Micks nosing his way to NASCAR-Canadian Tire win

There was a familiar look to much of the Full Throttle Energy Drink 200 at Mosport Speedway with championship point leader Scott Steckly leading the first 126 laps. But an engine failure ended his bid for a fourth victory this season and Steckly’s misfortune led to Kerry Micks’ first win in 2008 and his first since winning back-to-back events last August.

Mark Dilley (No. 9 Dodge/Leland Dodge) inherited the lead after Steckly (No. 22 Tow Truck in a Box/Erb Group Dodge) lost his motor and led until the final two laps when Micks (No. 02 Beyond Digitial Imaging Ford) closed in on Dilley’s Dodge. Micks gave Dilley a little nudge and it was enough to allow Micks the room to sprint into the lead by a nose. Micks and Dilley crossed the line nearly side by side with a winning margin of .085 seconds.

“I got into (Dilley) a little there at the end, but it was just last-lap racing,” said Micks after Sunday’s (Aug. 10) race.

Micks, who had battled a flu bug all week, took a few moments at the end of the event to collect himself before climbing out of his car to accept the applause from the crowd.

“It wasn’t an easy week for me, health wise, but it’s great to get back to Victory Lane,” he said. “The crew and everybody involved with the team had a part in this one.”

Dilley was not entirely sure that he agreed with Micks’ assessment of their contact.

“He tagged me pretty good and it was enough to make me lift off the throttle a little,” Dilley said. “I was a little tight there at the end, but it’s every man for himself at that point, I guess.”

D.J. Kennington (No. 17 Castrol/NPP Dodge) spent the entire race in the top five finished third.

“I was out of tires, brakes and out of motor there at the end. The car was flat worn out,” he said. “My hat goes off to both (Micks) and (Dilley), they both ran a great race. It was a good points day for us, though.”

Former Hamilton resident Don Thomson Jr. (No. 4 Home Hardware Chevrolet) and Peter Gibbons (No. 1 Canadian Tire/Mobil Super Chevrolet) finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Hamilton’s Jim Lapcevich, who started from the No. 20 hole, finished in eighth place.

The top 10 was rounded out by John Gaunt, Andrew Ranger, Lapcevich, Jason Hathaway and Dave Whitlock.

The race was slowed by caution eight times for 57 laps and lead changed hands two times amongst three drivers.

The event was originally scheduled for last evening, but inclement weather forced it to be re-scheduled for Sunday afternoon. The weather was still threatening Sunday morning and NASCAR officials decided to scrub time trials and set the field by owner points so as to not take any chances with the weather window.

Despite his first brush with bad luck in 2008, Steckly still holds a fairly substantial 94-point lead over Thomson, unofficially. Kennington also closed to within 100 points of the leader.

The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series makes its final appearance on a road course in 2008 next week at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres.

(Start position in parentheses)

1. (5) Kerry Micks, Mt. Albert, Ont., Ford, 200 laps, 58.083 mph, $6,350.
2. (8) Mark Dilley, Barrie, Dodge, 200, $6,075.
3. (3) D.J. Kennington, St. Thomas, Ont., Dodge, 200, $4,880.
4. (2) Don Thomson, Jr., Ayr, Ont., Chevrolet, 200, $4,200.
5. (7) Peter Gibbons, Stouffville, Ont., Chevrolet, 200, $2,780.
6. (13) John Gaunt, Barrie, Dodge, 200, $3,670.
7. (4) Andrew Ranger, Roxton Pond, Que., Ford, 200, $2,425.
8. (20) Jim Lapcevich, Hamilton, Chevrolet, 200, $3,300.
9. (14) Jason Hathaway, Appin, Ont., Dodge, 200, $2,730.
10. (11) Dave Whitlock, Petrolia, Ont., Dodge, 200, $2,310.
11. (9) Derek Lynch, Warkworth, Ont., Dodge, 200, $1,825.
12. (15) Ron Beauchamp, Jr., Windsor, Dodge, 200, $1,700.
13. (6) J.R. Fitzpatrick, Cambridge, Dodge, 200, $1,575.
14. (10) Brad Graham, Glencoe, Ont., Dodge, 197, $1,450.
15. (21) Joey McColm, Ajax, Ont., Dodge, 197, $1,360.
16. (16) Jason White, Sun Peaks, B.C., Chevrolet, 191, $1,330.
17. (19) Doug Brown, Brantford, Dodge, 182, $1,260.
18. (12) Alex Tagliani, Lachenaie, Que., Ford, 180, $1,225.
19. (18) Anthony Simone, Holland Landing, Ont., Chevrolet, 148, rear end, $1,175.
20. (17) Kent Nuhn, Williamsford, Ont., Chevrolet, 133, accident, $1,120.
21. (1) Scott Steckly, Milverton, Ont., Dodge, 127, engine, $1,090.