In 2012, the Canadian NASCAR series was in its sixth season. With Canadian Tire as the primary sponsor, NASCAR had developed a successful format that attracted competitors and fans.

There were some changes to the 2012 schedule – mainly the order of the race weekends early in the season. The title chase started on the Victoria Day Weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP). There would be an additional event held at this facility – a race on the oval track in June. The championship would end in late September at Kawartha Speedway. A significant change saw the high-profile event at Toronto’s Exhibition place dropped from the calendar. It was replaced with a temporary circuit in Edmonton. In total, there was twelve race weekends and the series would visit twelve different tracks in six 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.

Round three of the 2012 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series was held at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park oval. Drivers would compete on the half-mile track for two-hundred-laps in an event titled the Clarington 200.

The starting grid for the Clarington 200 lines up on the front straight of the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park oval for round three of the 2012 NASCAR Canadian Tire season. On the pole is the No. 7 Dodge Challenger of Pete Shepherd, III. Sharing the outside of the front row with Shepherd is Steven Mathers in a Ford Fusion. A total of twenty-one competitors would start the contest.
The 2010 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series champion, D.J. Kennington qualified fifth quickest. The team chose to make unauthorized changes to the No. 17 Dodge Challenger before the start of the race. As a result, Kennington was required to start at the rear of the field. The penalty must have been worth it as he led 137 of the 200-lap race for his first victory of the season. Kennington was now second in the title chase by one point.
Pete Shepherd, III only raced in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series on a part-time basis but that doesn’t make him any less competitive. Shepherd is always a threat to win and finished second at last year’s event. He put the National Exhaust Dodge Challenger on the pole for the Clarington 200. Shepherd led the first forty-one-laps but retired on lap-158 with an axle issue - he was classified in sixteenth place.
Kerry Micks and Mark Dilley shared the No. 02 PartSource / Beyond Digital Imaging / Leland sponsored Ford Fusion. Micks ran the first two events (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Circuit ICAR) and now it was Dilley’s turn. He qualified seventh and during the contest, Dilley moved up the race order. At the checkered flag, he was in the runner-up spot.
The Clarington 200 included many competitors running a limited schedule – one such driver was Steve Mathews. The driver from New Liskeard, Ontario qualified on the outside of the outside of the front row in the Bill Mathews Motors Ford Fusion. Mathews was unable to maintain the pace of the front runners and finished on the lead lap in the sixth position.
Entering round three, J.R. Fitzpatrick was the point’s leader. Fitzpatrick was third fastest in qualifying and took the race lead on lap-42, he was in first place for the next fourteen circuits. During a pit-stop sequence, Fitzpatrick surrendered the lead. In the last half of the race, he chased D.J. Kennington and Mark Dilley – unable to pass either driver, he finished third. Fitzpatrick was still first in the title hunt but only by a single point.
Jeff Lapcevich’s season was off to a good start after top-ten finishes at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Circuit ICAR – he was sixth in the championship standings. The No. 23 Tim Horton’s Dodge Challenger was eighth quickest in qualifying. A steady performance during the two-hundred-lap race netted Lapcevich a fifth-place finish.
Noel Dowler drove the No. 5 Dodge Challenger with backing from EMCO-Kohler and Rheem. Dowler started at the back of the grid after recording the twentieth fastest time in a field of twenty-one cars. During the contest, a good race strategy and the misfortune of his fellow competitors allowed him to move up the lap chart. Dowler advanced ten positions to finish in the tenth place.

15D.J. KenningtonCastrol/Mahindra Tractors / Dodge200-
27Mark DilleyLeland/BDI/PartSource / Ford200-
33J.R. FitzpatrickEquipment Express / Chevrolet200-
48Jeff LapcevichTim Hortons / Dodge200-
56Jason HathawaySnap-On Tools/Vortex Brake Pads / Dodge200-
62Steve MathewsBill Mathews Motors / Ford200-
79Andrew RangerDodge/GC Motorsports / Dodge200-
810Ron Beauchamp, Jr.Mopar/Mobil 1 / Dodge200-
911Steve CoteWhite Motorsports / Chevrolet199-
1020Noel DowlerEMCO-Kohler/Rheem / Dodge199Engine
1115Jason WhiteBowers & Wilkins / Dodge199-
1214L.P. DumoulinWeatherTech Canada/Bellemare / Dodge198-
1316Joey / Dodge196Accident
144Scott StecklyCanadian Tire / Dodge194-
1519Ray Courtemanche Jr.Construction Danam Bonzai / Dodge193-
161Pete Shepherd IIINational Exhaust / Dodge158Axle
1712Larry JacksonB&B Decals / Dodge144-
1818Hugo VanniniVannini Motorsports / Ford128Motor
1913Martin RoyVeloce/Gamache Truck Center / Dodge83Oil Line
2017Howie Scannell, Jr.Trailers by Jim Bray / Dodge34Overheating
2121Mike ScholzJiffy Car Wash/ / Chevrolet5Clutch

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