Kevin Dowler wrapped up the 2000 Castrol Super Series Western Championship in style with a win at the season-ending event at Sun Valley Motor Speedway.
Dowler led the Miller & Wyatt ACDelco 150 from the 66-lap mark and never looked back. It was a good thing, too, since Carl Harr was only 0.38 seconds back at the finish. Harr’s son Daryl wrapped up the final podium spot.
The finishing positions reflected the final standings, with Dowler at the top, followed by the Harrs’ father and son team. It was the second career Super Series West championship for Dowler, but it was a close battle. He managed to outdistance the elder Harr by a mere 20 points. In fact, the top ten in the Western points standings were only 257 points apart.
The tone for the seven-race championship was set from the first race on.
The CASCAR Castrol Super Series West kicked off its 2000 racing season at Saskatoon’s Bridge City Speedway, where hometown favorite Dan Shirley satisfied the capacity crowd with a victory in the Auto Clearing Chrysler Superstore 150 on the 1/3-mile oval. During time trials for the event, Shirley’s Chevrolet Monte Carlo obliterated the track record with a lap of 15.982 seconds. It was the first time a Super Series West competitor had notched a sub-16 second lap during qualifying.
Daryl Harr served notice of his competitiveness, though, with a solid second place finish in the race, while defending Western Champion Steve Jefferson show-ed he was still a contender with a third place finish. Shirley was the early favorite for the title, though. In the second event, the Medicine Hat 150, he led until late in the race, when series veteran Carl Harr passed him to claim victory. This was the culmination of a climb back to the front for Harr, who had been knocked off the track and to the back of the pack early in the race. A notable third was road racer Trevor Siebert, who was in just his second CASCAR start.
The third event of the Western season, the Bumper to Bumper 150 at Hythe Motor Speedway, was Dowler’s first win of the season, and with Don Sales and Steve Jefferson rounding out the top three, left Dan Shirley with the early points lead, while Dowler moved to fifth in the standings. From this point on, a battle developed between Carl Harr and Dowler. Carl Harr won his second CASCAR Castrol Super Series West race in the OK Tire 150 at the Gold Pan Speedway in Quesnel, B.C. with Dowler in hot pursuit. In the next race, eastern competitor Nik Lapcevich proved to be the spoiler. After Dowler and Wade Lee waged a long battle, Lapcevich was able to take the win after Dowler was slowed by a burned plug wire and finished a lap down in sixth. Lee also lost laps and finished tenth. Carl and Daryl Harr followed Lapcevich across the line.
In the penultimate round that followed, the Calgary Versatel 200 at Race City Motorsport Park, Daryl Harr won his first feature race and, with Dowler finishing second and Don Sales in third, blew the championship race wide open. Heading into the last race, Dowler held an eight-point lead over Carl, with Daryl Harr in third place, just 22 points.
It was obviously going to come down to the last event, with the outcome now known. It was clearly one of the tightest championship races of recent years.