After running his own team the past several seasons, Anthony Simone will embark on a new journey for the 2019 NASCAR Pinty’s Series, partnering with Canada’s Best Racing Team (CBRT) for the full schedule.
Ahead of the season opener at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, Simone shared his thoughts with POPULAR SPEED.
POPULAR SPEED: What are your thoughts entering the season?
ANTHONY SIMONE: Really looking to have some good finishes this year (by) trying to finish all the laps and finish consistently in the top-five. I definitely think this is the best shot that we’re giving ourselves to be successful with the set-up with CBRT and Mopar Engines and being aligned with them. Should be a great year, and looking to some great results.
PS: One of the questions that has come up since the unveil is why did you make the decision to partner with CBRT this season while having your own team?
SIMONE: I was approached them in December and just talked about it. I have a lot of other racing going on down south and it takes a lot of time to prepare the cars. So we just figured this year that this way I’d get new cars, new engines – and have a lot of solid support. It just made sense for me and the team to partner up and make a good push at the championship.
PS: What are your thoughts heading into CTMP?
SIMONE: Looking for a good start to the season. Looking at the weather, it’s going to be a little bit warmer with a bit of rain possible on Sunday, and with this race you don’t know what to expect. Sometimes it clear, sometimes you get a bit of a rain thrown in as it has rained the past few years. So just trying to keep positive and hopefully we keep it all together and have a good result.
PS: What’s the toughest challenge of CTMP?
SIMONE: Definitely the speed and having a good clean race throughout, hitting your marks. Going fast as you possibly can, but also while conserving tires. Nobody knows what the new General Tires are going to do and how they’re going to react on a long run. Everybody has just tried them, but nobody has been in the race conditions so it’s kind of an unknown going into the event on new tires. The car feels good on the short run, but we don’t know what it’s going to be 20, 25 laps on the tires.
So it’s just about hitting your marks and putting down consistent laps and at the end of the day, whoever has the best tires and equipment will be the best.
PS: What track are you most looking forward to this season?
SIMONE: I’m a road course guy so I like Toronto and Trois-Riveries. For the ovals, Jukasa is obviously a beautiful track so going there twice is nice for the series. Going out west, Saskatoon is a nice place. Looking forward to all those places, pretty well.
PS: What are your thoughts on the current state of the Pinty’s Series?
SIMONE: I think it’s in a good spot. I think you’re going to see the most full-time cars that you’ve probably seen the past four or five years; I think there’s 12 or 13 full-time cars this year. If you look at the competition, it’s the best in Canada.
PS: What would your advice to the next generation of racers be?
SIMONE: Just keep pushing and keep trying to achieve your goals. It’s a high spending sport so keep trying to get the sponsors and do the best you can with the best results, and keep pushing forward.
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