The big news for the 2016 Canadian NASCAR series was Pinty’s Delicious Foods replacing Canadian Tire after nine seasons as the title sponsor.

For the most part, the championship schedule mirrored that of 2015. For the fifth straight year, the series 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. In all, the series would visit eleven-tracks in five-provinces. The major exception to the schedule was the return to the high profile Toronto Indy event at Exhibition Place.

Since the series inception in 2007, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park had hosted more races than any other track. The first event of the 2016 season, the Clarington 200, would be fifty-one laps (201.8 kilometers) around the ten-turn 2.459-mile road course.

The start of the 2016 season’s first round for the newly sponsored Pinty’s Canadian NASCAR series. Twenty-seven starters funnel into Canadian Tire Motorsport Park’s very fast corner one. Pole-sitter Alex Labbe in a Ford Fusion has a slight lead over the Dodge of second place starter – Andrew Ranger. The first several rows maintained their positions and avoided any first lap - first turn incidents.
Andrew Ranger the series 2007 and 2009 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Champion was gridded second in the No. 27 Mopar sponsored Dodge. Ranger’s first opportunity to lead the race came on lap-9 but only for one circuit. During the fifty-one-lap contest, he was always in contention by did not take the lead again until lap-50. Ranger held on for the final two laps and won by 0.534-seconds.
Qualifying on the pole was Alex Labbe in a Ford Fusion. Labbe made his first series start in 2012 but only competed part-time. He also raced in the ACT series and won the 2014 Drivers’ title. 2016 would be his first full season in the Canadian NASCAR championship. He would lead the first eight laps of the race and eventually finish fifth.
The driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet, Jason Hathaway, had a spectacular 2015 season. Hathaway scored three wins - one of which was his first road course victory. It appeared that Hathaway was going to start the new season where he left off last year. Hathaway led thirty-one laps and surrendered first with two-laps to go when he spun at corner-five. Hathaway dropped to a ninth place finish.
Third generation driver, Cayden Lapcevich made a couple of series starts in 2015. In round one, the rookie driver qualified the Lapcevich Racing Dodge in the eleventh starting position. At the checkered flag, Lapcevich was the highest placed rookie in fourth.
Team Owner and Driver – Scott Steckley was without a sponsor for the 2016 season. As a result, the seat in the No. 22 Dodge was available and would be filled by Kaz Grala. Grala qualified the car eighth on the grid. On lap-32, he was in a multi-car accident which also included Carlos de Quesada, Mel Shaw and Patrick Dussault. Repairs were made and at the checkered flag, he was down two-laps to the leader in twentieth place.
Series veteran, Robin Buck had the most laps around the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park track. Buck was a road racing expert who had many years of experience in Formula Fords and the General Motors series for Chevrolet Camaros and Pontiac Firebirds. Always a threat on the road courses he qualified fourteenth and finished second.
Two-time series champion, D.J. Kennington was gridded in the seventh starting position. Kennington was on a different pit strategy early in the event and led laps ten through fifteen. He found himself running in the top-ten after all his competitors had cycled through their stops. With all the position changes occurring in the final laps Kennington found himself third at the checkered flag.
In 2015, Gary Klutt scored his first series victory in the opening round at CTMP when race leaders Andrew Ranger and Scott Steckly crashed in the last corner on the last lap. Klutt would go on to win the Rookie of the Year Honours. The first race of the new season was not so kind. He had an incident mid-race and was involved in another on the final lap in the last turn. Klutt finished tenth after starting from the fourth grid position.
2014 Champion, L.P. Dumoulin was also involved in the last lap incident at corner-ten which included Gary Klutt and Patrick Dussault. Dumoulin started from the fifth on the grid and ran with the top-ten for much of the race. However, the episode on the final lap dropped him to twelfth at the checkered flag.

12Andrew RangerMopar/Pennzoil / Dodge51-
214Robin BuckOntario Chrysler Dealers / Dodge51-
37D.J. KenningtonCastrol Edge / Dodge51-
411Cayden LapcevichLapcevich Racing / Dodge51-
51Alex LabbeCan-Am/Kappa/Cyclops Gear / Ford51-
69J.F. DumoulinSpectra Premium/Bellemare / Dodge51-
712Kerry MicksLeland/Avenue Auto Parts / Ford51-
821Simon Dion-ViensZone Garage / Dodge51-
96Jason HathawayRaybestos/HGC/DSI / Chevrolet51-
104Gary KluttPioneer Pools/CLT Financing / Dodge51-
113Pier-Luc OuelletteEpipen/Cantorque / Chevrolet51-
125L.P. DumoulinWeatherTech Canada/Bellemare / Dodge51-
1323Larry JacksonBramKal Contractors/B&B Decals / Dodge51-
1422Joey McColmPorter Trucking/Collins Contracting / Ford51-
1524Bryan CathcartApsley Peterborough Transport / Chevrolet51-
1615Patrick DussaultMultPlis/Perry Auto / Dodge51-
1719Brett TaylorRed Cross #Fort Mac Fire / Dodge51-
1820David MichaudMichaud Excavation / Dodge50-
1918Anthony SimoneInnovative Plumbing & Mechanical / Dodge50-
208Kaz GralaDescartes / Dodge49-
2117Kevin PoitrasPiloti / Ford43Off Track
2216Carlos de QuesadaInsync Healthcare System / Dodge32Accident
2327Kevin LacroixBumper to Bumper/Total / Dodge31Differential
2425Mel ShawBay Investments / Chevrolet30Accident
2510Matthew ScannellOMVIC/IGPC Ethanol/Stratafax / Dodge21Clutch
2626David ThorndykeThorsons EVT / Chevrolet16Suspension
2713Ryan KluttLegendary Motorcar / Chevrolet5Vibration

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