Thomson faces rising stars in CASCAR race at Mosport

Caistor Centre’s Don Thomson Jr. is hoping Mosport Speedway is as co-operative this weekend as Trois-Riviere was last weekend. Thomson won last Sunday’s CASCAR Super Series Arctic Cat 100 race when it returned to the Quebec city. Five years earlier, Thomson lost the race on the final lap when his car ran into engine problems.

The CASCAR Super Series will take to the track for the Mosport Speedway 200 on Saturday at the half-mile, Toronto-area oval (Photo: Greg MacPherson)

Last year at the Mosport Speedway 200, Thomson was victimized by a late in the race pass by DJ Kennington, who claimed his third straight Super Series run.

Thomson, a five-time and current Super Series champ, has enjoyed success on the Bowmanville half-mile circuit. Two years ago he grabbed the checkered flags and in 2003 he lost a duel with Kerry Micks. The two exchanged the lead 11 times and were the only two drivers who led from start to finish.

Thomson will be going for back-to-back wins with an eye on first place in the Super Series points race. He sits second with 1049, 15 points behind leader J.R. Fitzpatrick, who just happens to be Thomson’s Fitzpatrick Motorsports teammate.

J.R. has let the CASCAR world know that he has arrived along with several other challengers.

After demonstrating so much potential in his first two seasons on CASCAR’s elite tour, the #84 Milwaukee Tools Chevy Monte Carlo driver has been the man to beat in the first half of the schedule.

Just last month, the Cambridge youngster found victory lane with his first Super Series feature, the MOPAR Canada Day 300 at Barrie Speedway.

Scott Steckly and Brad Graham are two other CASCAR veterans who have broken through to victory lane for the first time in their Super Series careers in 2006. Steckly took advantage of the big horsepower under the hood of his ERB Dodge Charger in the season opener at Barrie, while Graham got the monkey off his back at Vernon, BC’s Sun Valley Speedway, in July, when he survived a late-race challenge from Kennington to guide his Challenger / Logel’s Dodge Charger to its first-ever feature win.

While drivers like Fitzpatrick, Steckly and Graham have had the skill and equipment to win races for the past few years, they’ve taken their games to the next level in 2006 and have added to an already entertaining show by becoming serious contenders in every race. Appin, Ont., racer Jason Hathaway leads all rookies on the Super Series tour and has put his years of experience in stock car racing to good use en route to several solid finishes in his Snap On Dodge Charger.

Time trials for the Mosport Speedway 200 start Saturday at 4:45 p.m. and will be followed by the Driver Autograph Session on the front-straight. The green flag on the 200-lap feature race drops at 7 p.m.

The schedule:
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.: CASCAR Super Series practice session
4:45 p.m.: Super Series time trials
5:45 p.m.:CASCAR driver autograph session
6:35 p.m.: Super Series driver introductions
7:00 p.m.: Race start


CASCAR Super Series: 1. #84 J.R. Fitzpatrick (1064 pts.); 2. #4 Don Thomson Jr. (1049); 3. #22 Scott Steckly (1029); 4. #02 Kerry Micks (1013); 5. #39 Dave Whitlock (988); 6. #19 Brad Graham (979); 7. #9 Mark Dilley (963); 8. #17 DJ Kennington (962); 9. #60 Ron Beauchamp Jr. (954); 10. #1 Peter Gibbons (950); 11. #10 Doug Brown (949); 12. #25 Jim Lapcevich (941); 13. #3 R Jason Hathaway (910); 14. #11 Ron Van Es (822); 15. #09 Kent Nuhn (810).