Auto Service World
Feature   September 1, 2002   by Auto Service World

Over the Counter – Sept 2002: Thomson Holds Onto Lead In Busy Summer

Defending Champion Don Thomson Jr. managed to hold onto his points lead in the CASCAR Super Series, despite failing to win its two marquee events.

Kevin Dowler made it two out of three on the road courses with a last-to-first victory at the Toronto Molson Indy after a blown engine forced him to start from the back of the grid in his backup car. Robin Buck led most of the race, but a late yellow allowed Dowler the opportunity to close the gap and take the victory.

Buck would get his road course revenge with a victory at the Molson Indy Vancouver in a race that saw the title chase tighten up considerably. Thomson, who led the championship chase for the much of the season, suffered engine troubles at the Concord Pacific Place circuit and finished 28th. This dropped his points lead over Castrol Intrepid driver DJ Kennington to just seven points with Kennington’s eighth place finish. Buck didn’t have long to celebrate, however, as his prize money and points were taken away when a post-race inspection revealed an illegal camshaft.

But Thomson’s consistent performance on the oval races continues to keep him at the top of the points standings. He managed a third place finish in Montmagny, behind Dave Whitlock and Kennington, but maintained his seven point gap to Kennington by earning bonus points for qualifying on the pole and leading the most laps during the race. Then he took a big step toward another national title at Kawartha Speedway when he won the Kawartha Racetrack Slots 200. He was helped by some good luck as a sudden flat tire slowed leader Peter Gibbons on lap 168 of 200 and an avoidance maneuver by Scott Steckly opened the door for Thomson to take the lead, which he held till the end ahead of Ron Beauchamp Jr., and Al Turner.


Points Standings

1. Don Thomson Jr./Ayr, Ont., Chevrolet, 1788; 2. DJ Kennington/St Thomas, Ont., Intrepid, 1734; 3. Dave Whitlock/Petrolia, Ont., Ford, 1668; 4. Kevin Dowler/Edmonton, Alta., Ford, 1662; 5. Peter Gibbons/Stouffville, Ont., Chevrolet, 1629; 6. Al Turner/Barrie, Ont. Intrepid, 1614; 7. Mark Dilley/Barrie, Ont., Ford, 1612; 8. Ron Beauchamp Jr./Windsor, Ont., Intrepid, 1575; 9. Robbie Thompson/Southampton, Ont., Intrepid, 1567; 10. Kerry Micks/Mt. Albert, Ont., Ford, 1543.

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