@JohnsonvilleCA • @Johnsonville • #NCATS • MIRABEL, QC – On Sunday afternoon, Kerry Micks piloted the #02 Johnsonville Ford to a 15th-place finish at Circuit ICAR. The 30-lap road course race was the fourth of 11 events on the 2015 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series schedule. The Ecko 100 was notable for being the first race in the series’ history not to be slowed by a caution flag. Circuit ICAR is situated on a portion of the runway complex at Mirabel Airport, located north of Montreal, Quebec. The lack of cautions played a role in the team’s result.
“There’s not much good to say about our weekend at ICAR,” said Micks, who qualified 10th-fastest of the 23 competitors in action at ICAR. “We were just ‘off’ from the start. The car was really, really tight when we got there. The track was busy and we didn’t get much practice time to work on it.”
Forced to take drastic measures, the Micks Motorsports crew made significant changes to the #02 Johnsonville Ford in hopes of improving the car.
“Right before qualifying, we loosened the car up a bunch,” continued the Mt. Albert, Ontario racer. “We couldn’t stay with what we had, so we took a shot at a big change… and went too far. We qualified 10th [fastest]. But after you qualify, you can’t make any changes to the car before the start of the race. It was way too loose going into the race – and we knew that – but there was nothing we could do about it.
“We were hoping for a caution to make some adjustments, but for the first time ever, there wasn’t a yellow [flag] during the whole race and we had to deal with it for all 30 laps. I was hanging around 10th-place for a long time but it kept getting worse. By the end, I could hardly drive the car and five guys got by me with about five laps to go. I couldn’t fight them off any longer. It was a long day.”
It was a podium sweep for the Quebec contingent at ICAR. Rookie racer Kevin Lacroix took his first-ever NCATS checkered flag, ahead of Andrew Ranger and Alex Tagliani. Jason Hathaway leads the point standings after four events.
UP NEXT: The #02 Johnsonville / Leland / BDI Ford will be back in action on Saturday, July 11 at Edmonton International Raceway. The quarter-mile, semi-banked oval is located just south of Edmonton, in Wetaskiwin, Alberta. The event is the first of two oval races that make up the series’ annual swing through western Canada. The second race takes place on Wednesday, July 15 at Saskatoon’s Auto Clearing Motor Speedway (1/3-mile oval). Mark Dilley will be behind the wheel for both of these races.
“We had tough finishes at Edmonton International Raceway and at Auto Clearing Motor Speedway last year, so I’m looking forward to getting back to those tracks and getting some good results in the Johnsonville / Leland / BDI Ford,” said Mark Dilley.
Kerry Micks, who will be on the pit box for Dilley at those events, feels that the team’s Johnsonville NASCAR oval car has been tested and tweaked and should be in fine form for Dilley, in Edmonton and Saskatoon. “We’re feeling good about what we have heading to the western oval races. We tested with Mark before the ICAR race and it was really good.”
ABOUT JOHNSONVILLE SAUSAGE: Founded in 1945 by Ralph F. and Alice Stayer, Johnsonville is the most popular brand of sausage in the United States, and is available in 30 other countries, including Canada. The company’s headquarters are in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin. Their award-winning product lines include Brats, Italian, Smoked, Breakfast, and Snack sausages. More information about Johnsonville products and recipes featuring the products can be found at www.johnsonville.com.
ABOUT MICKS MOTORSPORTS: Based in Mt. Albert, Ontario, Micks Motorsports is one of the longest-running and most successful stock car teams in Canadian motorsports. The team’s drivers are Kerry Micks and Mark Dilley, both of whom have competed in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series since the series’ founding in 2007. Micks and Dilley each have multiple NCATS race wins to their credit and were also CASCAR Super Series champions prior to NASCAR coming to Canada. In 2015, the team will contest the entire 11-race NCATS schedule, with Micks piloting the #02 Johnsonville Ford on the road courses and Dilley taking charge for the oval track events.
ABOUT THE NASCAR CANADIAN TIRE SERIES: Created in 2007, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series is the only professional stock car racing series in Canada. Competing from Alberta to Nova Scotia, in 2015 the series will make 11 appearances at ten different venues, with the schedule made up of seven oval track races and four road course events. Past series champions include Scott Steckly, DJ Kennington, Andrew Ranger and LP Dumoulin. For schedules, race updates, results and standings, visit the website, www.nascarhometracks.com, and click on the Canadian Tire Series link.
By Inside Track Communications • Photo by Paolo Pedicelli