Mike Stahl - Don Dee Webpage
March 10, 2001 Championship Race - Niagara Falls Convention Center

Mike Stahl Takes Castrol Cup
TQ Midget Owner Don Dee Of Grand Island Awarded Doug Duncan Memorial Trophy of Excellence
   World's Richest TQ Series Wraps Up At Falls
Local Driver, Mike Stahl, Takes Prestigeous Castrol Cup

By Dave Cook

   As with most drivers Jim Johnstone started to hear little things in the closing laps of the NAPA/NResearch TQ Midget race at Niagara Falls, N.Y. Saturday night (Mar. 10, 2001), but when he could feel them in his car, he knew he was on thin ice.
   The Grassie, Ontario driver drove to victory in the last of four races in what has been billed as the world’s richest three quarter midget race series while local driver Mike Stahl nailed the prestigious Castrol Cup by virtue of a solid run through the series and a fourth place finish in the finale.
   “With about five laps to go I heard a grinding noise and then started to feel the rear-end of the car float around under braking. I knew something went wrong and all I could hope for was making it to the checkered flag,” said Johnstone.
   As it turned out what Johnstone heard was the torque arm grinding against the chassis as a bolt had sheared from its mount.
   Although Johnstone wasn’t feeling he was under any pressure, the battle behind him in the 50 lap event held inside the Niagara Falls Convention and Civic Centre, was a fast- paced battle between second place driver Mark Sammut of London, Ontario, Keith Dempster of Alton, Ontario and series points leader Mike Stahl of Niagara Falls, N.Y.
   “I wasn’t running 100 percent, I really didn’t feel the presence of any of the others. I just tried to keep it smooth and concentrate on winning,” he said.
   Stahl, who has always been a top contender in the indoor wars since he first started in the early 90s, said luck was on his side this year.
   “I really was just keeping it clean, driving a clean race and watching the traffic. I had some lap traffic to contend with, but luck was going my way this time,” said Stahl.
   Stahl, who won the Jiffy-Tite/Jerry Gradl award when he had turned the fastest lap in time trials, said the team found using the tires from his last outing here to be much quicker.
   “It was really strange, but we went slower with a new set of tires, so when we tried the set we used the last time here, we really found a lot of speed in them. I did have to put on a new right rear for the feature,” he said.
   In winning, Stahl’s car owner Don Dee of Grand Island, N.Y. was awarded the Doug Duncan Memorial Trophy of Excellence, presented annually by the Toronto based Thornhill Cruisers Car Club in memory of one of Canada’s outstanding race mechanics.
   The race got off to a great start with James Michael Friesen of St. Catharines, Ontario, getting the edge on Johnston at the flag. Friesen lead a tight pack of drivers with Johnstone, Sammut, Dempster and Stahl close behind. Johnstone moved ahead of Friesen on lap 13.
   The race ran without problem until lap 23 when sixth place driver Robbie McMullen of Etobicoke, Ontario dropped oil on the track which also eliminated Stewart Friesen. At the restart, the lead pack again took up the pace with Jared Turnbull of London, driving the car owned by Northern Motorsports President Harry Macy and Adam Walsh of Brantford, Ontario, Jeff Riberdy of Newmarket, Ontario and Warren Mahoney of Lefroy, Ontario running in that order behind the lead pack.
   A second caution came when Colin Turnbull slammed the wall along the front straight and then another caution on lap 30 when two cars locked wheels. A red flag came on lap 34 when James Michael Friesen, while solidly in second place, encountered overheating problems spilling water on the track surface and bringing a halt to the action.
   At the restart, the action picked up where it left off with Johnstone, Sammut, Dempster, Stahl, Riberdy , Mahoney, Walsh , and Turnbull running in that order. Etobicoke’s Andy Mackereth and Aston, PA driver Lou Cicconi rounded out the top 10 places.
   Following the event Stahl remarked that he may be running a number of the outdoor TQ events this season.
   “I will be running a limited late model schedule this season so I may be teaming up again with Don Dee who owns the car to run some of the TQ races at Lancaster Speedway and possibly some on the Can Am schedule as well,” he said.
   The Castrol Cup purse amounted to more than $12,000 due to the sponsorship of NAPA/NResearch, and the FOAR Score Fan Club and according to Northern Motorsport Promoter Harry Macy, next year will be even larger.
   “I am pleased to announce that next year NResearch has increased its involvement and we will have a purse of $15,000 up for grabs in the four events,” said Macy at the awards party following the event.

Results: March 10, 2001

Jiffy-Tite/Jerry Gradl Fast Time Award: Mike Stahl, Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Heat One: 1. (22)Dave Wallaber, Ransomville, N.Y.; 2. (23)Randy May, Mt. Hope, Ont.:3.(20) Robbie McMullen, Etobicoke, Ont.; 4.(21) Jim Johnstone, Grassie, Ont.; 5. (4x) Greg Martin, Youngstown, N.Y.; 6. (37) Bernie Kotarski, Holland, N.Y.; 7. (82) Glen Halbing, Union, N.J.; 8. (4a) Blu Metz, Easton, PA.; 9. (79) John Baker, Oshawa, Ont.; 10. (93) Mel Raab, Eggertsville, N.Y.

Heat Two: 1. (40) Andy Mackereth, Etobicoke, Ont.; 2.(49) Adam Walsh, Brantford, Ont.; 3.(84) Neil Dietz, Chaffee, N.Y.; 4. (5) Keith Dempster, Alton, Ont.; 5. (43) Mike Tidaback, Little Falls, N.J.; 6. (91) Bob Watkins, Levittown, PA.; 7. (77) Ryan Bartlett, Adams, N.Y.; 8. (8) Bobby Holmes, Lockport, N.Y.; 9.(4) Dan Dadswell, Clarence, N.Y.; 10. (45) Doug Anderson, Dennville, N.J.

Heat Three: 1. (25) Warren Mahoney, Lefroy, Ont.; 2. (11) Pat Pontello, Syracuse, N.Y.; 3.(6) Jeff Riberdy, Newmarket, Ont.; 4.(52) James Michael Friesen, St. Catharines, Ont.; 5. (34) Chris Bandelion, Clarence, N.Y.; 6. (72) Greg Furlong, Hannibal, N.Y.; 7. (9) Jared Turnbull, London, Ont.; 8. (85) Frank Polimeda, Ft. Lee, N.J.; 9.(75x) Lou Cicconi, Aston, PA.; 10.(65) Joe Jarowicz, Piscataway, N.J.

Heat Four: 1. (31) Wayne Turnbull, Paris, Ont.; 2.(07) Stewart Friesen, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ont.; 3. (01) Mike Stahl, Niagara Falls, N.Y.; 4. (90) Mark Sammut, London, Ont.; 5. (1) Colin Turnbull, Cambridge, Ont.; 6. (2) Vince Christian Jr., Tonawanda, N.Y.; 7. (7m) Bob Berry, Riverdale, N.J.; 8.(7) Dan Lawrence, Amherst, N.Y.; 9. (96) Justin Mapes, Freedon, N.Y.

Ace Collision Dash For Cash: Andy Mackereth

“C” Feature transfer to “B” (8) Holmes, Lawrence, Raab, Baker
“B” Feature transfer to “A” (1) C.Turnbull, Watkins, Kotarski

NAPA/NResearch “A” Feature for Castrol Cup: 1.(21) Johnstone; 2.(90) Sammut; 3.(5) Dempster; 4. (01) Stahl; 5. (6) Riberdy; 6. (25) Mahoney; 7. (49) Walsh; 8. (31) Wayne Turnbull; 9.(40) Mackereth; 10. (75x) Cicconi; 11. (22) Wallaber; 12. (23) May; 13. (91) Watkins; 14. (9) Jared Turnbull; 15. (11) Pontello; 16. (84) Dietz; 17.(52)James Michael Friesen; 18.(1) Colin Turnbull; 19. (37) Kotarski; 20. (McMullen; 21. (07) Stewart Friesen

Final Standings in Castrol Cup:
1.Stahl-557 pts; 2. Johnstone-505; 3. Sammut-462; 4. Cicconi-438; 5. Mackereth-418; 6. C.Turnbull –416; 7. W. Turnbull-415; 8. Riberdy-405; 9. J. Turbull-389; 10. Walsh-378;11. Dempster-373; 12. Mahoney-363; 13. Tidaback-333; 14. May-325; 15. Watkins-307

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