The CASCAR champions took home the spoils and series sponsors voiced their support at the Canadian national stock car racing association’s gala awards banquet.
Before a tuxedo-wearing crowd, leading drivers voiced their thanks for the support of sponsors and CASCAR, but it was the words of support from sponsor representatives such as Castrol marketing manager Anthony Stadelman that resonated for most in attendance.
“With all the marketing initiatives we have it is sometimes hard to measure the effect of just one,” said Stadelman, referring to their CASCAR sponsorship, “but our market share has increased and I am confident that our involvement in CASCAR is part of that.”
The series is facing competition in the stock car racing marketplace with the creation of a rival series, the International Stockcar Alliance, so such support was particularly welcome.
Carquest director of marketing Michel Rondeau voiced similar support for CASCAR, stating that the Sportsman division for which they have title sponsorship was the perfect fit as a marketing tool for both the consumer and the industry.
MOPAR’s Roy Westlake also voiced his strong support for the series and announced a significantly increased contingency program, including $20,000 to a Dodge driver who can win the CASCAR points championship.
In 2002, the winning honours went once again to Don Thomson Jr. Thomson thanked his car owner and racing teammate John Fitzpatrick for his support. He also recognized the important backing of his long-time sponsor, Home Hardware, as well as the contributions of his racing team, their families, CASCAR and all of the series’ sponsors. He also singled out the tough title challenge waged by runner-up DJ Kennington, who he branded as “the star of the future”.
Also honoured on the night were Carquest Sportsman Series champion Steve Robblee, who was complimented on his achievements and driving skill by many of the evening’s speakers, including Super Series champ Don Thomson. Second-place points finisher Richard Beauchamp was also singled out for special recognition for his successful 2002 season.
Taking home the CASCAR Western honours was Daryl Harr, who showed poise and drive to win the championship, and was caught outside the banquet hall discussing opportunities to further his career with a number of CASCAR notables, perhaps including some U.S. rides.
CASCAR president Tony Novotny addressed the crowd of over 400 in attendance, thanking them for their support in making the CASCAR Super Series the top motorsports tour in the country.