2019 marks the thirteenth season for the Canadian NASCAR championship.
Pinty’s Delicious Foods continues to be the series title sponsor.
There were a couple of newsworthy stories for 2019. One of them was the addition of live streaming. TSN and TSN Direct subscribers will be able to watch six NASCAR Pinty’s Series races live on tsn.ca and the TSN App. In other news, the 2017 champion, Alex Labbe would return to the series after a year of competing in the NASCAR XFINITY championship. Labbe would team up with Dave Jacombs who guided him to his 2017 title. Also, coming back was perennial front runner, Jason Hathaway in the Ed Hakonson Chevrolet raced last year by Cole Powell. And finally, on the driver front, Mark Dilley will return to full-time competition for the first time since 2011. Lastly, the cars would be fitted with General Tires replacing Goodyears, which were the spec supplier since the series inception in 2007.
The series schedule mirrored that of 2018. For the ninth straight year, the title chase kicked-off on the Victoria Day Weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Following Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, the series would travel to the ovals at Jukasa Motor Speedway and Autodrome Chaudiere. July would be a busy month with teams competing on the temporary street course at Toronto’s Exhibition Place. They would also be making their annual western Canada trip with a doubleheader at Wyant Group Raceway in Saskatchewan and Alberta’s Edmonton International Raceway. Returning to the east, drivers would be racing at Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Riverside International Raceway in Nova Scotia, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Autodrome St. Eustache. For the second consecutive year, the penultimate round would be held south of the border at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The championship would end in September at Jukasa 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.
Since 2007, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) has hosted more NASCAR Pinty’s races than any other track. The first event of 2019, the Clarington 200, would be fifty-one laps (201.8 kilometers) around the ten-turn 2.459-mile road course.
|The pole-sitter, Gary Klutt leads a field of twenty-three-starters through corner two for round one of the 2019 NASCAR Pinty’s Series. Behind Klutt is the Dodge of the other front row starter, Kevin Lacroix. Trailing Lacroix are 22 Racing teammates and the third and fourth fastest qualifiers, Alex Tagliani and Marc-Antoine Camirand in Chevrolets. Following these two is the series two-time champion and last year’s runner-up, Andrew Ranger.|
|Entering this year’s Clarington 200 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Kevin Lacroix had three wins at the historic road course. Lacroix owned the track record until this year’s qualifying session. Although he beat his old time by 0.368-seconds, it was not good enough to capture the pole. During the contest, Lacroix was in contention. With two laps to go, he passed the leader, Andrew Ranger and went on the earn his eleventh career victory.|
|At last season’s race, two-time series champion, Andrew Ranger attempted an aggressive pass on the leader, Kevin Lacroix which failed miserably. Ranger was second at the checkered flag but was penalized ten-positions for his actions and finished twelfth. This year, he was in first place with two laps remaining in the contest but was unable to hold Kevin Lacroix. Lacroix pulled away and Ranger finished 0.555-seconds behind the winner.|
|Alex Tagliani had an inauspicious start to the 2018 season. While contending for the victory his Camaro’s suspension broke relegating him to a fourteenth-place finish. There was a reason to be optimistic this year as he was quick in practice and qualifying and won last years second event at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Unfortunately, a poorly executed pass on lap-2 by his teammate, Marc-Antoine Camirand took him out of contention.|
|Topping the timesheet in practice and bettering the existing track record was Marc-Antoine Camirand. In last year’s event, the driver of the No. 22 Chevrolet Camaro finished in the runner-up spot. Camirand’s performance slipped in qualifying and he was fourth quickest. Early in the race a failed attempt to pass Alex Tagliani resulted in damage to the Camaro. On the final lap, Camirand crashed at turn four when his throttle stuck.|
|The 2015 race winner, Gary Klutt set a new lap record in qualifying - bettering Kevin Lacroix’s old mark by 0.559-seconds. During the race, Klutt ran with the front runners – leading the first nine laps of the contest. He used the same strategy as the race winner, Kevin Lacroix, which was to take new tires late in the event. The plan kept him in touch with the leaders but Klutt could not maintain the pace of Lacroix and Ranger – he finished third.|
|One of the stories for the upcoming season was the return of series veteran, Jason Hathaway. Hathaway’s record includes a second-place finish in the 2015 title chase and eight series victories including a win at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2015. With backing from Kubota, he drove the No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro owned by Ed Hakonson. After starting ninth and some contact during the event, Hathaway finished fifth.|
|A new season and another opportunity for the defending series champion to become the first driver to win back-to-back titles. This year the competitor attempting to make history would be L.P. Dumoulin the driver of the No. 47 WeatherTech Canada sponsored Dodge. Dumoulin got his weekend off to a good start by recording the seventh quickest time in qualifying. During the race, he made steady progress and finished fourth.|
|J.F. Laberge made his series debut last season at Trois-Rivieres in a car prepared by Micks Motorsports. Unfortunately, Laberge was the first driver to retire. This season, he joins Dumoulin Competition for four road course events. At Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Laberge drove the No. 91 Dodge and was thirteenth fastest in qualifying. Despite some contact during the race, he was the highest placed rookie in fourteenth.|
|FINISH||START||DRIVER||SPONSOR / CAR||LAPS||RETIREMENTS|
|1||2||Kevin Lacroix||Bumper to Bumper/Total / Chevrolet||51||-|
|2||5||Andrew Ranger||Mopar/Pennzoil / Dodge Challenger||51||-|
|3||1||Gary Klutt||Toronto Digital Imaging / Dodge||51||-|
|4||7||L.P. Dumoulin||WeatherTech Canada / Dodge||51||-|
|5||9||Jason Hathaway||Kubota Canada / Chevrolet||51||-|
|6||12||J.F. Dumoulin||Spectra Premium / Dodge||51||-|
|7||8||Alex Labbe||Silver Wax / Ford Fusion||51||-|
|8||10||D.J. Kennington||Castrol Edge / Dodge Challenger||51||-|
|9||6||Peter Klutt||Legendary Motorcar / Chevrolet||51||-|
|10||14||Jason White||Powdered Ventures Exc. / Chevrolet||51||-|
|11||3||Alex Tagliani||EpiPen/Rona / Chevrolet||51||-|
|12||16||Simon Dion-Viens||Rousseau Metal / Ford Fusion||51||-|
|13||19||Donald Theetge||Circuit Acura / Chevrolet||51||-|
|14||13||J.F. Laberge||Dagobert / Dodge||51||-|
|15||18||Mark Dilley||LeLand / Ford Fusion||51||-|
|16||21||Raymond Guay||Classique Candot Int. / Dodge||51||-|
|17||20||T.J. Rinomato||Watson Building Supplies / Ford Fusion||51||-|
|18||4||Marc-Antoine Camirand||GM Paille / Chevrolet||51||-|
|19||11||Anthony Simone||MOPAR / Dodge||51||-|
|20||15||Riley Herbst||Monster Energy Drink / Dodge||51||-|
|21||17||Brett Taylor||CVRD Canopies / Dodge||43||Shifter|
|22||22||Jocelyn Fecteau||PC Dupuis / Dodge||18||Accident|
|23||23||David Thorndyke||Thorsons EVT / Chevrolet Camaro||10||Fuel Pump|
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