Playing in his own backyard didn’t help Don Thomson on Sunday. Competing in the Hot Head Henry 200 at Cayuga International Speedway, the Hamilton driver had to settle for 12th place after his Home Hardware Chevy tangled with Brad Graham and his Challenger/Logel sponsored Dodge on the final lap.
At the time of the CASCAR Super series race, Graham and Thomson were third and fourth respectively. Graham was bumped to seventh. For Thomson, the results dropped him a standing in the points race from third to fourth.
Dave Whitlock missed that action, and went on to win the event, his second checkered flag in less than a month. He won the Mosport Speedway 200 on August 12 at Bowmanville.
Whitlock’s NTN Bower/Griddly Headz / NMT Dodge Charger lined up fifth in 27-car field and powered past race leader and eventual runner-up finisher Ron Beauchamp Jr. (MOPAR Dodge Charger) on lap 143 of the 200-lap chase around the 5/8-mile speedway.
“Ronnie [Beauchamp] got a little bit wide going around a lapped car and I nosed it in there,” said Whitlock, in victory lane. “I took the hole and made a clean pass. I wasn’t going to wait two years before winning again. Ron was driving for all he was worth after I got past him, but we managed to stay ahead.”
Finishing third at Cayuga was Dodge-sponsored Charger driver Mark Dilley, of Barrie, Ont. The top-three finishers delivered a podium sweep for Dodge.
Peter Gibbons in his Canadian Tire Chevy was scored fourth. The Stouffville, Ont. racer earned the pole position for the race by posting the fastest time during time trials earlier in the afternoon. He also won his 50-lap Sprint race and showed the way for the first 103 laps of the feature race, in spite of fighting a loose condition with his car throughout the first half.
CASCAR’s top rookie in 2006, Jason Hathaway (Snap On Dodge Charger) finished fifth, ahead of Canadian road racing star Patrick Carpentier (#88 Cayugaracing.com / Lou’s BBQ Ford), who climbed from 21st on the starting grid to take an impressive sixth in his first-ever stock car race.
Points leader J.R. Fitzpatrick (Milwaukee Tools Chevy) was eighth at Cayuga. The bright spot of his day came during his 50-lap sprint race when he took the checkered flag. The young Ayr, Ont. racer holds a 44-point lead over Kerry Micks (Berkshire Ford) heading to next weekend’s CASCAR Super Series race at Montreal’s Autodrome St-Eustache. The race was postponed by rain earlier in the season.
Brantford’s Doug Brown was 10th, Hamilton’s Jim Lapcevich was 11th (and moved to 10th place from 11th in points), three positions better than his brother Jeff of Caistor Centre, and Ron Van Es of Smithville was 20th, and Nik Lapcevich of St. Williams was 25th.
This was the last race event at Cayuga International Speedway until it reopens in 2008. The track will be demolished and rebuilt into a multi-million dollar complex when the racing season ends in the fall.
1. J.R. Fitzpatrick (1584 pts.); 2. Kerry Micks (1540); 3. Dave Whitlock (1539); 4. Don Thomson Jr. (1526); 5. Scott Steckly (1508); 6. Mark Dilley (1480); 7. Ron Beauchamp Jr. (1475); 8. Peter Gibbons (1436); 9. 9 Brad Graham (1431); 10. Jim Lapcevich (1400); 10. 0 Doug Brown (1400); 12. DJ Kennington (1396); 13. Jason Hathaway (1367); 14. 11 Ron Van Es (1242); 15. Kent Nuhn (1212).