In September 2006, NASCAR announced the purchase of Canada’s premier stock car series - CASCAR.
They also revealed a long-term sponsorship agreement with the Canadian Tire Corporation.
This signaled a new era for professional stock car racing in Canada.
The season kicked off in late May at Cayuga Speedway. The opening round was followed by races at Mosport International Raceway, Barrie Speedway and Autodrome Saint-Eustache. The teams then traveled west competing at Sun Valley Speedway in British Columbia and the Edmonton City Center Airport. In August, the series made its second visit to Quebec with an event at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Round seven was another weekend at Mosport but this time it was on the oval which was followed by Circuit Trois Rivieres, Quebec. The championship returned to Cayuga and Barrie in early September. The penultimate round was at Riverside Speedway in Nova Scotia with the finale being held at Kawartha Speedway. There was a total of thirteen race weekends in five different provinces.
The first season included many of the teams that had previously participated in the CASCAR series and some new faces. The switch to NASCAR also meant changes to event procedures, technical inspections and the cars. In 2008, there weren’t many changes to the rules. The two most significant were an increase in the number of available transmission options a team could use and standardized installation of colour coded wiring for the series technical officials.
The series cars are a constructed using a steel tube frame design covered with a fiberglass body and are required to weigh no less than 3000-lbs without the driver. Eligible body styles are the Dodge (Avenger and Charger), Ford (Taurus), Pontiac (Grand Prix) and Chevrolet (Monte Carlo SS). Engine displacement which can range from 350-360-cu.in. is dictated by the make and model of the vehicle. The carbureted eight-cylinder motors produce approximately 550-horsepower at 6,500-rpm and depending on gearing can achieve a speed of 160-mph.
Round nine of the 2008 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series took place on the eleven-turn 1.530-mile Circuit de Trois-Rivieres in the 40th running of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres.
|Andrew Ranger won the inaugural NASCAR Canadian Tire championship and was looking to repeat, however, he didn’t score his first win until midway through the season at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Ranger entered Trois-Rivieres fourth in the standings. He qualified seventh but when the leaders tangled late in the race, Ranger inherited the lead and grabbed the victory. This result moved him to third in the title chase.|
|Three wins in the first four events meant that Scott Steckly had been in the points lead since round one. At Trois-Rivieres, Steckly qualified the No. 22 Dodge Avenger fifth. On lap-29, he passed the race leader, J.R. Fitzpatrick and opened a comfortable gap. However, a late race caution bunched the field. On the restart, Fitzpatrick made contact with Steckly allowing Andrew Ranger to take the lead – Steckly finished second.|
|J.R. Fitzpatrick won race two at the Mosport road course driving the Fitzpatrick Motorsports Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS. Since then his results were mixed, however, he qualified on the pole at Trois-Rivieres. Fitzpatrick led the first twenty-eight laps before being passed by Scott Steckly. He saw an opportunity to pass Steckly on the last restart but the two made contact. Fitzpatrick lost three positions and finished fifth.|
|Jason Hathaway’s best result to date was a seventh at Edmonton. At Trois-Rivieres, Hathaway qualified eighth but was in fourth place when the race went green for the final time. The incident between the leaders allowed him to pass J.R. Fitzpatrick take third at the checkered flag. This was quite an accomplishment for Hathaway as he is recognized as an expert on the ovals not the road courses.|
|On the same weekend as the Trois-Rivieres event, D.J. Kennington was competing in the NASCAR Nationwide race at Michigan International Speedway. After a drive through the night, Kennington arrived at the track but was forced to start at the rear of the grid (twenty-sixth position). An excellent drive through the field netted him a fourth place. (He finished twenty-ninth at Michigan.)|
|Entering the Trois-Rivieres round Don Thomson, Jr. had four poles but was only able to convert one of them into a victory (Sun Valley Speedway). At Trois-Rivieres, he trailed the championship leader, Scott Steckly by 96-points - a good result would tighten the title chase. Thomson qualified fourth, unfortunately, he finished two-laps behind the leaders in fourteenth place – now 113-points behind Steckly.|
|The No. 7 Dave Jacombs prepared Ford Fusion was driven by open-wheel veteran Alex Tagliani. In 2007, Tagliani entered two NASCAR Canadian Tire races but retired from both. This year, he made a more significant commitment to the series – Trois-Rivieres was his ninth event of the season. Tagliani was third fastest in qualifying but fell out of contention and finished in eighteenth place.|
|This season, the local favourite, J.F. Dumoulin’s made his only series start at the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivieres. In 2007, he qualified seventeenth and finished tenth. Driving the No. 07 Pontiac Grand Prix with sponsorship from Group Bellemare, Dumoulin qualified twenty-second in the twenty-eight car field. His years of experience at the track paid off during the race as he finished seventh.|
|FINISH||START||DRIVERS||SPONSOR / CAR||LAPS||RETIREMENTS|
|1||7||Andrew Ranger||WAL-MART/Tide / Ford Fusion||46||-|
|2||5||Scott Steckly||Erb Group/Tow Truck in a Box / Dodge Avenger||46||-|
|3||8||Jason Hathaway||Snap-on Tools/Super 8 / Dodge Avenger||46||-|
|4||26||D.J. Kennington||Haldex/Castrol / Dodge Avenger||46||-|
|5||1||J.R. Fitzpatrick||Fitzpatrick Motorsports / Chevrolet Impala SS||46||-|
|6||15||Jim Lapcevich||Tim Hortons / Chevrolet Impala SS||46||-|
|7||22||J.F. Dumoulin||Maskimo/Bellemare / Pontiac Grand Prix||46||-|
|8||28||Didier Schraenen||Can-Am BRP/Energie 94.3/RDS / Chevrolet Impala SS||46||-|
|9||2||Kerry Micks||Beyond Digital Imaging / Ford Fusion||46||-|
|10||21||John Gaunt||Centennial Chrysler / Dodge Avenger||46||-|
|11||16||Brad Graham||Full Throttle/Logel's/Challenger / Dodge Avenger||45||-|
|12||10||Peter Gibbons||Canadian Tire/Mobil Super / Ford Fusion||44||-|
|13||17||Peter Klutt||Legendary Motorcar/G-Force / Pontiac Grand Prix||44||-|
|14||4||Don Thomson, Jr.||Home Hardware / Chevrolet Impala SS||44||-|
|15||23||Andre Coursol||Carquest Canada / Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS||44||-|
|16||25||David Thorndyke||Thorsons EVT / Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS||44||-|
|17||20||Jason White||A&W/Zimmer-Wheaton GMC / Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS||43||-|
|18||3||Alex Tagliani||Wal-Mart/Ubisoft / Ford Fusion||42||-|
|19||18||Kent Nuhn||Interstate Batteries / Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS||39||-|
|20||6||Mark Dilley||Dodge/Leland Industries / Dodge Avenger||26||Rear End|
|21||9||Dave Whitlock||Dickies/NMT / Dodge Avenger||23||Off Track|
|22||11||Ron Beauchamp, Jr.||Mopar/Mobil 1 / Dodge Avenger||22||Off Track|
|23||14||Derek Lynch||Allied Steel Buildings/Canadian Shield / Dodge Avenger||20||-|
|24||27||Robin Buck||Active Green+Ross / Ford Fusion||13||Clutch|
|25||13||Pierre Bourque||Mohawk Internet Technologies / Dodge Avenger||12||Off Track|
|26||19||Dave Connelly||Samsung / Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS||6||Suspension|
|27||12||Anthony Simone||Crown Modular/Sign-A-Rama / Chevrolet Monte Carol SS||2||Off Track|
|28||24||Jarrad Whissell||SMS Equipment/Komatsu / Ford Fusion||0||Clutch|
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