As the season opener for the NASCAR Pinty’s Series at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park looms closer, the plans for various teams in the series continue to be revealed, with several announcements over the past couple of weeks.
With the first week of May in the books, here is where the grid currently stands.
DJK Racing will be fielding a pair of entries, with Andrew Ranger and D.J. Kennington full-time, chasing after the championship. Ranger told POPULAR SPEED with the improvement over the past three years, he feels that they have all the puzzle pieces to finish the races, have fun, win races, and take home the championship.
Julia Landauer will also continue to run events in the series, scheduled to run Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on May 19, Jukasa Motor Speedway on June 1, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on August 25, New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, and again at Jukasa Motor Speedway on September 28 for DJK Racing.
Canada’s Best Racing Team has strengthened their effort, partnering with Wright Motorsports Incorporated. They will field 2018 Rookie of the Year Brett Taylor full-time in one of their entries. The Alberta native believes the merger, combined with building a pair of new cars, a new engine builder and adding new personnel, sees them “coming into the season with the tools to win.”
They will also be running the No. 1 entry full-time with Anthony Simone behind the wheel, through a sponsorship partnership with Silverline Tools. CBRT General Manager Joey McColm will serve as the crew chief for the effort.
Jason White also joins the team, set to run six events across the schedule with veteran Larry Jackson serving as his crew chief. The British Columbia native has made 94 career starts to date, so by running these events, he will hit the 100-milestone mark when he takes the green flag at Wyant Group Raceway.
Ed Hakonson Racing announced in March that Jason Hathaway will be returning to the series on a full-time basis, after spending the past two years pursuing other racing endeavors.
“Our team is solely focused on winning races and the championship,” Hathaway told POPULAR SPEED last month. “From where we’re at, this is our major goal and we have been working towards it all winter. We’re working on the cars, building on some new ones, so I guess all cards on the table entering the year.”
22 Racing will be once again fielding three entries full-time, with Alex Tagliani, Marc-Antoine Camirand and Donald Theetge behind the wheel. After scoring his first career series victory last year at St. Eustache, Camirand “is looking forward to being a championship contender.” Tagliani knows what it feels like to be in title contention, placing second last year to L.P. Dumoulin.
Micks Motorsports revealed at the Motorama Custom Car and Motorsports Expo that Mark Dilley will be returning to the series full-time behind the wheel of the No. 64 Leland Industries Ford. Additionally, they will field rookie T.J. Rinomato in four road/street course events in the No. 02 Ford.
The news shook the racing world in March, as they announced a commitment to the future of motorsports, with plans to support five teams in 2020, before bumping the total to eight in 2021 across all of NASCAR’s divisions.
Dumoulin Competition returns with 2018 series champion L.P. Dumoulin prepared to defend his championship, on the heels of signing a three-year extension with primary sponsor WeatherTech last year.
“It means the world to us,” Dumoulin told POPULAR SPEED in November. “We’ve done seven seasons together with myself, Dumoulin Competition, Bellevue, and WeatherTech and we’ve got two championships. It means the world for me, but the team as well. All those guys that work on the car all year round, but it’s fun for them and their family to know that there’s three years ahead of them. You know in racing that it’s hard to get sponsorship and it’s hard to have long run partnerships.”
Jean-François Dumoulin will also be back with the series in 2019, electing to focus solely on the road course events due to “commitments as a professional driving instructor, such as with the Ferrari Challenge, and the management of Dumoulin Competition” taking up most of his time.
Dumoulin Competition will have two cars at some of the oval events, though, as they will begin fielding entries for other drivers. They already announced that current Kyle Busch Motorsports NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series part-time competitor Raphael Lessard will run the event at Autodrome Chaudiere.
Simone Autosport fielded Connor James for a limited amount of races last year, and they plan to do the same once again this year. NASCAR Home Tracks revealed post-Motorama that James will be running a couple events in 2019, including both races at Jukasa Motor Speedway.
If funding could be found, it is possible for his schedule to expand further beyond that. The third-generation racer will keep himself busy, regardless, running the full Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Series tour and the pair of Super Stocks event at Jukasa.
Busch Racing will be fielding Shantel Kalika in four events on the schedule – Wyant Group Raceway double header, Edmonton International Raceway and the season finale at Jukasa Motor Speedway. She is open to running the full schedule, but currently is unable to as a result of funding.
Dave Jacombs Racing will once again be involved in the series, with Alex Labbe returning after competing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series last year. The team knows how to get the job done, as evident by their title effort in 2017.
Simon Dion-Viens announced a three-year deal with Castrol Canada to be the primary sponsor on Dion-Viens’ No.37 car for a maximum of four races.
Jocelyn Fecteau announced new sponsorship from Roxor, but has yet to reveal the amount of events he will be entering for the 2019 campaign.
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