2018 marks the twelfth season for the Canadian NASCAR championship. Pinty’s Delicious Foods continues to be the series title sponsor.
In the off-season, there was a significant change in the race format for most venues.
The biggest news for 2018 was that races would be split into three segments. Optional pit-stops are permitted between the segments. Not pitting will give drivers at the rear of the field an opportunity to improve their track position. The events at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and the finale at Jukasa Motor Speedway will be exempt from segment races. This new procedure is implemented to reduce expenses as teams will not be required to employ as many crew members.
For the most part, the series schedule mirrored that of 2017. For the seventh straight year, the title chase kicked-off 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 championship would end in September at Jukasa Motor Speedway. The changes to this season’s schedule included – Jukasa replacing the June Delaware Speedway date and for the first time in the series history competitors would race south of the border at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. In all, the racers would visit ten different tracks in five provinces and one state.
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 (Challenger and Charger), Ford (Fusion) and Chevrolet (Camaro and Impala SS). Engine type and displacement are dictated by the make and model of the vehicle. The carbureted eight-cylinder motors produce approximately 550-horsepower. Depending on the gearing, these cars are estimated to have a top speed of 160-mph.
Round two of the 2018 NASCAR Pinty’s Series was held at Jukasa Motor Speedway. Drivers would be racing around the 5/8-mile semi-banked oval for 200-laps in the Rankin Construction 200. A late race caution caused the event to go into overtime and competitors completed an additional six-laps.
For the first time in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series the race was split into three segments. Optional pit-stops were permitted between the segments. Not pitting gave drivers at the rear of the field track position.
|A field of eighteen drivers line-up in preparation for the Starter’s green flag. On the pole is Andrew Ranger driving the No. 27 Mopar sponsored Dodge. Sharing the front row with Ranger is Donald Theetge who came very close to winning last year’s event at Jukasa Motor Speedway. Behind the front row are third and fourth fastest qualifiers – newcomer, Cole Powell and last season’s runner-up, Kevin Lacroix.|
|After finishing second in last year’s championship, Kevin Lacroix is the ‘odds-on favourite’ to win the 2018 title. At Canadian Tire Motorsport Park it appeared that he would take the victory but contact with Andrew Ranger on the last lap resulted in a fifth-place finish. At Jukasa Motor Speedway, Lacroix would not be denied and led 128 of the 206-lap race. This would be the first oval win for the former open-wheel racer.|
|Oval racer, Cole Powell finished a respectable sixth in round one at CTMP. At Jukasa Motor Speedway, Powell was able to showcase his talent driving the Ed Hakinson owned Chevrolet Camaro. In practice, he was fourth quickest and qualified third. During the race, Powell passed the pole-sitter, Andrew Ranger and led for 67-laps before surrendering first place to the winner, Kevin Lacroix – he took the runner-up spot.|
|Alex Tagliani’s championship hopes got off to a poor start a Canadian Tire Motorsport Park when the suspension failed on the Epipen sponsored Chevrolet Camaro. At Jukasa Motor Speedway, he was back on form. Tagliani started in the sixth grid position and was able to maintain contact with the contenders during the event. Although he was not able to lead a lap, Tagliani managed a third-place finish.|
|Quebec racer, Marc-Antoine Camirand is slated to run the full schedule this season. Since 2016, his appearances have only been at road course events. As result, the Jukasa Motor Speedway round would be Camirand’s first oval race in a couple of years. He got up to speed quickly driving the Scott Steckly prepared Chevrolet Camaro. Camirand was eighth quickest in the final practice session, started fifth and finished fourth.|
|After a winless streak that lasted forty races, L.P. Dumoulin stood on the top step of the podium in race one at CTMP. Driving the No. 47 Dodge with backing from WeatherTech Canada, Dumoulin was the ninth fastest qualifier at Jukasa Motor Speedway. During the race, a flat tire on lap-140 and a penalty for jumping the restart took out of contention. Dumoulin finished seventh and dropped to second in the standings.|
|Until the final corner on the white flag lap of last year’s Jukasa Motor Speedway event it appeared that Donald Theetge would capture his first NASCAR Pinty’s Series victory. A ‘bump and run’ by Cayden Lapcevich resulted in a second place finish for Theegte. Looking for redemption, he qualified on the outside of the front row. Unfortunately, he had an accident on lap-95 and retired from the race.|
|An aggressive move for first place on the final lap at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park resulted in a penalty for Andrew Ranger – he was classified twelfth. At Jukasa Motor Speedway, the two-time series champion put the No. 27 Mopar Dodge on the pole and led the first eleven-laps of the race. However, contact late in the event resulted in flat and took Ranger out of contention and he still managed a fifth-place finish.|
|The NASCAR Pinty’s Series podium for round two at Jukasa Motor Speedway. On the right is the runner-up, Cole Powell. To the left is the driver of the Epipen/Rona Chevrolet Camaro who captured the last spot on the podium, Alex Tagliani. And, between these two is first-time oval winner, Kevin Lacroix who became the new point’s leader.|
|FINISH||START||DRIVER||SPONSOR / CAR||LAPS||RETIREMENTS|
|1||4||Kevin Lacroix||Bumper to Bumper/Total / Chevrolet||206||-|
|2||3||Cole Powell||Kubota/Fast Eddie Racewear / Chevrolet||206||-|
|3||6||Alex Tagliani||EpiPen/Rona / Chevrolet||206||-|
|4||5||Marc-Antoine Camirand||GM Paille / Chevrolet||206||-|
|5||1||Andrew Ranger||Mopar/Pennzoil / Dodge Challenger||206||-|
|6||7||D.J. Kennington||Castrol Edge / Dodge Challenger||206||-|
|7||9||L.P. Dumoulin||WeatherTech Canada / Dodge||206||-|
|8||12||Noah Gragson||iRacing.com / Dodge||206||-|
|9||10||Pete Shepherd III||National Exhaust / Ford Fusion||206||-|
|10||11||Connor James||Auto Trim of Barrie / Dodge||206||-|
|11||17||Jason White||Powdered Ventures Exc. / Chevrolet||206||-|
|12||13||Adam Martin||Johnsonville / Ford Fusion||203||-|
|13||8||Anthony Simone||Innovative P. & M. / Dodge||183||-|
|14||16||Brad Graham||B&B Decals / Chevrolet||160||Electrical|
|15||14||J.F. Dumoulin||Spectra Premium / Dodge||149||Suspension|
|16||2||Donald Theetge||Mercedes-Benz St. Nicolas / Chevrolet||95||Accident|
|17||18||Joey McColm||CBRT / Dodge||71||Suspension|
|18||15||Kerry Micks||LeLand/BDI / Ford Fusion||32||Engine|
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