson to take second spot. Fitzpatrick, from Ayr, Ont., maintained the overall points lead with his finish.
Thomson’s win makes him the sixth different Super Series winner in six events this season.
“We started second behind Kerry Micks, who took the early lead. There was a big crash in turn 1, and soon after, I could tell Kerry was having engine problems and he pulled off. From there, it was pretty uneventful other than the fact that I had my teammate J.R. breathing down my neck the entire race. I have always dreamed of having us finish ‘one-two’ in a race, and I’m so proud that we were able to do it today,” said the five-time and current national champion.
Third-place went to Ron Beauchamp Jr. in his MOPAR-sponsored Dodge Charger. The Windsor, Ont., racer started fifth in the 25-car field. Former CASCAR road race winner Robin Buck was fourth in Dave Jacombs’ Lou’s BBQ / CPS Ford, while Mark Dilley guided his Dodge-sponsored Charger to an fifth-place result on the 10-turn temporary street circuit.
Hamilton’s Jim Lapcevich finished 10th in his EMCEA Transport / Tim Hortons Chevrolet Monte Carlo and his brother and teammate Jeff Lapcevich came home in 21 in his Monte Carlo. Smithville’s Ron Van Es, driving his Star Van Systems Chevrolet Monte Carlo, finished 23rd. Doug Brown of Brantford and his NAPA / AUTOPRO Chevrolet Monte Carlo were 20th.
The opening lap crash eliminated DJ Kennington (Castrol Dodge) and brought out the lone caution flag of the race. Super Series rookie Jason Hathaway continued his strong season with a seventh-place finish in the Snap On Dodge Charger. David Thorndyke’s climb from 22nd at the start to 13th at the end earned the Oshawa racer the Fast Eddie Hard Charger Award. J.R. Fitzpatrick’s lap of 1 minute and 11.665 seconds garnered the Milwaukee Tools Chevy driver the Goodyear Belts & Hoses Fastest Lap Award.
The Super Series resumes on Saturday (August 12) at Mosport Speedway, near Bowmanville (Ontario).
UNOFFICIAL POINTS, CASCAR SUPER SERIES
1. J.R. Fitzpatrick (1064 pts.); 2. Don Thomson Jr. (1049); 3. Scott Steckly (1029); 4. Kerry Micks (1013); 5. Dave Whitlock (988); 6. Brad Graham (979); 7. Mark Dilley (963); 8. DJ Kennington (962): 9. Ron Beauchamp Jr. (954); 10. Peter Gibbons (950); 11. Doug Brown (949); 12. Jim Lapcevich (941); 13. Jason Hathaway (910); 14. Ron Van Es (822); 15. Kent Nuhn (810)