LONDON, ON – The 2012 Delaware Speedway season kicked off Friday, May 25 for the Opening Night Shootout, as the first new racing test of the track improvements, the scope of which have not been seen in over 40 years. Jay Doerr and his Lucas Oil / Once Upon a Child / Designs Your Sign Source Chevrolet Impala SS were in attendance to kick off their run at the 2012 track championship in their first full-on assault on the track championship in a number of years.
The night started with a heat race and Jay and David Elliott were battleing for the eary lead before Doerr lost control in turn three and looped the car around. The damage was minor, and the crew started to work on the car immediately to prepare for the feature event as he was scored 12th.
In the 20-lap main event the #43 rolled from the outside of row six, but was able to charge his way into the top-ten in the first two laps with a tremendous start. Doerr passed Adam Quarrie for ninth on lap seven, and the pair would continue to race until the end of the event with Quarrie retaking ninth, as Jay was scored tenth.
The end results weren’t what the team was looking for, but they were very optimistic about the changes to the race track, and what they learned. “The new lane on the bottom of turn three and four is going to be very good for the track, and will make the racing that much better. Everyone received the same amount of points tonight, so we were able to test a few things out on the car, and the best part is that it’s in one piece.”
Friday, June 8 was the kickoff to the points scoring events of 2012, and after starting third, Doerr was hung up in traffic early, falling back to sixth were he would finish. “We were off to a rough start tonight. The car was fine at home the night before – we had a ½-inch of clearance, and then we show up tonight and we’re too low. We had to raise the car and it threw our weights off, and now the car is a handful to drive.”
The feature looked promising, as Jay was put on the pole for the 40-lap main event, alongside Kirk Hooker. The pair went door handle-to-door handle for the lead into turn three, but ended with Doerr spinning in front of the entire field. Luckily he wasn’t hit, and was able to rejoin the field at the back of the pack. “The car washed up on me, and I got into the side of Kirk. When that happened, the back end came around. I feel bad that it happened on a start in front of the entire field, but at least we didn’t get hit.”
After restarting 17th, Jay was able to drive the car back into the top-ten by the halfway point of the race, but a number of those spots were lost again during a late race scramble for position, resulting in a 13th-place result. “We struggled tonight right from tech, and we couldn’t figure out what it was. The more we look at it, we think it’s a spring that has gone bad, but we won’t know for sure until we get the car home and have a look at it.”
The Doerr Motorsports crew have also been in action a number of nights at Flamboro Speedway in Hamilton, and opened the defence of their 2010 and 2011 Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Championships with a win in the season opener at Varney Speedway on Victoria Day weekend. Doerr qualified on the pole, started fifth, and took the lead on lap 26 before going the distance to capture his first feature of the year.
During the offseason, the Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Car was purchased by Phil McCarthy, who retained Doerr as the driver. Jay spoke about the tremendous start to his season, “It was great to get back up here to Varney. The last time we were here was in a Dwarf Car in 1998, and it was career win number 43 for me, during Varney’s 43rd season. It’s been our car number for years, at Delaware our Late Model is car number 43 – I guess the numbers just added up. I took my time early, because I knew I had to save the right rear tire. We got maximum points today, and this is a great way to defend our championship. We came up on Wednesday and tested, and track owner Kent Nuhn helped us out a bit. We were able to get everything sorted out and we were prepared today. It was also nice to get Phil a win in his first start as a car owner.”
The Doerr Motorsports team will be back in action at Delaware Speedway on June 23rd for the second points event of the 2012 season.
Prepared by www.maudsleymotorsports.com