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NASCAR Announces 2020 Pinty’s Series Schedule

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – For the past 13 years, the NASCAR Pinty’s Series has competed on some of the most diverse tracks in NASCAR with races on the best short tracks, road courses and street courses across Canada.

In 2020, you can add a dirt track to the list. 

NASCAR today announced next year’s Pinty’s Series schedule, which is highlighted by an Aug. 18 trip to Ohsweken Speedway – the first dirt race to be held in series history.

In addition, the series will visit two familiar tracks as Sunset Speedway and Circuit ICAR return to the schedule after four and three years, respectively. 

“We believe the 2020 season will be one of the best we’ve seen for our fans and competitors,” said Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR Senior Vice President and Chief International Officer. “The NASCAR Pinty’s Series continues to grow as Canada’s national motorsport series; we’ve seen an increase in competition level over the years and NASCAR fans in Canada have truly embraced the series as their own.”

The Tuesday, Aug. 18 race at Ohsweken instantly becomes one of the most anticipated events in series history. D.J. Kennington and reigning champion Andrew Ranger tested at the 0.6-km track for NASCAR on Oct. 29 to ensure the series could put on an exciting race.

Sunset Speedway in Innisfil, Ontario will host the fourth race of the season (July 4). Alex Tagliani won both previous Pinty’s Series races at the 0.53-km oval. 

The series will return to Circuit ICAR for the season’s penultimate race on Sept. 12. The 3.4-km road course at Montréal-Mirabel International Airport has previously hosted seven Pinty’s Series races, five of which were won by Ranger.

Other schedule highlights include:

  • For the ninth consecutive season, the season will open at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) in Bowmanville, Ontario as part of the track’s Victoria Day weekend celebration (May 16). The season will again conclude with the Pinty’s Fall Brawl at Jukasa Motor Speedway (Sept. 26). 
  • The annual Western swing including three races at two tracks. The series will visit Edmonton International Raceway on July 25 followed by a visit to Wyant Group Raceway in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan for two 125-lap features as part of a doubleheader on Wednesday, July 29.
  • Two fan-favorite races on the streets of Toronto and Trois-Rivières. The Pinty’s Series will again headline Friday (July 10) of the Honda Toronto weekend at Exhibition Place. As previously announced, the annual Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières (GP3R) will extend from 50 to 60 laps in 2020 (Aug. 9) which will introduce more in-race strategy for teams including live pit stops.

The complete broadcast and streaming schedule will be released at a later date.

2020 NASCAR Pinty’s Series Schedule

Sunday, May 17: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park- Bowmanville, Ont.
Saturday, June 6: Jukasa Motor Speedway- Hagersville, Ont.
Saturday, June 27: Autodrome Chaudière- Vallee- Jonction, Que.
Saturday, July 4: Sunset Speedway- Innisfil, Ont.
Friday, July 10: Exhibition Place- Toronto, Ont.
Saturday, July 25: Edmonton International Raceway- Wetaskiwin, Alb.
Wednesday, July 29: Wyant Group Raceway*- Saskatoon, Sask.
Wednesday, July 29: Wyant Group Raceway*- Saskatoon, Sask.
Sunday, Aug. 9: Circuit Trois-Rivières- Trois-Rivières, Que.
Tuesday, Aug. 18: Ohsweken Speedway- Ohsweken, Ont.
Sunday, Sept. 6: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park- Bowmanville, Ont.
Saturday, Sept. 12: Circuit ICAR- Mirabel, Que.
Saturday, Sept. 26: Jukasa Motor Speedway- Hagersville, Ont.

*125-lap twin features

SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

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Weather causes schedule changes; Cup qualifying canceled, Saturday practice added

Persistent rain showers and brief bouts of lightning in the area jumbled Friday’s on-track schedule at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Saturday was impacted, too.

Both Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practices, NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series qualifying and NASCAR Xfinity Series final practice were canceled due to weather on the opening day of championship weekend. NASCAR later announced that Saturday’s Monster Energy Series qualifying was canceled in favor of adding one of the missed practices back to the schedule.

The starting lineup for Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 will be set by the rule book, meaning owner points — Denny Hamlin will start from the pole position, with Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch lined up behind him in spots 2-4. All drivers are part of the Championship 4 field. All points for the four title hopefuls were reset to 5,000 for this race, with the tiebreaker being best finish of the Round of 8 — and then second-best finish as necessary.

That practice is scheduled from 2:05-2:55 p.m. ET, sandwiched between NASCAR Xfinity Series qualifying and the Ford EcoBoost 300 title race in that series.

Earlier Friday, the first Monster Energy Series practice session of championship weekend was slated to begin at 3:35 p.m. ET, but wet weather forced other plans. Moments before the planned start time, NASCAR officials warned there had been a lightning strike in the area. That sparked the first cancellation. Rain later stopped, and the track began its drying process — only for it to start back up again. The second and final Monster Energy Series practice was slated for 6:30 p.m. ET and was ultimately called around 7:15 p.m. ET.

Increased rain made practices, Gander Trucks qualifying (slated for 4:35 p.m. ET) and Xfinity Series final practice (slated for 5:35 p.m. ET) all washouts. Rain had started earlier in the afternoon, starting less than 15 minutes after opening NASCAR Xfinity Series practice began at 2:35 p.m. ET.

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Christian Eckes Clinches ARCA Menards Series Championship with Victory in Season Finale at Kansas Speedway

The ARCA Kansas 150 was a microcosm of the entire season for Christian Eckes. The Middletown, New York native was fast in practice, but engine issues necessitated a change following qualifying. That sent Eckes to the rear of the field for the start, but he quickly knifed his way through the field to the top five.

On a lap 57 restart, Eckes (No. 15 JBL Audio Toyota) challenged race leader Michael Self for the lead. One lap later, Eckes took control of the race, taking over the lead and driving away to, at times, a three-second lead.

“The day didn’t go smoothly at all,” Eckes said. “We had an engine problem in qualifying and the guys had to change it an hour before the race. We started at the back and we were in the top ten in five laps. The car was on a rail all night.”

Eckes night wasn’t smooth, and neither was his entire season.

After taking the championship lead after the second race of the season, at Five Flags Speedway, Eckes fell ill the night before the third race of the year at Salem Speedway. He missed the race, giving up the points lead to teammate Self.

Eckes and his Kevin Reed-led team were tenacious throughout the summer and fall, closing the gap and retaking the lead following the season’s penultimate race at Lucas Oil Raceway.

Eckes became the first series champion since Tim Steele in 1996 to miss a race en route to the championship.

“We even missed a race,” Eckes said in disbelief in victory lane. “The entire season has been filled with drama and we are still here. It’s absolutely incredible.”

Self (No. 25 Sinclair Lubricants Toyota) did all he could do to turn the tables on his Venturini Motorsports teammate. He jumped out to the lead at the start and led the first 57 laps, locking up five bonus points for leading a lap and by the halfway point clinching an additional five bonus points for leading the most laps.

But he couldn’t keep Eckes at bay. Self would end up second, 1.9 seconds behind at the finish.

“Second sucks,” Self said after visiting Eckes in victory lane. “I am thankful to have the opportunity to come and race for a championship. We won four times but we had a lot of ups and downs. I wish it would have turned out differently but I am really happy for Christian and the Venturini team. I just wish it played out in our favor tonight.”

The race was completed in one hour, three minutes and 31 seconds at a record average speed of 141.695 miles per hour. There were just two cautions for 12 laps, the first at lap 40 when Drew Dollar (No. 4 Dollar Concrete Construction Toyota) scuffed the turn four wall and the second at lap 52 when Tim Richmond (No. 06 GreatRailing.com Toyota) spun in turn two.

There was one lead change among two drivers, with Self leading the first 57 laps and Eckes leading the final 43.

Eckes finished 25 points ahead of Self in the final ARCA Menards Series championship standings, with fourth-place finisher Bret Holmes (No. 23 Holmes II Excavation Chevrolet) third in the final standings 165 points behind. Fifth-place finisher Travis Braden (No. 27 MatrixCare/Consonus Health Care/Liberty Village Ford) was fourth in the final standings and ninth-place finisher Joe Graf, Jr. (No. 77 EAT SLEEP RACE Chevrolet) rounded out the top five.

The ARCA Menards Series racing season is now complete, with the next event on the calendar the annual Championship Awards Banquet held at the Indiana State Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis, in conjunction with the annual Performance Racing Industry Trade Show, set for Saturday December 14.

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Doug Coby Marches Back To Championship Form With Sixth Title

THOMPSON, Conn. — Celebrating on the highest stage of modified racing for the sixth time.

Doug Coby sealed his sixth NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship on Sunday, completing a season that put the Milford, Connecticut, driver back on top after one year away from tasting glory.

The title was the sixth in the last eight years for the 40-year-old, and also helped him break a tie with Tony Hirschman with five series titles. Coby now only trails Mike Stefanik (seven) for the most Whelen Modified Tour titles in the modern era.

“It’s just hard to put into words,” Coby said. “We try to come out to have the best season of anybody, and win every race, everyone out there does. My team just finds a way to do it.”

Coby finished seventh in the Sunoco World Series 150 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, but it was enough to win him the title by eight points. But it didn’t come without a bit of drama.

Coby started third, but during a red flag for a multiple-car crash on lap 12, received some crucial information over the radio — oddly enough, from a fellow competitor. Woody Pitkat told Coby’s team the left-rear tire looked low on air pressure, and he was right.

Coby pitted during the caution, changed the tire, and restarted deep in the field. It wasn’t long before he was back up inside the top 15, positioning himself where he needed to be to keep his points lead. By the end, seventh was enough to seal the deal.

Justin Bonsignore won the season-finale, his sixth victory of the season, which helped him close the gap to just eight in the championship standings. Even though he came up short of his second consecutive Whelen Modified Tour title, Bonsignore scored victories in three of four races at Thompson this season — extending his active drivers lead to 11 wins at the Connecticut oval.

“We spotted them way too many points in the beginning of the year. I’m really proud of our effort — we won a handful of races at the end of the year, and we didn’t get the championship, but we backed up our eight wins last year with six this year. Great car and a great pit stop (today).”

Ron Silk finished second, while Matt Swanson, Bobby Santos III and Woody Pitkat finished the top five. Eric Goodale was sixth, followed by Coby, Chase Dowling, Rob Summers and Timmy Solomito.

Behind the top two in the championship standings, Silk finished third, 62 points back, while Craig Lutz and Swanson finished the top five.

The Sunoco World Series 150 will air on NBCSN on Thursday, October 17, at 7 p.m.

Coby will be honored with the rest of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour top finishers and special award winners at the NASCAR Awards Charlotte on Saturday, November 23.

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Sam Mayer Dominates Dover To Close Championship Season

DOVER, Del. — Friday was his day, and 2019 was his season.

All Sam Mayer had to do to clinch the 2019 K&N Pro Series East championship was take the green flag. But after being quickest in practice and qualifying on the pole, he led all but two laps to close the season with a win and celebrate in style.

“I can’t thank everyone at GMS enough for all they do for me,” Mayer said. “I mean, they had a rocket ship for me, I can’t thank them enough for that. Drivers Edge Development, Chevrolet, Chevrolet Accessories for being on the car and bringing me out here in the first place, and giving me this opportunity to go win a K&N East championship.It means so much and I’m going to celebrate even more, for sure.”

Mayer is the youngest NASCAR champion at 16 years, 3 months and 8 days, eclipsing mark set in 2016 by current Todd Gilliland (16 years, 5 months). Mayer also bettered the East record that was set in 2017 Harrison Burton (16 years, 11 months, 20 days).

In total, Mayer won four races and finished outside the top 10 only once in 12 races (South Boston Twin No. 2, where he left early due to a prior commitment). His average finish for 2019 wound up being an impressive 3.2.

The championship is also GMS Racing’s first in the series, coming in their first full-time season of competition in the K&N Pro Series.

The DGR-Crosley trio of Tanner Gray, who led two laps, Todd Gilliland and Drew Dollar finished second, third and fourth, respectively, with Chase Cabre rounding out the top five.

Max McLaughlin, Spencer Davis, Ruben Garcia Jr., Brandon McReynolds and Justin S. Carroll completed the top 10.

Cabre finished a career-best second in the standings, 38 points behind Mayer. Davis (-42) finished third, with Tanner Gray (-48) and Max McLaughlin (-61) completing the top five.

The General Tire 125 is scheduled to be broadcast on NBCSN on Friday, October 11 at 6 p.m.

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NASCAR, ARCA announce framework for four championship series in 2020

From Jimmie Johnson to William Byron, the path to the top of NASCAR has long gone through ARCA and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series.

In 2020, that path will take on a new look.

With an announcement Wednesday, NASCAR and ARCA unveiled the new ARCA Menards Series, which will encompass the three long-running regional stock car series, while also providing a new combined championship series.

What has been known as the K&N Pro Series East and West will become the ARCA Menards Series East and West. The current 20-race ARCA Menards Series will remain in place. And a 10-race slate within the latter will serve as a crossover for all three series, and crown a fourth champion of the ARCA Showdown.

The news is the next step that began with an announcement in April 2018 that NASCAR had acquired ARCA. Over the ensuing months, hours of research, on-track testing and meetings with stakeholders were poured into the process to come up with a series that would serve as one strong pathway for drivers aspiring to reach the next level of the sport while at the same time becoming a place where veteran short-track racers could find a home.

While they competed as separate series throughout 2019, both sides worked together to create the common platform.

Enter the ARCA Menards Series.

“Both NASCAR and ARCA have worked extremely hard over the last year to provide a rules package and schedule that will serve as the foundation for the pre-eminent series for racing at this level,” said Brandon Thompson, managing director, NASCAR touring series. “It was important for us to move the series forward while creating an environment inclusive for both the current long-term owners and drivers in the series as well as aspiring competitors.”

“What first started as a friendship between Bill France Sr. and John Marcum nearly 70 years ago took a momentous step forward today,” ARCA President Ron Drager said. “The amount of history and tradition these series are bringing together to form four elite championships for drivers is an amazing testament to the strength of this sport.”

NASCAR also announced if an East, West or current ARCA Menards Series car owner has a car that meets the 2019 Rule Book, there will be a rules package that will allow them to compete in 2020.

DRIVING SUCCESS AT THE GRASSROOTS LEVEL

In recent years, both the NASCAR Pro Series and ARCA Menards Series have become instrumental in developing the next crop of NASCAR Cup Series superstars. Like Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick before them, the likes of 2018 Cup Series champion Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman and Kyle Larson raced – and won – at this level.

Of the 12 remaining drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, 10 of them have won races in either series – accumulating 43 victories and four championships. The top eight NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff drivers have won races in either the NASCAR K&N Pro Series or ARCA Menards Series, with Justin Allgaier and Chase Briscoe being former champions.

With series that feature historic names such as Frank Kimmel, Hershel McGriff and Andy Santerre, the ability to create an environment where drivers can compete at this level for an extended period of time was equally important in the process.

From NASCAR to the Indianapolis 500, John Menard has found success supporting motorsports in the United States, and the opportunity to serve as the entitlement sponsor for this new broader entity fit perfectly into his desire to support grassroots racing.

MORE: Daytona, Midwest carry traditions into new era

“We’ve been a long-time racing sponsor at various levels including NASCAR, IndyCar and ARCA and are pleased to take our partnership with ARCA to the next level,” Menard said. “We like doing business together and share many of the same values and standards that have helped us survive and thrive through the years.”

K&N Engineering, which took over as the East and West entitlement sponsor in 2010 and helped further elevate the two regional series as a cohesive national stage, will remain a key entity in the sport as the “Official Performance Filter of NASCAR.”

NEW ERA EXTENDS RICH HISTORY

The new series provides continuity to three of the longest running high-level regional stock car series in the United States.

 The ARCA Menards Series West began in 1954 as the Pacific Coast Late Model Series. In what became more widely recognized during the NASCAR Winston West era, it produced short-track legends such as McGriff, Ray Elder and Roy Smith. Harvick won the championship in 1998, and in recent years, powerhouse Bill McAnally Racing and southern California car owner Bob Bruncati’s Sunrise Ford Racing have clashed in championship battles under the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West banner.

 ARCA Menards Series East was founded in 1987 as the NASCAR Busch North Series, a companion to the Charlotte-based NASCAR Busch Series. Northeast stars like Andy Santerre, Mike Stefanik and Ricky Craven dominated the Expanding to the East Series in 2006, it became a proving ground for the sport’s next top stars, beginning with Logano’s championship run in 2007 as a highly touted 16-year-old. Drivers such as Larson, Byron and Tyler Ankrum won East titles to kick off their ascent up the NASCAR ladder.

 The ARCA Menards Series, founded in 1953, is a mix of national series combination events and Midwest short tracks. Frank Kimmel won a record 10 championships between 1998 and 2013, while current Cup Series drivers Ty Dillon and Chris Buescher and 2019 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Regular Season Champion Grant Enfinger took home championships in recent years.

While the complete 2020 race schedules for all four championships are still to be announced, Thompson and Drager confirmed a number of key events for the upcoming series.

 The 2020 ARCA Menards Series will officially begin Saturday, Feb. 8, at Daytona with the Lucas Oil 200 Driven By General Tire. It will mark the 57th annual ARCA visit to Daytona. The 10-race superspeedway portion of the schedule will include Talladega Superspeedway, Michigan International Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway and Pocono Raceway, and finish the season at Kansas Speedway in October.

 The ARCA Menards Series West will begin the season as part of the national series weekend at Las Vegas, with the return to the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The West slate will also include traditional events at Irwindale Speedway, All American Speedway in Roseville and Sonoma Raceway, with the championship culminating at ISM Raceway in November.

 The ARCA Menards Series East schedule includes events at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida, as well as Toledo Speedway, Watkins Glen International and again be part of the annual Full Throttle Fall Weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It will have its championship decided with its traditional fall visit to Dover International Speedway.

 The Showdown will take the green flag with ARCA’s inaugural visit to ISM Raceway on March 6 as part of the national series’ event weekend in Phoenix. The Showdown’s 10 races, which will also count as part of the 20-race ARCA Menards Series schedule, features events at Indiana’s Salem Speedway, Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Minnesota’s Elko Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Iowa Speedway and World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. Both Iowa and Gateway have hosted K&N Pro West combination races as well as ARCA events annually, and this in an opportunity for those tracks to bring all three series together. The first Showdown champion will be crowned at Memphis International Raceway in September.

In addition, NASCAR and MAVTV announced a three-year extension of its telecast rights agreement for select ARCA Menards Series races. The partnership, combined with the races covered on FOX Sports, means that all 20 ARCA Menards Series races — including the 10-race Showdown portion — will be available via live or same-day broadcast. NBCSN will continue to carry the ARCA Menards Series East and West as part of their extensive NASCAR coverage.

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Craig Lutz Breaks Into Victory Lane in NAPA Fall Final at Stafford

STAFFORD, Conn. — For the second straight year, the NAPA Fall Final at Stafford Motor Speedway produced a first-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour winner.

Craig Lutz took the lead from Doug Coby on a restart with 33 laps to go, and drove away from Coby, and defending series champion Justin Bonsignore, to earn his first career checkered flag in his 66th series start.

Prior to Sunday, Lutz had finished inside the top five in four of his 12 Stafford starts, including the last three. He had also finished inside the top five in eight of the 14 races in 2019.

For the first time, the Miller Place, New York, driver was able to celebrate a trophy.

“The first win is always special,” Lutz said. “Everyone kept on asking me when it was coming. To finally knock one off, it’s an amazing feeling.”

Lutz started ninth and rode inside the top 10 for the duration of the race, but shined when it mattered most. Chris Pasteryak earned his first career Mayhew Tools Dominator Pole award in qualifying, and led the first six laps, before Coby took control.

Bonsignore took the lead from Coby just before halfway, and paced the field until a caution just after lap 100, when leaders pitted multiple times for tires. It would be the only caution of the day that Coby, Bonsignore and Lutz entered pit road.

Pasteryak would lead eight more laps after cycling back to the lead, but couldn’t hold the top spot, as Coby slid by, then a restart gave Lutz his opportunity. Lutz passed Coby and never looked back, minding a gap back to Bonsignore for the final 10 laps.

“I just didn’t look in my mirror,” Lutz said. “I have an awesome spotter, who has a lot of experience, and he kept telling me to stay smooth and hit my marks. That’s what I kept doing.”

Bonsignore would finish second, while Coby settled for third. Chuck Hossfeld, who missed practice and qualifying on Saturday, charged from the rear of the field to finish fourth. Matt Swanson was fifth.

Ron Silk finished sixth, followed by Bobby Santos III, Woody Pitkat, Chase Dowling and Patrick Emerling.

Coby leads Bonsignore by 19 points with one championship points race remaining in search of his sixth NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship.

The NAPA Fall Final 150 will air on NBCSN on Friday, October 4, at 7 p.m.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track for the annual Sunoco World Series at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, the final race of the season, on Sunday, October 13.

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Derek Kraus Survives Meridian Carnage, Wins In Overtime

MERIDIAN, Idaho — The man to beat all season was the man to beat on Saturday night.

Derek Kraus charged up through the field from seventh to lead 100 laps and earn his fourth K&N Pro Series West victory this season, 12th overall of his career and first at Meridian Speedway in the NAPA Auto Parts Idaho 208.

“Finally,” Kraus said with a smile. “It’s been a good year so far and tonight was just another short track race. There was lots of beating and banging, there were lots of yellows for sure. There were a lot of restarts, and I was able to get the lead over Jagger (Jones) about halfway through the race and I was able to keep it. That was really good, I’m really proud of how tonight went and I can’t thank these guys enough.”

Last season, Kraus led 189 of 208 laps from the pole, only to finish third after a late race incident with a lapped car. In three of his four K&N West wins this season, he’s led 100 laps or more.

But Kraus’ main competition was the man who led the most laps (121) on the evening from the pole: Jagger Jones.

With three laps to go in regulation, Kraus opted for the high lane on the restart, allowing Jones to take the bottom. The two made contact in Turns 1 and 2, and Kraus tapped Jones in Turn 3, sending him spinning, causing a massive pileup involving almost half the field.

“I’m sure he’s not very happy with me, but that’s racing,” Kraus said of the incident. “I’ve been on the other end of that and I know how it feels with Colorado. I’m sure he’s mad, and I’m sorry about it, but I guess that’s short track racing.”

Jones, understandably, wasn’t in the mood for apologies.

Following Kraus to the checkered flag was Todd Souza, who cleared the smoke to come home runner-up, his second-best career result. Trevor Huddleston did the same to finish third.

Josh Jackson, making his K&N debut, finished fourth after earning three free passes throughout the race, with Brad Kossow (also making his debut) rounding out the top five.

At the time of the green/white/checkered overtime restart, Josh Fanopoulos was running fourth, the highest he’s ever ran in a K&N Pro Series race. Despite being spun on the frontstretch on said restart, he earned his career best finish in sixth. Travis Milburn, Brittney Zamora, Zach Telford and Keith McGee completed the top 10.

Telford, a 15-year-old from Middleton, Idaho, was running second on the final lap before contact from Souza sent him spinning in Turn 2. He was making his first series start, as well.

The defending winner of the race, Hailie Deegan, got into some trouble of her own on Lap 132. After racing hard with Souza, she and Huddleston got together, giving her Bill McAnally Racing machine heavy nose damage. She ultimately finished 13th, 13 laps down.

Devin Dodson, who started a career-best fourth, finished 17th, 71 laps down after an accident on Lap 153 with Takuma Koga damaged the radiator.

In total, 12 caution flags flew for 70 laps, falling one yellow shy of the track record in 2016.

With the win, Kraus extends his championship points lead from 29 to 40. With his podium run and Deegan’s troubles, Huddleston now sits second in the standings, with Deegan third, Jones fourth and Zamora fifth.

The NAPA Auto Parts Idaho 208 is scheduled to be broadcast on NBCSN on Friday, October 4 at 6 p.m.

The next K&N Pro Series West event will take place at All American Speedway in Roseville, California on Saturday, October 12.

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Andrew Ranger Claims Third Series Title, Brett Taylor Scores Dramatic Maiden Win

It’s been near impossible to separate Andrew Ranger and Kevin Lacroix throughout the 2019 season.

The two drivers have traded the points lead since the season opened at CTMP in May, and entered the season finale at Jukasa Motor Speedway as the only two drivers in contention for the championship.

It was only fitting the trend continued as Ranger edged Lacroix by one position to earn his third NASCAR Pinty’s Series championship.

It was a celebration ten years in the making.

Ranger, who won the inaugural Pinty’s Series championship in 2007 at the ripe age of 20, followed that two years later with a second championship. He’s remained a dominant driver – he is the series all-time leader in wins with 28 – but has repeatedly suffered heartbreak chasing his third title.

Following four wins and a nearly perfect 2019 season, a fourth-place finish was all Ranger needed to finally return to the pinnacle of the sport.

“It’s a dream and I’m so happy for my crew,” Ranger said. “Everybody here works so hard and it’s fantastic to win our third championship. I knew that we were really fast, we knew we had to finish in front of him, and we did just that and won the championship.”

Despite leading the most laps, Kevin Lacroix would once again fall short of his maiden championship. He finished the season with two wins, but the bad luck struck again.

Lacroix started the race on the provisional pole after qualifying was rained out, and dominated the first half of the race, locking up bonus points for the most laps led. But following the halfway break, he began to fade.

“We had a fast car today,” Lacroix said. “We went for the win, so we tried an adjustment but it didn’t work out. We are just very thankful for the great season that we had.”

As Lacroix fell back, it was the pair of EHR Team Orange drivers who saw their cars jump to life. Brett Taylor and Jason Hathaway battled for the last quarter of the race, treating fans to one of the most high-intensity battles of the season. As the laps wore down, Taylor tried everything he could to get around his teammate: he did just that in the most dramatic way possible.

On the final lap, in the final corner, Taylor made his move. Putting the bumper to Hathaway, the Calgary, Alberta driver lead only one lap all evening: the most important one. Scoring his first career Pinty’s Series win, Taylor would make history in the process.

“[Jason] gave me enough room on the bottom to race him clean,” Taylor said. “I was super loose and every time I got to his door I had to back off cause I didn’t want to blow a tire.

“In the end, all I had to do was give him a little bit of a bump,” Taylor added.

With the victory, Taylor becomes the first Western Canadian driver to win in the Pinty’s Series –158 of the first 159 races were won by drivers from Ontario and Quebec, with Donald Chisholm (Nova Scotia) the previous outlier.

Hathaway would come home second, just over a tenth of a second behind Taylor. Donald Theetge finished third in his final start as a full-time driver.

Ranger and Lacroix completed the top five.  Pete Shepherd III finished sixth after having to start at the rear, with Alex Guenette, who was subbing for Alex Tagliani coming home in seventh.

D.J Kennington, Mathieu Kingsbury and LP Dumoulin would complete the top ten.

The Pinty’s Fall Brawl will air on TSN on Sunday, Oct. 6 at 12:30 p.m. and on RDS2 on Sunday, Oct. 20 at 12:30 p.m.

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Andrew Ranger Steals Dramatic Victory in New Hampshire

LOUDON, NH — In a season that has seen one of the series’ most intense championship battles to-date, Andrew Ranger entered New Hampshire in a must win situation.

Though he trailed Kevin Lacroix by only two points, New Hampshire was a track where Lacroix has been nothing short of dominant.

In both qualifying and practice, Lacroix picked up right where he had left off last year in terms of speed. In a league of his own all weekend, the 30-year old won the pole and appeared almost untouchable. Leading the first 92 laps, everything changed when Ranger and Alex Labbe began to close the gap.

Following a dramatic final 10 laps, Andrew Ranger was able to steal the victory in the Visit New Hampshire 100 claiming his fourth win of the season and series leading 28th of his career.

“Yesterday we had some problems with the car and I wasn’t too comfortable with the car,” said Ranger. “We came into the pits to get fuel and make an adjustment, after that my car was a rocket.”

Despite starting in the back after pitting for fuel on the first caution, Ranger battled his way through the field. Charging past everyone he came across, he caught the back bumper of Lacroix with about 15 to go. Lap after lap, the Roxton Pond, Quebec driver tried everything he could to get around Lacroix.

With eight laps to go, Ranger’s N0.27 MOPAR Dodge made the pass and checked out holding on for the win.

When claiming the checkered in Loudon, Andrew Ranger has won at every active track in the Pinty’s Series.

“Lap after lap we were catching Kevin Lacroix,” Ranger added. “We made the pass and got the win, so I’m very happy for my MOPAR team and now we are the points leader.”

After losing the lead, Lacroix was locked in a tight battle for second with Labbe. The two fought side by side before making contact coming to the checkered. Lacroix spun into the inside wall, coming to rest a mere 100 feet from the finish. Following the accident, Lacroix was checked and release from in the infield care centre, declining to comment.

Following a dominant performance last race at Saint-Eustache, Alex Labbe rode the momentum into New Hampshire. Having driven twice before in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, he held on for a runner up finish. Labbe would also notch his sixth top-five of 2019 and best his finish of the season.

“We needed this cause we’ve struggled all year,” said Labbe. “We had really good speed today but [Andrew] Ranger was the class of the field today on the long runs. We finished and we’re very happy.”

D.J Kennington has had a very consistent 2019 season. Qualifying on the outside of the front row, he would score a third place finish. Kennington’s Castrol Edge Dodge heads into Jukasa next week as the defending winner.

Last year’s runner up finisher Peter Shepherd III and Marc-Antoine Camirand would complete the top five.

Cole Powell and Alex Guenette finished sixth and seventh, respectively.

Mathieu Kingsbury, LP Dumoulin and Anthony Simone rounded out the top ten.

Following the Visit New Hampshire 100, Andrew Ranger will carry an 11-point advantage over Lacroix heading into the Pinty’s Fall Brawl at Jukasa September 28.

Fans can watch the Visit New Hampshire 100 on TSN on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 1 p.m and on RDS2  Sunday, Oct. 13 at 1 p.m.

The NASCAR Pinty’s Series will close out their season next week at the Jukasa Motor Speedway, where a champion will be crowned. Will Ranger pull ahead to claim his third championship or will Kevin Lacroix rally back to steal his first?