BOWMANVILLE, ON – Sherwood Park, Alberta’s Noel Dowler and the #5 EMCO/Rheem Dodge team demonstrated that hard work pays off in round number one of the 2013 NASCAR Canadian Tire series this past weekend. Following months of hard work in the off season the team also dealt with adversity during the race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and battled hard to record an eighth place finish.
The #5 EMCO/Rheem Dodge performed well during the Saturday practice sessions posting lap times just outside the top ten. In qualifying Dowler was able to record a very respectable 12th starting spot on the grid but felt he should have done better. “I was a little disappointed in qualifying” said Dowler. “I know there is even more speed in the car than we showed.”
When the green flag flew for the race Sunday afternoon fans at the track and watching live on television at home saw the #5 EMCO/Rheem Dodge running strong and consistent competitive laps all afternoon. “The car was really fast and handling beautifully all day” said Dowler. “I was pretty confident we had the opportunity for a really good day,” he added.
As the race laps ticked off Dowler was in position for an excellent result. “Our strategy was working well for us, we made our fuel stop early and were waiting to take tires late and all looked good,” said the driver.
Following a caution period fortunes looked to be changing dramatically for the #5 EMCO/Rheem Dodge team. Dowler sustained contact as cars bunched up on the restart doing severe body damage to the car. “I was pretty upset at that point but this team didn’t give up one bit” explained Dowler. “Our new Crew Chief Bud Roy had the guys make repairs to our ripped up race car and got me back out so hats off to them for some great work.”
With temporary repairs made Dowler looked to salvage all he could in the closing laps and the 20 year old battled his way back up to eighth position at the finish. “The #5 #EMCO/Rheem Dodge was better than where we finished but to come out with an eighth place finish says a lot about this team. They did a great job today and I’m really excited and think we’re going to have a really good season,” said Dowler.
The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series consists of 12 events from coast to coast in Canada. The next event is Saturday June 15 at Delaware Speedway near London, ON. For more information about Noel Dowler and the #5 EMCO Dodge/Rheem team log onto www.apollomotorsports.ca and follow him on twitter, @noeldowler.
Prepared by Todd Lewis / TL Sports & Entertainment