Dilley, from Barrie, Ontario, is the facility's General Manager. Also, the 300-lap event around the banked one-third-mile oval is sponsored by two of his major sponsors. And finally, the race marks the first time in the series' history that Canada's national stock car championship has appeared at Sunset, which became a NASCAR-sanctioned track during the off-season. Put all of those factors together, and the driver of the #02 Johnsonville / Leland / BDI Ford is intent on making the post-race trip to victory lane in the Leland Industries 300 Presented by Johnsonville.
Dilley will be driving a 'white and blue' version of the Micks Motorsports Ford Taurus, as a tribute to his longtime sponsor Leland Industries, which is the primary sponsor of the Sunset race. It will be the second time in as many weeks that Dilley has driven the car, having made his 2015 season debut behind the wheel last Saturday at Quebec's Autodrome Chaudière.
Dilley had a tough outing in Quebec. After qualifying seventh-fastest, early contact damaged his car's handling, and he was involved in a few incidents. In the end, he finished in 17th-place. It was a far cry from the runner-up finish he recorded in the Johnsonville Ford at Chaudière in 2014.
"We broke in practice and that prevented us from getting enough time to work on the car before the start," said Dilley. "In the race, the trailing arm bracket got ripped off and then we got tapped in the left-front and it bent the tie-rod. I went into the corner and it wouldn't turn and I ended up running into Joey McColm and bent more stuff. We just got behind the 8-ball and there was nothing we could do. I was happy qualifying seventh-fastest – especially with no practice and it being my first time in the car this year – but that was the highlight."
Turning his attention to this weekend at Sunset, Dilley will be busy with his GM duties but says the track has a good team in place to let him concentrate on driving the #02 Johnsonville / Leland / BDI car when he needs to focus.
"Everyone's excited about the two nights of racing we have coming up, starting with the Garry Reynolds Memorial on Friday and the Leland 300 Presented by Johnsonville on Saturday," continued Dilley. "And having Johnsonville and Leland step up the way they have to support the NASCAR race is really awesome. I'm questioning my sanity a bit putting the two events on consecutive nights, but it's going to be great. Garry was a fantastic guy and it's nice to keep the tribute to him going at Sunset."
And while he expects to be very busy wearing his GM hat, Dilley can't wait for race-time on Saturday night. "I'll be here to win; there's no doubt about that... there won't be any other thoughts in my head. Winning this race would be the ultimate thing."
EVENT SCHEDULE: Saturday, June 20, 2015
NASCAR Canadian Tire Series: Leland Industries 300 Presented by Johnsonville
11:00 a.m. Spectator Gates Open
11:00 a.m. – 11:20 a.m. Pro Challenge Practice
11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. NCATS Practice Session
12:30 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. NCATS Final Practice Session
2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Pro Challenge Heats
3:45 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. NCATS Qualifying
4:20 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. Pro Challenge Feature
5:00 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. NCATS Autograph Session
6:00 p.m. VIP Introductions
6:05 p.m. Driver Introductions
6:13 p.m. Invocation / National Anthems
6:30 p.m. GREEN FLAG: LELAND 300 PRESENTED BY JOHNSONVILLE
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