August 8, 2011. Sherwood Park, AlbertaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Noel Dowler returned to action in the #5 EMCO Dodge during round number eight of the 2011 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series at one of the most famous race weekends in Canada, the Grand Prix of Trois Rivieres. Though limited in his stock car racing events, DowlerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s previous experience of racing in the rain would prove beneficial.
For the Saturday afternoon practice session the #5 EMCO Dodge teamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mission as usual was to make sure the car handled well for the eighteen year old driver on a tight race track. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The team did a good job with the car and I was able to get settled right awayÃ¢â‚¬Â said Dowler.
For qualifying Dowler took a cautious approach with the #5 EMCO Dodge once again. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mind starting near the back because the first couple of corners can be pretty hairyÃ¢â‚¬Â said Dowler. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I wanted to make sure we got through okayÃ¢â‚¬Â he added.
The worry for teams became reality Sunday when rain soaked the circuit at Trois Rivieres. However racing in the rain was nothing new for Dowler. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We used to race Karts in the rain all the timeÃ¢â‚¬Â explained Dowler Ã¢â‚¬Å“so I was confident I could handle itÃ¢â‚¬Â he said.
Dowler did a very nice job maneuvering the 2,800 pound stock car around the tough track in adverse conditions. The falling however caused a few issues. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Despite using fans to keep the windshield clear it fogged up and I had to pit and let the team make some repairs to the #5 EMCO DodgeÃ¢â‚¬Â he stated. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Once I got back out and I could see properly we ran really well and had a lot of funÃ¢â‚¬Â said the driver.
The water would ultimately end the day early for the #5 EMCO Dodge when it started to cause electrical issues. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The gauges started to go so instead of waiting for a big problem I made a stop and we had to park the car so as not to cause any further damageÃ¢â‚¬Â said the driver. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We learned so much again this weekend and weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be even stronger at the next race in MontrealÃ¢â‚¬Â he stated.
Once again Dowler and the #5 EMCO Dodge made an appearance an EMCO Dealer prior race, stopping at the Trois Rivieres location. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We had another great turnoutÃ¢â‚¬Â said Dowler. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was really nice to meet so many people and weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re looking forward to the next couple of appearances prior to MontrealÃ¢â‚¬Â he added.
The next event of the 2011 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series schedule for Noel Dowler takes place August 5-7 at the Grand Prix of Trois Rivieres in Trois Rivieres, Quebec. Dowler will participate in a total of five road and street course events, along with the two oval track races at Motoplex Speedway in Vernon, BC and Auto Clearing Speedway in Saskatoon for a total of seven races. All of the 2011 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series races will be broadcast on TSN. Check local listings for times in your area. For more information about Noel Dowler Jr. log onto www.apollomotorsports.ca
Photo: The #5 EMCO Dodge at the Grand Prix of Trois Rivieres by Joe Hamilton