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Trucks

Todd Gilliland Relishing Truck Opportunity

With success in the K&N Pro Series, Todd Gilliland has shown he can get the job done behind the wheel. It’s why later on this season, he will get the chance to run some NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races for Kyle Busch Motorsports.

“It’s going to be great because every time you show up to a Camping World Truck Series race you see Kyle Busch Motorsports running up front,” he told POPULAR SPEED. “It’s something that I’ve always wanted to be a part of, especially walking into their shop and seeing the nice facility. I think it’s going to be a good opportunity for me as everybody over there works super hard on their trucks. Hopefully, we have a couple of good runs.”

Gilliland will make his series debut at Dover International Speedway, followed by Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and Phoenix International Raceway. The second-generation racer’s success to date gives him enough confidence to have high expectations.

“I feel we have a good chance to finish in the top-10, perhaps even take advantage of a situation and get a top-five,” he said. “You can never really have too good of expectation. The trucks are a lot different than anything that I’ve ever driven, so it’ll be a big learning curve.”

With Dover not until June, the focus remains on the K&N Pro Series East & West for now. On the East side, he finished eighth in the only race so far this year, while he has scored three straight wins in the west to lead the standings.

“I’m really glad that we’ve been able to come out of the gate really good,” he said. “It shows how good and well-prepared everyone was over there.

Two of those victories came on the same night, with the first ever K&N Pro Series West 100-lap double feature event at Irwindale Speedway.

“I think K&N did a really good job of being prepared for all the challenges that come with having two races in one night,” he said. “I think it was a little rushed, but that’s how it’s going to be, and I think everyone handled it really well. Nothing got too torn up in the first race as everyone, but one car was able to continue into the next race. I think everything went very well.”

Going back and forth, he admits it will be “hard to manage,” but feels he can handle them well with keeping “two different mindsets.”

The success this year with Bill McAnally Racing is a continuation of 2016 for Gilliland, after winning the K&N Pro Series West Championship with six wins and 13 top-10’s in 14 races. The North Carolina native feels he took to the cars easily due to suiting his driving style, of being able to slide around a lot and run side-by-side really hard but clean.

His next race will be Greenville-Pickens Speedway for the second race on the K&N Pro Series East schedule on April 8.

“They just repaved from the center of the corner out to the wall, so it’s going to be about a second faster, so I’m excited to get out there and check it out,” he said.

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

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Commentary

JIM BRAY: People Don’t Realize Talent in Pinty’s Series

While everybody knows the NASCAR ranks are full of talent, the Pinty’s Series may just be the most underrated on the home track divisions.

Known as Canada’s premiere racing series, it travels coast to coast throughout the summer, putting on exciting events across the province.

While most of the series are made up are primarily ovals and a couple of road courses, this series is different with seven ovals and five road courses on the docket. The racing has also been close through the years, with plenty of last lap passes being made. The one that many fans still talk about Alex Labbe vs. Cayden Lapcevich, with nine passes in the final 15 laps.

The talent pool of drivers is made up of a bit of the best. Road courses masters Alex Tagliani and Andrew Ranger, find themselves up against short-track standouts like Jason Hathaway and DJ Kennington. Then you throw in the young talent of Labbe, Lapcevich, Gary Klutt and Kevin Lacroix, it’s a combination that can only equal success.

The talent is something team owners recognize, such as Jim Bray, as he made mention of a recent phone call from Daytona Beach, Florida, during the Motorama Custom Car and Motorsports Expo.

“People don’t realize how diverse our series is or how talented the drivers are,” he recalled. “I had a call from a top official in Daytona this week who has a development driver and is looking for rentals for the ovals and wondered if he could give him my phone number. He said, ‘He’s going to run some Pinty’s races, and then move up to K&N next year.’ I said, ‘I beg your pardon? If he’s going from our series to K&N, he would be moving down performance wise.'”

Bray was cited drivers, like Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular Ty Dillon and Daytona Truck Series winner Kaz Grala, who ran in the series in top-tier equipment, posting mid-pack finishes.

“Believe me, competition wise, there’s been cup drivers and a lot of great drivers that have come to our series and thought they’d be great, and they were okay,” he continued. “People in Daytona need to open their eyes.”

Part of the problem has been the TV package which shows races a week later, as well as drivers finding it difficult at times to find marketing partners. 2016 Champion Lapcevich found himself finding sponsorship last minute at times last year to make it to the events.

However, there’s been a recent sign of hope in that regard as Tagliani announced at the show that he’d be sponsored by Lowe’s Canada for this season. The good news for one driver has others hopeful they can find success, as well.

“It’s great to see new sponsorships come on board as they’re what make the sport work,” Kennington said. “Unless you’re really wealthy, you’re not going anywhere without one of those. It’s great to see and hope more jump on board. Alex will do a great job with that as he’s a good sponsorship ambassador, and hopefully, it grows into even more and possibly helps Scott get back behind the wheel. I mean, we need some of these guys back that aren’t able to race right now due to sponsorship.

“I hope we’re on the right track, and I know everybody including NASCAR are working hard to make sure that we are. Hopefully, it’s all turning around.”

Bray is also confident, hoping it’ll help increase the car count this season.

“I think it makes it much easier for teams in the west and east that want to make deals to get sponsorship,” Bray said. “Lowe’s coming on gives them so much credibility in talking about who they are talking about, and boasts the series – DJ running the 500, too.”

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

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Home Tracks News

Larry Jackson Set for Full Pinty’s Series Schedule with CBRT

After coming close to running the full schedule the past couple of years, Larry Jackson will make it happen this year.

Jackson (pictured left) announced at the Motorama Custom Car and Motorsports Expo that he’d be running the full NASCAR Pinty’s Series schedule in 2017 for Canada’s Best Racing Team.

“We’re back with CBRT and Bud Morris and Joey McColm once again,” he said. “We’re going to try and do the whole season – looking pretty good right now, lots of iron in the fire. All the cars are getting updated and moved into a new shop, so everything is looking bright and beautiful right now.”

Jackson started off the season last year in his own equipment at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, before running nine of the remaining 12 races in cars fielded by CBRT. The pair were able to have success together, scoring a pair of top-10s, highlighted by a third at Sunset Speedway in June for his first series top-five. Being around the team post-race there, it seemed like they had won the event with how excited they were.

“I do this because it’s a passion and I love doing it, and to run up front with this competition in this series is absolutely awesome,” he said. “These guys are the best of the best. It’s some pretty amazing equipment that I am given. To be able to run up front is pretty awesome.”

While his best runs came on ovals last year, he admits that the road courses are his favorite to run – even though they’re “pretty challenging” and he has “a lot to learn.”

“I’m struggling, trying to get into the corner, and Andrew (Ranger) goes by,” Jackson said. “I’m on the edge of control trying to get into the corner, and he’s just waving as he goes by at 100 mph. So I have a lot to learn there.”

Going into this year, Jackson says he hopes to “complete every lap possible” each weekend so he can help the team grow.

“My main goal this year is to help Joey develop this team, get tons of notes on the cars, and develop the new drivers that he has coming in this year as well – be the old guy on the team,” he said.

Notably, CBRT has yet to release the rest of the driver line-up, yet.

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

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Home Tracks

Adam Martin Looking to Gain Experience

Earlier this month, it was announced that Adam Martin would be racing full-time for Micks Motorsports in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series in hopes of taking home the Rookie of the Year Award. The opportunity allows him to work alongside series veteran Kerry Micks and use him for advice.

“It’s pretty exciting to be working around guys like Kerry Micks and learning from everything who has been doing this their whole lifetime,” Adam Martin said at the Motorama Custom Car and Motorsports Expo.

In speaking of working with Martin, Micks said, “It’s great to help someone that’s coming up through the field, and I’m pretty pumped about being able to help him.”

This season will see him go to some tracks in which he got to race last year while attending others that he has yet to see in his career. It’s why he’s focused on gaining “as much experience” as possible at each of the new tracks, and “trying to absorb as much as I can.”

Martin made his series debut last year at Sunset Speedway, posting an impressive fourth place finish. He then backed up the performance later on in the season with a sixth at Riverside International Speedway, followed by a fourth to close the year at Autodrome St. Eustache. Both finishes came about after less than stellar qualifying efforts, though.

“As the race went on, I got more experience and more laps and was able to be more consistent,” he said. “So it should be a big improvement this year in going back to some of the same tracks.”

One of the tracks he wasn’t able to perform well at, though, was Exhibition Place in Toronto as contact with the wall mid-race hurt his performance. It’s why going into this year, that’s one place he’s focused on improving.

“I think if I could have a better performance in Toronto this year, and keep it off the walls, it should be good,” he said.

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

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XFINITY

Labbe Excited for “Three to Four XFINITY Races”

After getting his feet wet last year in the XFINITY Series, Alex Labbe is set to return to the second-tier of NASCAR once again in 2017.

Labbe stated at the Motorama Custom Car and Motorsports Expo that he would be running three to four XFINITY Series races this season with Go FAS Racing.

The Quebec native made his series debut last year at Phoenix International Raceway driving for Mario Gosselin, finishing 23rd after starting in the 33rd position.

“I had a pretty nice experience as I went to Phoenix for my first XFINITY race,” he said. “I had a lot of fun. It’s what we dream of so it was pretty awesome.”

By completing all the laps last year at Phoenix, he has been approved by NASCAR to run any mile and a half tracks. One of his starts this year will be at an immediate speedway in hopes of continuing the approval process.

“After this, I will be able to get improved for bigger tracks,” he said. “I’m just trying to get out there, do the best that I can, and get approved as fast as possible so I can eventually run the full XFINITY Series schedule.”

Notably, there are no formal written rules to the NASCAR licensing approval, but rather it’s done on a “case-by-case basis,” per Labbe.

“It really depends on how you perform on track and how safe you appear,” he said. “That’s why I try to go out there and try to be as clean as possible, so I can get approved as quick as possible.”

On top of the partial XFINITY Series schedule, Labbe will also be returning to the NASCAR Pinty’s Series full-time in search of his first career series championship.

“We really want to win the championship,” he said. “I feel we have to win this year, personally, to further my career. It’s going to be a big year for us, and I am happy that everybody on the team is putting in the effort into the cars for the year. I’m excited.”

Labbe ran his first full season this past year, finishing seventh in points with a victory at Autodrome Chaudiere, six top-fives, eight top-10s, and three poles in 12 races.

For Labbe, getting his first career at Autodrome Chaudiere was a dream come true as that’s his home track. It also came in dramatic fashion, as he battled back and forth with eventual series champion Cayden Lapcevich as the pair traded the lead back and forth nine different times during the final 15 laps.

“I have a lot of miles there, and that’s my favorite track,” he said. “But we also want to improve on our championship result. Last year, we had a really solid year, but we still didn’t capitalize in certain spots. We need to get better for this year, and I think we’ll have a better 2017.”

Of course, beyond the ovals, the series is also made up of six road course events, which don’t intimidate Labbe as he feels he can win at any track. He’ll kick off the 2017 campaign on a road course at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park as part of Victoria Day Weekend.

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

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Home Tracks News

No Pinty’s Series Races Planned for Kerry Micks

Everyone knew there’d be a day when Kerry Micks would step away from the driver’s seat in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series, but it appears it could come sooner than some expected.

While speaking on stage at the Motorama Custom Car and Motorsports Expo, the veteran revealed his team Micks Motorsports’ plans for the upcoming season.

As previously announced, Adam Martin will compete for Rookie of the Year as he runs the full schedule.  The teenager made his series debut last year at Sunset Speedway, posting an impressive fourth place finish. He then backed up the performance later on in the season with a sixth at Riverside International Speedway, followed by a fourth to close the year at Autodrome St. Eustache.

Additionally, the team will have Mark Dilley in the No. 02 entry for the ovals, as has been done the past five years. A veteran of the series, Dilley has visited victory lane on three different occasions, with the last win coming in 2011 at Barrie Speedway. Last season, he scored three top-fives and six top-10s in his seven races.

The obvious factor left out was any races for Micks, which earned the question from host Adam Ross whether that meant Micks wasn’t going to race this year. Micks’ response left room for questions as he said, “I didn’t say that.”

For now, it appears Micks’ focus will be on mentoring Adam Martin, as he has been doing the couple seasons through a program at Sunset Speedway and now the Pinty’s Series.

“Its great to help someone that’s coming up through the field and I’m pretty pumped about being able to help him,” he said.

Micks added that the team’s focus is making sure that they unload at each event with a car that suits Martin’s calm driving style so “he has the best car that he can have on the track.”

“That’s an advantage to start off right when you unload at the track with a car that’s working – that’s key,” he said.

While he won’t be racing in the Pinty’s Series – or as planned right now at least, Micks will be behind the wheel of a super late model this season. One of the events he confirmed that he’ll be attending will be Jukasa Motor Speedway in August, which signifies the re-opening of what was Cayuga Motor Speedway for the first time since 2009.

“That’ll be exciting,” he said. “I know when we ran there in the CASCAR days, we were doing close to 130 mph. So there with the super, we will doing close to 160 mph on the backstraight. I’m very excited to get to that track. That’ll be a highlight for me this year.”

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

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NASCAR Cup Series

Kennington Hopeful for More after Running Daytona 500

Ever since he was four years old sitting on the couch watching the Daytona 500 with his dad, D.J. Kennington wished he was one of the drivers in the field for the Great American Race. Earlier this year, Kennington was able to make that happen.

“Lifelong dream accomplished,” he told POPULAR SPEED. “I can honestly tell you sitting in the seat is much more fun.”

Ultimately, the race didn’t go as he planned with getting caught up in one of the big wrecks, but it was an experience he’s going to remember forever.

“We made a dream come true,” he said. “It didn’t end how I wanted, but that’s restrictor plate racing. There’s nothing that you can do. You always think that you can miss things, but at 200mph it’s hard to miss a parked car. Not the way we wanted to finish. But it’s a big deal to make the race as a small team, and we ran competitively, and hopefully there’s more to come soon.”

It’s also opened the door for possibly running more races this season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for Gaunt Brothers Racing.

“We’re working on it with getting more sponsorship opportunities, but as of right now, I will say yes,” he said. “Hopefully we have some news coming soon.”

2017 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup - Can-Am Duels Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL USA Thursday 23 February 2017 D J Kennington World Copyright: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP
Copyright: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP

Kennington almost didn’t get to start the Daytona 500, only making it in after he beat Elliott Sadler by a bumper in the Budweiser Duel on Thursday night. Going into the qualifier, he didn’t think he had to worry about Sadler in the event, based on the conversation they had before the race.

“Apparently, Elliott was just supposed to ride around the back, and he was happy doing that as they didn’t have a spare car,” Kennington said. “So they were going to ride around the back, and we even rode in the pickup truck together, and he told me that I didn’t have to beat him. I said, ‘Good, I just have to beat Timmy Hill.'”

Flash forward to the race, and Timmy Hill, unfortunately, had a motor problem, sending him to the garage – which caused Kennington to think that they were set to qualify. However, those thoughts immediately disappeared when he saw Sadler’s No. 7 go by him on the straightaway.

“I’m like, ‘What is he doing?’ because that means we’re done, not in the race,” Kennington said. “My spotter told me to do what I had to do to get in front of the seven as I was trying to get it through my head as to why the seven would pass me. It came out later on that there was a little deal with the 55 (Reed Sorenson) car made, and the 55 offered a lot of money for them to beat us to make the race. So if they would’ve beat us, we would’ve been out.”

Kennington was able to make the move necessary, though, as he made the three-wide move up the middle to pass Sadler and qualify for the event.

“I didn’t have time to think about it,” he said. “I just got lucky that the middle opened up, and I got a good draft off Ty Dillon and made the move up the center. It was either going to work, or we were going to get wrecked. That was the choice that I had. I wasn’t going to lift, and there’s a famous line that Mark Dilley likes to use – if the rad fits, the rest will follow. That’s what I was going with.”

Beyond plans in NASCAR’s premiere division, there’s also a possibility of seeing him back at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in the truck race for the second straight year. He mentions “there are irons in the fire,” but the “main goal will be focused on Gaunt Brothers Racing and our own stuff in the Pinty’s Series.”

djkracing2Kennington is set to return to the NASCAR Pinty’s Series once again to partake in the full schedule, hoping to walk away as the series champion.

“I think it’ll be a great season for us,” he said. “We will get back into the winner’s circle – it’s not an if, it’s a when. I’m looking forward to every race. I think we’ll have a great season this year and hopefully walk away with the championship.”

Despite being a two-time champion, he hasn’t won a title since 2012, something that’s weighed on his mind when him saying it’s “championship or bust” the past couple years. However, the bigger goal this year for Kennington to get back to victory lane as he hasn’t won a race since August 2013.

“The competition level in this series has just gotten so steep,” he said. “It’s tough to win. You have to have everything going your way to win one of these races. All the drivers are so good; all the owners are so good – they’re tough to beat. I just want to get back to the winner’s circle this year, and I think if we do that then the championship will take care of itself.”

He came close last year at St. Eustache, running up front and leading 90 laps till he was passed late by Cayden Lapcevich, and finished second.

“We led most of the night and had the car to win the race and were within two car lengths of lapping Cayden at one point, and we put on tires because it looked like it was going to rain,” he said. “If we didn’t put on tires, it probably would’ve rained. You can’t second guess your decision. That’s all part of racing. You can’t get upset, you can’t get frustrated, and that’s it. If we would’ve made the right call, we would’ve looked like a hero. That’s just part of racing.”

The drive to win is certainly without question there as Kennington says he will give someone the bump-and-run on the last lap if necessary.

“I don’t like not winning. It’s not fun,” he said. “All of us up here want to win. I think if you lose that drive to win and that desire to be the best, it’s time to hang it up. We’ve worked hard, and everybody knows it’s hard to win these things. If it comes down to banging fenders, we’re going to have to.”

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

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Home Tracks News

Pinty’s Series, APC Tour Among Plans for Hathaway

When Jason Hathaway announced that he was retiring from full-time NASCAR Pinty’s Series competition, some fans expected him to walk away from racing altogether. Though it turns out that is not the case, as he has put together a schedule for the upcoming season.

Fans of the Pinty’s Series will see Hathaway behind the wheel of his familiar No. 3 entry as he will compete in both Canadian Tire Motorsports Park races this season.

“It’ll be fun,” Hathaway told POPULAR SPEED. “I’ve got a road course car with a brand new engine, so thought I might as well put two road courses on the schedule, nice and close to home, especially the truck weekend there in September. It’s an action-packed weekend with big crowds are there, big activation for sponsorship, so that’s why it was fitting as well.

“On the sponsorship side, we’ve got some things brewing that we will announce in the next few weeks and everybody can know our plans for the summer.”

While he wasn’t seen as one of the front-runners at the road courses, the past couple of years has seen a change with no finishes outside of the top-seven in his last four starts at CTMP, including a victory in the fall of 2015.

Outside of that, Hathaway has a schedule consisting of six events behind the wheel of a pro late model.

He plans to run four APC Auto Parts United Late Model of Ontario Tour races this season, including both events at Delaware Speedway, the season opener at Sunset Speedway, and Jukasa Speedway in the summer. Going into the season, Hathaway admits he hasn’t attended one of the series’ events yet.

“I’ve talked to some of the competitors that race in it. I think the competition from what I hear is real strong and there’s 15 cars that win any race, which is really good,” he said. “I like the structure with the way they do it with the tire program. They do a great job. It’s run the right way and for an Ontario touring series, its run really professionally.”

Each of those events marks a highlight on the tour as Delaware will host the series as part of their Canada Day Weekend and Great Canadian Weekend racing festivities. Meanwhile, the event at Jukasa will mark the first event at the speedway previously known as Cayuga Speedway since 2009 as Alex Nagy and his staff work towards getting the facility back up and running.

“I spent a lot of time there – ran street stock there back when I was younger,” Hathaway said of Jukasa. “I ran CASCAR Sportsman there, CASCAR, NASCAR. It’s good to get it back, and especially with the renovations and the re-paving, and with some banking into it. Looking forward to it. It’s going to be a lot of fun. For those who haven’t been there, they’re going to be in for a surprise as it’s really fast.”

It’s entirely possible to see Hathaway visit victory lane in the season opener, as he has finished in the top-five while competing in a limited late at Sunset Speedway.

Hathaway will round out his schedule with two races out west at Riverside International Raceway in Nova Scotia as part of the time Maritime Pro Stock Tour. He plans to the Ron MacGillivray Chev Buick GMC 150 in June, followed by taking part in the prestigious IWK 250 in July, joining NASCAR legend Mark Martin among others in the field.

Before announcing his retirement from full-time Pinty’s Series competition, Hathaway spent the past 12 years in the series and is only one of two drivers to compete in every race in the series’ history, along with D.J. Kennington. During that time, he has picked up nine wins and 74 top-10s, highlighted by a runner-up finish in the series standings last season.

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

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Home Tracks News

Theetge Going Oval Racing

After getting his feet wet last year, Donald Theetge will be behind the wheel for all seven NASCAR Pinty’s Series oval events this season for 22 Racing.

“Donald is not new to stock car racing in Canada. He is a champion and a fierce competitor and we are thrilled to have him drive cars out of our 22 Racing stable,” said team owner Scott Steckly.  “Donald brings a lot to our program and we look forward to adding more wins to our team resume with him.”

Theetge partnered with 22 Racing last year for a pair of events, where he finishing fourth at Autodrome Chaudiere, followed by sitting on the pole en route to 13th at Kawartha Speedway.

“Scott Steckly and his team are professional and have a lot of experience in this domain. With his cousin and crew chief, Randy Steckly, they won 4 championships in 8 years. it is an honor for me to race next to them”, says Donald Theetge.  “I am thankful of this chance to be part of Scott Steckly’s 22 Racing team.”

With the schedule set, the 50-year-old looks to become the oldest driver to win a race, besting a record currently held by Don Thomson, who won at the age of 48 years and nine months.

22 Racing announced they will have a car in each of the events, with the road course driver set to be revealed later on this month.

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

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Home Tracks News

Carl Gauthier to Realize NASCAR Dream

After expressing interest and having a dream to go NASCAR racing, it’s coming true for Carl Gauthier.

As reported first by The Daily Observer, Gauthier has signed a two-race deal with Avion Motorsports to run both events at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park this season in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series.

Earlier this year, Gauthier announced he would be trying to raise $40,000 through fan donations and corporate sponsorship in an effort to run a pair of events this year.

“If you want to do something really badly you’ll make it happen – that’s the attitude we took and we’re going to make it happen,” said Gauthier. “And donations of any amount are all equally appreciated. So that $20 means as much to us as a guy who gives $500 because they both show the person’s support and that they want to be a part of this.”

So far, he has raised $18,900.

“We’ve received significant support from 10 large sponsors and individual donations from over 25 local residents so far,” said Gauthier. “Some of these individual donors have made contributions of $350 or $500 but they don’t even want their names publicized, they just want to make the donations.”

Gauthier plans to continue to raise money, including spending time at the Pembroke Mall on March 18 (from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.) and again on March 19 (from 12 p.m. until 5 p.m.) to continue to collect donations. Notably, five dollars from every donation will go towards the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO).

“We want to raise more funds for the races but we also want to make a donation to CHEO,” said Gauthier. “My grandnephew just spent a month at the CHEO hospital. He was a very sick little boy and they saved his life and they brought him back. So I’ve been in discussion with people down at CHEO and they’re going to send up a banner and buttons and stickers to this mall event. Whatever money people donate, five dollars from each donation will go to CHEO. My grandnephew will also be there for a little bit and he’ll have a photo-op with his parents.”

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.