BOWMANVILLE – Don Thomson Jr. didn’t lose his second place standing in the race to be the CASCAR points leader, but he didn’t win the Mosport Speedway 200, either.
The Hamilton driver ran a steady race that saw him starting from the No. 5 hole and cross the finish line with his Home Hardware Chev Monte Carlo in a respectable fourth place in the field of 23 cars.
Wyoming (Ontario) driver Dave Whitlock was handed the checkered flag, putting a stop to his two-year winless streak on the Super Series circuit. He last ran down victory lane on July 4, 2004 at Cayuga Speedway, winning in the final five laps.
Whitlock had the No. 10 pole position and led the final 30 laps in his NTN Bower/Griddy Headz/NMT Dodge Charger.
Thomson, a five-time CASCAR champ hoping to defend his title, led the field for only three laps (74-5-6). The results left Thomson trailing points leader J.R. Fitzpatrick, his teammate, by 23 points – 1,221 to 1,198. In third is Kerry Micks, 25 back of Thomson.
Thomson recovered nicely in the race after being taken out by a backmarker while running second, during a mid-race restart.
Caistor Centre’s Jeff Lapcevich worked his way up from the No. 14 to cross the finish line in eighth place in his Tim Hortons/EMCEA Transport Chevy Monte Carlo. Ron Van Es of Smithville drove his Star Van Systems Monte Carlo to 10th place, just in front of Brantford’s Doug Brown, also driving a Monte Carlo. Van Es sits 14th in the Top 15 CASCAR points list this season.
Lynden driver Kenny Forth came home in 14th place and Jim Lapcevich, Jeff’s brother, was 19th. Jim Lapcevich holds onto the No. 12 points position. Dave Jacombs of Mount Hope lasted only 14 laps and finished last.
Whitlock showed patience on the track. After pitting with the rest of the field a third of the way into race, Whitlock was still in 10th spot. From there, the three-time CASCAR champ worked his way forward and with 75 laps to go, he cracked the top five. On lap 163, he moved into second, passing J..R. Fitzpatrick, leaving only race leader Kerry Micks in his way.
Six laps later, he blew past Micks on the entry to turn 1 of the half-mile banked oval. Whitlock’s Dodge came home less than half-a-second in front of Micks’ Ford, to become the seventh different feature winner in as many Super Series races this season.
“We adjusted the stagger a bit during our stop, and that set us up for the end,” said Whitlock after the race. “We needed a long green flag run to get through the pack, and we got it. Everybody raced me very clean. Kerry [Micks] basically let me go. He knew how quickly we caught him and he gave me lots of room. I’m sure he was going to try and save his tires for a late run at me, but I wasn’t going to let him get close enough for that.”
For his part, Micks was pleased with the result. “Our goal tonight was to get the lead and stay out front for a while. I wasn’t going to push it too hard with Dave [Whitlock]. I was planning to go back at him later, but we’d worn our stuff out by then. And when J.R. [Fitzpatrick] came up on me so fast, the goal turned into keeping second, and that’s what we did.”
The CASCAR Super Series takes next weekend off before heading to Quebec for the Aug. 25-27 ChampCar Grand Prix of Montreal.
UNOFFICIAL POINTS: CASCAR SUPER SERIES: 1. J.R. Fitzpatrick (1221 pts.); 2. Don Thomson Jr. (1198); 3. Kerry Micks (1173); 4. Dave Whitlock (1154); 5. Scott Steckly (1147); 6. Mark Dilley (1114); 7. Brad Graham (1107); 8. Ron Beauchamp Jr. (1103); 9. Peter Gibbons (1084); 10. Doug Brown (1081); 11. DJ Kennington (1070); 12. Jim Lapcevich (1055); 13. Jason Hathaway ® (1048); 14. Ron Van Es (954); 15. Kent Nuhn (926)