Don Thomson Jr. drove to Victory Lane at Mosport Speedway for the second time in his career as he took the Dickies 200 checkered flag in NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 action Saturday night.
Thomson took the lead for the fifth and final time on Lap 178 and held off his Fitzpatrick Motorsports teammate JR Fitzpatrick and Kerry Micks down the stretch for his sixth career victory overall. The Hamilton, Ont., driver’s last win came on Sept. 12, 2008 at Barrie (Ont.) Speedway – 10 races ago. His first win at Mosport Speedway came in August 2007.
For most drivers a 10-race winless streak is not a big deal, but it is for those with the pedigree of Thomson, who won five consecutive CASCAR Super Series titles from 2001 to 2005.
“We’re really used to getting to Victory Lane sooner than the ninth race (of the season), but we’re glad to be here,” said Thomson. “I’m most happy for all the great people at Home Hardware and Fitzpatrick Motorsports.”
As the laps wound down, Fitzpatrick appeared to be inching closer and closer to Thomson. The final hurdle was a restart on Lap 186.
“(Fitzpatrick) is a feisty guy and he races hard,” Thomson said. “I knew I had to get up on the wheel, too. I think the Home Hardware Chevy was just good enough to stay in front. I wouldn’t have wanted to see too many more cautions.”
Fitzpatrick finished as the race runner-up and was able to extend his points lead on DJ Kennington, who earned the pole earlier in the day, to 16. Kennington finished sixth.
Despite his third consecutive podium finish, Fitzpatrick, who hails from Cambridge, Ont., felt it was a frustrating night at the track.
“It was a good points night for the Schick Hydo Chrevrolet, but I feel, overall, it was a frustrating race night,” he said. “The car was awful at the beginning of the race, but at the end it was the best it has been all year.”
Micks, who has logged a top-10 finish in eight of nine races this year, used a little different pit strategy by changing tires earlier than the other front-runners and was a little surprised to end up with a third-place finish.
“I just drove my heart out,” said Micks, out of Mt. Albert, Ont. “Thankfully, the cautions fell when they did. We were fine on the short runs. It was the longer runs that we were going to have a problem with (our pit strategy).
The fourth and fifth-place finishes went to Ron Beauchamp Jr. and Pete Shepherd III, respectively.
Shepherd looked strong all night. When the yellow flag came out on Lap 75, due to a Hugo Vannini spin in Turn 4, several cars headed to pit road for service except for Shepherd, who opted to save his track position. The strategy paid off since he was able to maintain the lead until the next caution period at Lap 127 when he was able to get back on pit sequence with the rest of the leaders, but a bid for his first series win came up a bit short.
Kennington, Mark Dilley, Anthony Simone, John Gaunt and Joey McColm rounded out the top 10.
Third in the season standings entering the event, Scott Steckly ran with the leaders the majority of the race, but was involved in the seventh of the night’s 10 cautions, and finished 17th.
The race featured 10 lead changes among six drivers.
The Dickies 200 will be telecast by TSN and TSN HD on Saturday, Aug. 28 at noon ET.
In the championship point standings, Fitzpatrick and Kennington are breaking away from the pack a bit as Micks is 128 points back while Steckly is now 147 points off the pace.
The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 is right back on the track on Sunday, Aug. 29 for the NAPA AUTOPRO 100 at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the last of five road-course events on the 2010 schedule. Practice and qualifying are set for Saturday, Aug. 28 with the race scheduled for Sunday just prior to the NASCAR Nationwide Series event. Ticket and event information can be found at www.napa200.ca.
NASCAR CANADIAN TIRE SERIES presented by MOBIL 1-Dickies 200 Results
At Mosport Speedway
Lap length: 0.5 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (3) Don Thomson, Jr., Hamilton, Ont., Chevrolet, 200 laps, 55.368 mph, $9,300.
2. (6) JR Fitzpatrick, Cambridge, Ont., Chevrolet, 200, $4,300.
3. (4) Kerry Micks, Mt. Albert, Ont., Ford, 200, $4,100.
4. (8) Ron Beauchamp, Jr., Windsor, Ont., Dodge, 200, $5,500.
5. (5) Pete Shepherd, III, Brampton, Ont., Dodge, 200, $4,500.
6. (1) DJ Kennington, St. Thomas, Ont., Dodge, 200, $3,400.
7. (11) Mark Dilley, Barrie, Ont., Dodge, 200, $3,050.
8. (12) Anthony Simone, Holland Landing, Ont., Chevrolet, 200, $2,200.
9. (9) John Gaunt, Barrie, Ont., Dodge, 200, $2,100.
10. (13) Joey McColm, Ajax, Ont., Dodge, 200, $3,500.
11. (15) Shawn McGlynn, Kitchener, Ont., Dodge, 200, $1,900.
12. (17) Pierre Bourque, Ottawa, Ont., Dodge, 200, $1,800.
13. (21) Steven Mathews, New Liskeard, Ont., Ford, 193, $2,700.
14. (7) Jason Hathaway, Appin, Ont., Dodge, 190, $1,650.
15. (18) Hugo Vannini, Repentigny, Que., Ford, 190, $1,600.
16. (14) Derek White, Kahnawake, Que., Chevrolet, 184, $1,500.
17. (2) Scott Steckly, Milverton, Ont., Dodge, 178, $1,450.
18. (10) Jeff Lapcevich, Grimsby, Ont., Chevrolet, 167, electrical, $1,400.
19. (16) Dexter Stacey, Kahnawake, Que., Chevrolet, 147, $1,350.
20. (19) Shannon Harding, Sackville, N.B., Chevrolet, 103, $1,300.
21. (20) Jason White, Sun Peaks, B.C., Chevrolet, 5, engine, $1,250.
Time of Race: 1 hour 48 minutes 22 seconds
Margin of Victory: .378 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: D.Kennington (82.520 mph, 21.813 seconds)
Caution Flags: 10 for 63 laps.
Lead Changes: 10 among 6 drivers.
Lap Leaders: D. Kennington 1-16; D. Thomson,Jr. 17-21; D. Kennington 22; D. Thomson,Jr. 23-42; S. Steckly 43-46; D. Thomson,Jr. 47-76; P. Shepherd,III 77-128; K. Micks 129-151; D. Thomson,Jr. 152-176; R. Beauchamp,Jr. 177; D. Thomson,Jr. 178-200.
Standings: 1. J. Fitzpatrick, 1509; 2. D. Kennington, 1493; 3. K. Micks, 1381; 4. S. Steckly, 1362; 5. D. Thomson,Jr., 1336; 6. J. Hathaway, 1231; 7. M. Dilley, 1197; 8. R. Beauchamp,Jr., 1144; 9. A. Simone, 1100; 10. J. McColm, 1076.