The Canadian Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (CASCAR), founded in 1981, continues to be Canada’s premier stock car series. The success of the series created the need for three championships –East, West and the National Super Series which are contested at fifteen racetracks across Canada. The Eastern and Western Division schedules were made up of ten-race weekends. The National Super Series consisted of four events two selected from the Eastern and Western calendar.

Some changes for 2000 included:

  • Introduction of the Dodge Intrepid
  • Changes to the body styles of the Ford Taurus and Chevrolet Monte Carlo
  • Technical improvements to the chassis and engine oiling system
  • Introduction of a new nine-inch Goodyear tire
  • For the first time a CASCAR race would be broadcast live – ‘The Exide 99 Street Fight’ in Toronto
The series cars were constructed to specifications and rules common to most stock car series. The chassis was a tube frame covered with fiberglass body which was required to weigh no less than 2850-lbs. Body styles eligible for the CASCAR series included the Dodge Intrepid, Ford Taurus, Chevrolet Monte Carlo and Pontiac Grand Prix. Engine type and displacement were dictated by the make and model of the vehicle – motors produced approximately 400 – 420-horsepower. The carburetor was an aftermarket Holley 390 cfm, 4-barrel but the fuel pump had to be a stock mechanical unit. Brakes were limited to factory calipers and rotors. The cars rolled on fifteen-inch diameter steel wheels with nine-inch Goodyear Eagle Racing Tires.

The CASCAR Super Series race in Toronto was the seventh of ten races on the Eastern Series schedule. The event titled, The Exide 99 Street Fight would be broadcast live. Competitors raced around the eleven-turn 1.721-mile temporary street circuit for a purse totaling $75,000.

The pole-sitter for ‘The Exide 99 Street Fight’ at Toronto’s Exhibition Place, Peter Gibbons leads a field of forty-one starters into the first corner. Immediately behind Gibbons is the third fastest qualifier, Pete Vanderwyst in the No. 77 Loctite sponsored Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Beside Vanderwyst is the Ford Taurus of the other front row starter, Kevin Dowler. Dowler made the trek from Sherwood Park, Alberta to compete at Toronto.
On the first lap, there was mayhem as competitors exited the first corner. Overaggressive driving contributed to an incident involving several cars. With a number of vehicles, severely damaged officials decided to red flag the event. After an extended period to clean the track, racing resumed. However, the cars of Daryl Harr, Jason McLellan, John Restemeyer and Damon Sharpe were unable to take the green flag for the restart.
Kevin Dowler driving the Ford Quality Care Service sponsored Ford Taurus became the first western Canadian driver to win a CASCAR Eastern Series event. Dowler started the race on the outside of the front row and passed the leader, Peter Gibbons on lap-4. He was in first place for the next twelve-circuits before Gibbons was back in front. A spin by Gibbons allowed Dowler to move back into the lead and take the victory.
Entering the Toronto round, Pete Vanderwyst was twelfth in the Eastern Championship standings. His best result to date was a seventh at Autodrome St. Eustache. In addition to CASCAR, Vanderwyst participated part-time in the Canada GT Challenge series which held events on road courses such as Mosport. The road racing experience he gained must have paid off as Vanderwyst qualified third and captured a runner-up finish.
The 1999 CASCAR Super Series Champion, Peter Gibbons, put the No. 1 Chevrolet Monte Carlo on the pole. This was an opportunity for Gibbons to redeem himself. In last year’s event, he finished thirty-second in the thirty-five car field. Gibbons led the first three-laps until; he was passed by Kevin Dowler. He retook the top spot on the sixteenth circuit but a spin in turn three dropped him to fourth. Gibbons fought back and finished third.
The highlight of Neil Fair’s season was a third-place finish in round three at the Mosport oval. The driver of the No. 33 Chevrolet Monte Carlo with backing from Skoal qualified thirtieth in the forty-one car field. At the start, Fair avoided most of the carnage during the opening lap melee. A great drive moved him up the race order and at the end of thirty-laps; he had gained eighteen positions to grab a twelfth place finish.
The fourth quickest qualifier was Jim Lapcevich driving the No. 25 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Unfortunately for Lapcevich, series rules require competitors to participate in eighty-percent of the Eastern Series events before Toronto to be eligible to start in the top-ten. As a result, he was gridded eleventh. Lapcevich charged through the field and caught the leader, Kevin Dowler but a late race spin dropped him to fourth.
Al Turner was one of the drivers entered in the new Dodge Intrepid. Turner was having a great season, he came to Toronto with victories at Delaware, Cayuga and New Brunswick. At Exhibition Place, the Blue Streak sponsored driver qualified third. During the race, Turner ran with the leaders. Unfortunately, on lap-12, an attempted pass on Peter Gibbons resulted in contact. Turner hit the turn barriers which took him out of contention.
One of the many ‘walking wounded’ was Rob Neely. Neely was driving the No. 97 Dodge Intrepid with backing from Midas was gridded twelfth for the start of the thirty lap event. He was involved in the opening lap incident and his Dodge received extensive damage to the rear of the car. At the checkered flag, Neely was two laps behind the race leaders in twenty-second place.

1235Kevin DowlerFord Taurus30
2477Peter VanderwystChevrolet Monte Carlo30
311Peter GibbonsChevrolet Monte Carlo30
41125Jim LapcevichChevrolet Monte Carlo30
5502Kerry MicksFord Taurus30
6957Joe GoncalvesChevrolet Monte Carlo30
784Don Thomson Jr.Chevrolet Monte Carlo30
81560Ron Beauchamp Jr.Dodge Intrepid30
91788Dave JacombsFord Taurus30
103817D.J. KenningtonDodge Intrepid30
111664Mark DilleyFord Taurus30
123033Neil FairChevrolet Monte Carlo30
132622Scott StecklyPontiac Grand Prix30
143114John FitzpatrickChevrolet Monte Carlo30
151998Dave WhitlockFord Taurus29
16799Brad JacquesDodge Intrepid29
17140Howie Scannell Jr.Chevrolet Monte Carlo29
182867Derrick TiemersmaPontiac Grand Prix29
192441John TsoumarisChevrolet Monte Carlo28
202551Al LongChevrolet Monte Carlo28
213628Steve RobbleeFord Taurus28
221297Rob NeelyDodge Intrepid28
2362Carl HarrChevrolet Monte Carlo27
243929Kevin TrevellinFord Taurus27
253704Andy FarrDodge Intrepid26
263466Robin BuckPontiac Grand Prix16
271323Jeff LapcevichChevrolet Monte Carlo14
282956John FletcherChevrolet Monte Carlo14
29376Al TurnerDodge Intrepid12
302775Steve SmithChevrolet Monte Carlo10
311831Kelly WilliamsFord Taurus8
32213Chris FowlerChevrolet Monte Carlo8
333394Mark GrahamChevrolet Monte Carlo7
344143Bob MerrifieldDodge Intrepid7
353580Donald TheetgeChevrolet Monte Carlo6
364069Scott WatkinsPontiac Grand Prix5
373286Kenny ForthFord Taurus3
381071Daryl HarrChevrolet Monte Carlo0
392003Jason McLellanDodge Intrepid0
402227John RestemeyerChevrolet Monte Carlo0
412321Damon SharpeChevrolet Monte Carlo0

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