The big news for the 2016 Canadian NASCAR series was Pinty’s Delicious Foods replacing Canadian Tire after nine seasons as the title sponsor. There were also some newsworthy items in 2017. The first was the appointment of Cherie Putnam as Series Director. Putnam was the first woman in Canada and only the second female to oversee a NASCAR division. Also, the series would be implementing the Overtime Line similar to the procedure used in NASCAR’s top divisions. Finally, there would be group qualifying as opposed to a single car on track during time trials. The groups would be determined by practice times.

For the most part, the series schedule mirrored that of 2016. For the sixth straight year, the title chase started on the Victoria Day Weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) – there would be a second event held in September with the NASCAR Trucks. The title chase would end in September at Kawartha Speedway. New for 2017, was a return to Delaware Speedway after a three-year hiatus. Delaware replaced Sunset Speedway on the calendar. For the first time, two races would be held on the same day. The event called, the Velocity Prairie Thunder Twin 100s would be contested at Wyant Group Raceway. In all, the series would visit eleven tracks in five provinces.

The cars competing in the championship are constructed to specifications and rules common to most stock car series. The chassis is a steel tube frame design covered with a fiberglass body and is required to weigh no less than 3000-lbs. Body styles are from manufacturers such as Dodge (Avenger, Challenger and Charger), Ford (Fusion) and Chevrolet (Monte Carlo and Impala SS). Engine type and displacement are dictated by the make and model of the vehicle. The carbureted eight-cylinder motors produce approximately 650-horsepower. Depending on the gearing, these cars are estimated to have a top speed of 160-mph.

The NASCAR Pinty’s Series returned to Delaware Speedway after an absence of four years. Drivers would compete on the half-mile oval for 250-laps in The Choko/Fast Eddie 250.

The start of round two of the 2017 NASCAR Pinty’s series and eighteen starters prepare to take the green flag. On the pole is former series champion, Andrew Ranger in a Dodge Challenger and next to him in another Dodge is the season’s first winner, Kevin Lacroix. Behind the front row are the Ford Fusions of Steve Matthews and Alex Labbe.
At the end of practice, Alex Labbe was mid-pack. Some changes to the car before qualifying moved the No. 32 Can-Am/Kappa Ford Fusion up the time sheets and Labbe started fourth. During the race, Labbe battled with the leaders and as the contest continued, his car got better. On lap-214, he passed Alex Tagliani and moved into first place. Despite a late caution period, he pulled away from the field and won by a margin of 1.924-seconds.
The winner of the series opener, Kevin Lacroix shared the front row with the pole-sitter, Andrew Ranger. At the start of the race, Lacroix moved the Bumper to Bumper Dodge into first place and led laps-1 to 99. He lost the lead during the first pit-stop but moved back out front on lap-163. However, Lacroix could not maintain the pace of the leaders and finished fifth. He earned bonus points for leading the most laps and maintained the points lead.
In 2016, Larry Jackson finished third at Sunset Speedway which was his career best in NASCAR competition. Jackson’s performance at Delaware Speedway would be at the opposite end of the spectrum. Along with Donald Theetge, he would be one of the first casualties of the race. On lap-2, the caution was out after Jackson and Theetge had an incident on the front stretch. Damage was to both cars was severe and they were the first two retirements.
Based on their times in practice, drivers were placed into one of four qualifying groups. Andrew Ranger was in the second fastest group but in qualifying the driver of the No. 27 Mopar/Pennzoil Dodge recorded the fastest lap. During the contest, Ranger followed leader Kevin Lacroix but lost a lap mid-race for a pit road infraction. He was carving his way through the field but Ranger was involved in the Steve Matthews incident and finished one lap down in sixth place.
The defending series champion, Cayden Lapcevich had reason to be optimistic after recording the second quickest time in practice. But in qualifying, the driver of the No. 76 Dodge set a time that left him mid-pack. During the race, Lapcevich moved up to third but he was first out of the pits after the caution. Unfortunately, any chances for a victory ended on lap-169 when Steve Matthews hit the front stretch wall and slid into Lapcevich.
Indy Car veteran, Alex Tagliani was sixth quickest in practice and started in the fifth position. It wasn’t long before Tagliani was running with the lead pack and he took first place on lap-131 for thirty-one circuits. He moved to the head on the field again on lap-190 but could not hold off the hard-charging Alex Labbe and was in second place at the checkered flag.
D.J. Kennington had three NASCAR wins at Delaware Speedway. Kennington had done some pre-season testing and it showed when he set the fastest time in practice. After qualifying, the Castrol Edge Dodge was gridded seventh. During the race, Kennington could do no better than second place and lap-194 he was passed by eventual winner Alex Labbe. At the conclusion of 250-laps, Kennington was in third place.
The NASCAR Pinty’s podium at Delaware Speedway. On the left is the second place finisher Alex Tagliani and at the right, is the local competitor, D.J. Kennington. Between these two is the winner, Alex Labbe. This was Labbe’s second series victory. His first came last year at Autodrome Chaudiere.

FINISHSTARTDRIVERSPONSOR / CARLAPSRETIREMENTS
14Alex LabbeCan-Am/Kappa / Ford Fusion250-
25Alex TaglianiEpiPen/Lowe’s / Dodge Challenger250-
37D.J. KenningtonCastrol Edge / Dodge Challenger250-
416L.P. DumoulinWeatherTech Canada / Dodge250-
52Kevin LacroixBumper to Bumper/Total / Dodge250-
61Andrew RangerMopar / Dodge Challenger249-
715J.F. DumoulinSpectra Premium / Dodge248-
814Jason WhiteHal-Nor Plumbing / Chevrolet243-
910Adam MartinJohnsonville / Ford Fusion240-
1013Jason HathawayKubota/Fast Eddie / Dodge237-
1117Armani WilliamsRace4Autism / Dodge237-
129Cayden LapcevichFastline Motorsports / Dodge203-
136Noel DowlerEMCO/MFP/Rheem / Dodge188Rear Axle
143Steve MathewsBill Mathews Motors / Ford Fusion169Accident
1511Mark DilleyLeland/Dickies / Ford Fusion133Differential
1618Anthony SimoneInnovative P. & M. / Dodge102Differential
1712Larry JacksonCBRT/Piloti / Ford Fusion2Accident
188Donald TheetgeCircuit Acura/Le Soliet / Dodge1Accident

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