Categories
Home Tracks

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

Categories
Commentary

“They Said What?” NASCAR Pinty’s Series Edition

Sometimes when you stick a microphone in front of a driver’s face, you have no clue what they may say and a couple of times you’ll hear something that surprises you or gives you a bit of a perspective.

Throughout the 2019 NASCAR Pinty’s Series season, I had the opportunity to speak to a bunch of different competitors. During those interviews, there were some quotes that stood out. So it seems only fitting we take a glance back through the year at what was said.

ASHLEY MCCUBBIN

“We wanted to go down a different path. Jason Hathaway (and Ed Hakonson Racing) are an awesome team. They have a great group of guys. Hathaway is a championship driver. With his experience, I was hoping that he would help mentor me and he’s willing to take me under his wing, I look forward to learning from him.”

Brett Taylor on switching from Canada’s Best Racing Team to Ed Hakonson Racing mid-season.

ASHLEY MCCUBBIN

“I think the contact was pretty much as far as he was going to bring it. I think Andrew was driving like a driver with a championship to protect and a championship lead to take this weekend. I think that’s how he was driving and when you have a lot to lose and want to score points, you drive in a way to where his driving was as aggressive as he could do it. It also brought in a good finish, scored good points. So I think overall, he was fair with me.”

Alex Tagliani on battling Andrew Ranger for the win in Toronto.

ASHLEY MCCUBBIN

“The car was really good. 22 Racing gave me an awesome car. I feel bad because it’s solely my fault. I had a good restart on Alex and took the lead. Then after that, I just missed my braking point by a little bit and I lost it. It’s totally my fault, but I’ll take the blame on it and try to go out west and win them both.”

Marc-Antoine Camirand on his mistake late in the race in Toronto, backing the car into the wall while leading.

ASHLEY MCCUBBIN

I really think the series is very, very tough. You can say the top-10 can win any week so it’s fun to go there and you never know where you’re going to finish, but it’ll be a good fight to the end. All of the races are very important. What’s great about the series is we race across Canada, so we race in Toronto, in Quebec City, Nova Scotia, Edmonton and Saskatoon, so it’s awesome.

We have a lot of good fans no matter where we are. I don’t know how many thousands we have at Mosport (Canadian Tire Motorsports Park), Toronto, Trois-Riveres – but those are very important in racing in front of big crowds like that. I really like the series, and I think every year the series improves. I know we have a little bit of problem in having drivers at oval tracks, but little by little, I think they’re helping the drivers to find sponsors which is good.

Andrew Ranger on the current state of the NASCAR Pinty’s Series

ASHLEY MCCUBBIN

Well, I think honestly seeing the team with them being competitive week-in-week-out kind of rejuvenated, re-fired up what I had inside. It wasn’t like I didn’t race; I raced the pro late a bunch of races, so not like I was totally out of the seat. Just to have the opportunity to get back in with some sponsorship from Kobota, Choko, and Fast Eddie Racewear it was the right opportunity to get back in.

We talked to some different drivers through the winter time, but I still wanted to do this and I felt it was the right time to get put the band back together and go racing.

Jason Hathaway on why he returned to the series full-time in 2019

ASHLEY MCCUBBIN

“I think that helped starting the season off there and having some seat time at Phoenix in the Gander Outdoor Truck Series. I think that’s really helped my driving and I really think it’s broaden my own horizons a little bit to show what is in the tank that we hadn’t brought out before. Definitely makes you a better driver. Just being in a racecar more and more is good as it helps everything.”

Jason White on running some NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series races before the Pinty’s Series season started.

CANADA’S BEST RACING TEAM

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.

Anthony Simone on the toughest challenge of Canadian Tire Motorsports Park

ASHLEY MCCUBBIN

Well one, I am not getting any younger, and then we also have the plan – T.J. and myself – to market five teams in the future and that’ll be taking some of the younger kids up through, like a Treyten Lapcevich, and moving him up into the Pinty’s Series and upwards. Canada needs someone to run a good, full-funded team to get drivers south and that’s our goal.

Mark Dilley on why he chose 2019 to return to the series full-time

ASHLEY MCCUBBIN

“Super happy with my WeatherTech and Bellemare team. I think we had a tough race. We had engine problems at the beginning of the race. The team didn’t have any control on it, but they diagnosed it pretty quick and they told me it wouldn’t get better or worse, but we’d have to deal with it.

“We fought with it the whole race, but the car was so fast in the technical parts, which was awesome for us. A third for us is like a win this weekend. It’s really positive for the future, because we know we improved a lot, and that means the rest of this season will be more interesting.”

L.P. Dumoulin on his third-place finish in Toronto

Honestly, they’re so different. I feel there’s such a difference between road courses and ovals, it’s almost like which do you prefer – football or soccer? I look at them that way. I would probably say road courses.

Brett Taylor on whether he prefers road courses or ovals

ASHLEY MCCUBBIN

Well, I’ve done a lot and in Canada, this is the only series with the TV deal every weekend, which is good for sponsorship. We are always looking towards possibly going into the United States, and trying to do a couple starts in the Xfinity Series. But at the same time, it’s about the money and sponsorship. I’d prefer to stay here to run in Canada in the Pinty’s Series with a good sponsor, and try to run for the win every race.

Marc Antoine-Camirand

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @ladybug388

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.

Categories
News

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.

Categories
Home Tracks

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?

Categories
Home Tracks

Jason Hathaway Scores Emotional Victory in Final Trip to Saint-Eustache

It was a perfect weekend for Jason Hathaway.

After welcoming his son Maxson, early Friday morning, Hathaway promised he would bring a trophy home for his newborn son. Hathaway delivered on that promise in dominant fashion, winning the Lucas Oil 250 at Autodrome Saint-Eustache.

Similar to Hathaway’s first win of the season, it came down to a duel between himself and Kevin Lacroix. Taking the lead on Lap 166, Hathaway’s No.3 Kubota Canada Chevrolet held off all who challenged him and claimed his second win of 2019 and 11thof his career.

“It was a crazy weekend how it all turned out,” Hathaway said. “Had a baby boy early Friday morning, drove here on two hours sleep. Practiced Saturday and raced Sunday and we took home the trophy.”

Prior to today, Hathaway had a career best finish of fourth at Saint-Eustache, back in the 2010 season. With all that has happened in the Stouffville, Ontario driver’s life during the past 72 hours, this win is  one of Hathaway’s most special victories.

“This is one of those stories you could never line up even if you had to,” added Hathaway. “I promised my little guy that I had a trophy coming back to the crib when I get home, the boys delivered, it’s awesome.”

Hometown favourite, Kevin Lacroix will leave Saint-Eustache a happy man. Lacroix started on the provisional pole and led 42 laps en-route to a runner-up finish. The No.74 Bumper to Bumper team fought tooth and nail to get around Hathaway but in the end Lacroix would finish with a two point lead heading into Loudon.

“The goal today was to finish ahead of the No.27 [Ranger],” Lacroix said. “I was hoping to get closer to Jason to give him his Riverside bump, but he was too fast today.”

Lacroix, whose race shop is located five minute down the street from Saint-Eustache, scored his best career finish in the final kick of the can at his home track.

“Definitely happy for him [Hathaway], it was an awesome job,” Lacroix added. “But we are really happy with our second place today.”

Despite running around mid-pack all race long, Andrew Ranger turned on the jets in the in closing laps. Making a bold move to get around a dominant Alex Labbe, the Roxton Pond, Quebec driver would settle for his seventh podium finish of the season.

For Labbe’s No. 36 team, it had been a while since he had a truly dominant run. Leading 123 laps, Labbe would bring his Hotel Le Concorde Ford home in the fourth position for his fifth top five of the season. Donald Theetge would complete the top five.

D.J Kennington and LP Dumoulin would come home sixth and seventh, respectively.

Kerry Micks, Marc-Antoine Camirand and rookie Mathieu Kingsbury would round out the top ten.

Scott Steckly, who make his first start in four years, would come home 11th after subbing-in for an ill Alex Tagliani.

Fans can catch the Lucas Oil 250 on TSN – Saturday, Sept. 14, 3:30 p.m, and RDS2 – Sunday, Sept. 29, 1:30 p.m.

The NASCAR Pinty’s Series will be back in action on Saturday September 22nd for the only stop south of the border, the Visit New Hampshire 100 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.

Categories
Home Tracks

Rain Washes Out Lucas Oil 250 to Sunday

SAINT-EUSTACHE, Que — Following on and off rain showers in the area, qualifying for the Lucas Oil 250 at Autodrome Saint-Eustache has been washed out.

The 17-car field was able to get a full practice session in before the rain fell, the field will be set as per the NASCAR rulebook.

Saint-Eustache, Quebec native Kevin Lacroix will start from the top spot as he was quickest in practice. Alex Labbe will start second with LP Dumoulin third. Jason Hathaway and Kerry Micks will round out the top five.

With the track set to close at the end of 2019, all 17 drivers will be looking for the coveted final win.

Rain also caused the race to be delayed a day. Per the updated schedule, the green flag will drop Sunday at 12:55 p.m.

Categories
News

Kevin Lacroix Caps off Perfect Weekend with Fifth CTMP Win

BOWMANVILLE, Ont — Kevin Lacroix left Riverside International Speedway last week feeling like he had let one get away. After leading the most laps, including the white flag lap, Lacroix lost to Jason Hathaway in a thrilling overtime finish.

This week, Lacroix came into a track he knows well –  Canadian Tire Motorsports Park – looking to jumpstart his title hopes.  Lacroix put together a ‘perfect’ weekend, taking the pole award before winning the TOTAL Quartz 200 in heart pounding fashion.

“We were pretty much shaken after the race [Riverside] for points” Lacroix said.  And now we’re here [CTMP] and we had the chance to make a perfect weekend, that was the plan, thats what happened so we’re really happy.”

Lacroix’s led the first 20 laps in his No.74 Bumper to Bumper Dodge before calamity struck. Lacroix made an unscheduled pit stop, pushing him down the order and over 10 seconds back from the leaders.

The Saint-Eustache, Quebec driver took advantage of restarts to fight his way up to front. A late race accident set a up a NASCAR Overtime finish, which Lacroix took perfect advantage of. Lacroix’s win, coupled with trouble for points leader Andrew Ranger has the pair tied atop the standings with three races to go.

“Andrew Ranger had some bad luck and it ties us heading into the next three races. That’s going to be an exciting end of the season” Lacroix added “We’re really looking forward to the last few races, I’m really confident but I know Andrew is going be good there too so we have to keep up.”

Alex Tagliani had dominated the middle portion of the event leading 24 laps. In NASCAR overtime it was a two-man fight. Like countless Trucks and Pinty’s races past, Lacroix made his move in the infamous turn 10. Diving to the inside, Lacroix muscled his way by the Rona/EpiPen Chevrolet to claim his fifth CTMP victory, sweeping both events for the second time in his career.

In a post-race act of displeasure, Tagliani hit the door of the No.74 forcing him into the grass. No further altercations occurred post race.

In the ensuing dust cloud, Marc-Antoine Camirand was able to sneak through and claim his first podium of 2019. Camirand’s No. 22 GM Paille Chevrolet equals his best CTMP finish that he scored last May.

“I’m just happy to be back on the podium,” Camirand said. “It was a crazy race, we battled for the lead all race long and on the last restart when Kevin was in third place, I knew he was going to push hard to pass Alex and I let them go.”

For his second road course race in a row, JF Dumoulin found himself on the podium. Leading a lap and running clean all race long, Dumoulin snuck by Tagliani in the final corner to claim his fourth career podium.

Despite having the lead taken away in the final curve, Tagliani was able to hold on for a fourth-place finish. CBRT’s Anthony Simone would score his best finish of the season in fifth.

Jason Hathaway and D.J Kennington were sixth and seventh, respectively.

Simon Dion-Viens rebounded after a mid-race spin to finish eighth. Points leader Andrew Ranger blew a right rear tire after contact with the No.20 of Raymond Guay, Ranger would come home ninth. Julia Landauer was involved in a crash with Chandler Smith, suffering heavy rear-end damage Landauer would complete the top ten on the lead lap.

Fans can catch the race on TSN, Sunday, September. 1 at 1:30 p.m. and on RDS2 – Friday, September. 20 at 10 p.m. The NASCAR Pinty’s Series will be back in action Saturday September 7 for the Lucas Oil 250, the final NASCAR race at Autodrome Saint-Eustache.

Categories
News

Jason Hathaway Survives Chaotic Overtime Finish for Riverside Win

ANTIGONISH, N.S. — When Jason Hathaway returned to the NASCAR Pinty’s Series full-time, he had one goal in mind – win.

Hathaway accomplished his goal in dramatic fashion, winning the Bumper to Bumper 300 at Riverside International Speedway in a thrilling overtime finish.

For the third year in a row, Kevin Lacroix had the car to beat. He dominated the race, leading 195 laps and appearing all but untouchable. Despite the sizeable lead, Hathaway and D.J Kennington closed in lap after lap.

A pair of late race cautions set up a thrilling pair of restarts. Hathaway’s No.3 Kubota Canada/Choko Chevrolet was given the ‘chrome horn’ by Lacroix once the green flag dropped for the two-lap overtime shootout.

The Appin, Ontario driver repaid the favour in the exact same corner, this time on the white flag lap. The contact sent Lacroix up the track and into the side of Andrew Ranger.

Hathaway held on for his 10th career win and first since the 2016 season finale at Kawartha Speedway.

“That was really crazy. I wasn’t even sure we were going to get the lead, Kevin was really good,” said Hathaway. “It was a battle, Lacroix got into the back of me in turn three and four and I paid him back in one and two. I was expecting it and I’m sure he was expecting it too.”

“It’s a good way to get a win,” continued Hathaway. “Ed Hakonson’s 70th birthday; car owner and father-in-law, so I gotta keep him happy.”

D.J Kennington led 20 laps and managed to sneak through the last lap wreck for a runner-up finish. The two-time champion had two prior wins at Riverside and was in position for a third until losing the lead Hathaway on Lap 289.  The No.17 Castrol Edge team would celebrate their second podium in five races.

“The restarts were really crazy. One way to sum it up, it sucks if you were on the outside, you just couldn’t get a run,” said Kennington. “We’re looking better every week, we’re knocking on the door and we’ll get back to Victory Lane by the end of this season, I’m sure.”

The last lap fracas enabled Alex Tagliani to score a surprise podium finish, in third. The Rona/EpiPen team found themselves stuck in the pack during the final restart. The contact between Lacroix and Hathaway enabled Tagliani to sneak through and bring his relatively clean No.18 home for his third podium of the season.

LP Dumoulin’s race was eventful to say the least. After suffering a mechanical problem just before the halftime break, Dumoulin fought back for a fourth-place finish. Alex Labbe, who also suffered mechanical issues, rounded out the top five.

Championship contenders Lacroix and Ranger were sixth and seventh, respectively. Ranger’s points lead drops to 11 points heading into next week’s race.

Mark Dilley, pole sitter Donald Chisholm and Marc-Antoine Camirand rounded out the top ten.

The Bumper to Bumper 300 will air on TSN on Saturday, August 24 at 1:30 p.m. and RDS2 on Friday, September 13 at 10:30 p.m.

The NASCAR Pinty’s Series will be back Sunday, August 25 for the TOTAL Quartz 200 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Categories
Home Tracks

PREVIEW: Bumper to Bumper 300 at Riverside International Speedway

There may be 13 races on the NASCAR Pinty’s Series calendar, but the Bumper to Bumper 300 at Riverside International Speedway always seems to play a big role in deciding the champion. The past three years, the eventual driver to hoist the crown at the season finale visited victory lane in Nova Scotia.

L.P. Dumoulin knows that feeling all too well, as he dominated last year’s event en route to winning the series championship. He enters this weekend with momentum on his side, after the Les 50 Tours Hotel Le Concorde at Circuit de Trois-Rivieres. Another dominant run would go a long way, as he enters this weekend ranked third in the standings, 20 points behind.

As he has done most of the season, Andrew Ranger holds down the top spot in the series standings despite coming up eighth at Circuit de Trois-Rivieres. Though being one of two drivers to score a top-10 in each event, aided by three victories, it allowed him to hold the advantage. In nine starts at Riverside, he has visited victory lane once (2009) and scored five top-five’s, including a fifth and fourth the past two years.

Kevin Lacroix enters the weekend ranked second in the standings, just 14 points behind Ranger following a fourth-place finish on the streets of Quebec. The french driver has finished in the top-10 in each of his three starts at Riverside, highlighted by a runner-up to Alex Labbe in 2017.

Labbe could use another trip to victory lane as a rebound after scoring an 18th-place finish in Quebec after being involved in a crash. His return to the NASCAR Pinty’s Series hasn’t been all that spectacular, with just three top-five finishes in eight races. As noted, he knows his way around Riverside, virtue of the win and the best average finish (fifth) of active drivers.

Another driver you have to consider for the win outside of the points battle should the trend change is Mark Dilley. Statistically, he has the second-best average finish (5.9) of active drivers in the series, and won in Nova Scotia back in 2007. Despite finishing 18th in his last trip out east, he had posted a top-10 in each of his 11 prior starts at Riverside. Like Labbe, the return to full-time competition hasn’t treated the Micks Motorsports driver well, with no top-fives this season. His best finish, though, was sixth at Autodrome Chaudiere.

22 Racing has been very vocal about their struggles on the ovals, and that was on full display when the Pinty’s Series headed out east with Alex Tagliani scoring no top-five’s in those three races after winning on the streets on Toronto. As a result, he currently sits fourth in the standings, 37 points behind Ranger. Coming off a runner-up at Trois-Rivieres, a podium performance at Riverside could help give the team momentum as they look towards 2020.

On the flip side, D.J. Kennington has shown his capabilities on the ovals this year, virtue of a runner-up while at Wyant Group Raceway in Saskatoon. He also enters this weekend at Riverside with momentum following a fifth-place finish on the streets of Quebec. The Nova Scotia oval has treated him well in the past, with a pair of thirds the past two years to go with eight top-five’s in 12 starts.

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER:@ladybug388

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.

Categories
News

LP Dumoulin Claims Emotional GP3R Victory

Trois-Rivières, Que – There’s no telling when the party will end in Trois Rivieres tonight.

In the 50th running of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières, and the 50th year of Dumoulin family racing, hometown hero LP Dumoulin grabbed perhaps the biggest win of his career.  To make it even sweeter, he was surrounded by his family from start to finish.

Prior to the race, family patriarch Richard Dumoulin paced the field in the car he raced during the first GP3R. JF Dumoulin finished third, joining LP on the podium for the first time in their NASCAR Pinty’s Series career.

“There’s no way to describe the feeling,” LP Dumoulin said. “I’m on the podium with my brother JF in front of all our family and friends.”

Dumoulin’s No.47 Weathertech Canada/Bellemare Dodge was locked in a fierce late race battle with Alex Tagliani with the laps winding down. The two-time champion needed help, and it came when T.J. Rinomato spun with five laps to go, causing Tagliani to run wide and allowing Dumoulin to steal the lead.

“It’s perfect. My team has worked so hard to give me a great car all season long and we proved once again that we are capable of winning on both ovals and road courses,” LP Dumoulin said. “In the end, we caught a little bit of traffic and that helped me pass Tagliani, we set some quick laps and we won.”

It was the second win for Dumoulin at his home track, and ninth of his career.

Tagliani who was in prime position to score his third straight at GP3R win, finished second. The Lachanaie, Quebec driver took the lead on Lap 20 after Andrew Ranger came down to pit. Tagliani would go on to lead 25 laps en-route to his second podium of the season.

“It was a great finish for our sponsors,” Tagliani said. “Unfortunately, we were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. There was a spin and we took evasive action through the marbles and second place was able to take advantage of it.”

The elder Dumoulin, JF, mounted a hard charge late in the race to catch the leaders. JF’s No.04 Spectra Premium Dodge, shifted to a part-time schedule in 2019, but had this race circled on his calendar. In the end, the Trois-Rivères, Quebec driver would ultimately tie his best career finish in third and scoring his third career podium in the process.

“It’s awesome. It’s our first podium at Trois-Rivières in the Pinty’s Series,” he said. “I’ve been fourth a lot of times, so I’m really excited to be up on the podium with my brother. It’s a great day for us and our sponsors.”

Kevin Lacroix came into Les 50 Tours Hotel Le Concorde trailing Ranger by 18 points. Lacroix started from the outside of the front row and would lead the first 15 laps, before being hit with a penalty after taking his fuel can out of the pit box. Lacroix’s N0. 74 would eventually fight his way all the way up to fourth. D.J. Kennington completed the top five finishers.

Jason Hathaway and Raphael Lessard were sixth and seventh respectively.

After leading four laps, Ranger would end up finishing eighth. Ranger will now carry a 14-point lead over Lacroix heading into Riverside next week.

Simon Dion-Viens and Donald Theetge rounded out the rest of the top-10 finishers.

The NASCAR Pinty’s Series will now continue on their run of three races in three weeks this August. The Series will be back in action next Saturday, August 17 for the Bumper to Bumper 300 at Riverside Speedway before finishing the month off at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.