The big news for the 2016 Canadian NASCAR series was Pinty’s Delicious Foods replacing Canadian Tire 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.

Round-seven of the 2016 NASCAR Pinty’s Series would be held at the Wyant Group Raceway – previously called the Auto Clearing Motor Speedway. The track which was opened in 2006, held its first Canadian NASCAR series event in 2009.

The 3/8-mile oval just north of the Saskatoon city center would host a 250 lap race which included a 5-minute break at lap-125. The event was called the Prairie Velocity Thunder 250.

Based on his performance in the first six-events of the 2016 season it appeared to be only a matter of time before rookie Cayden Lapcevich would win his first NASCAR Pinty’s series race. Entering the Prairie Velocity Thunder 250 Lapcevich had earned a pole and three-podium finishes. At the Wyant Group Raceway, Lapevich led a total of 108-laps and became the series youngest race winner.
Nineteen entries sit in pit lane as teams prepare the cars for 250-laps around the 3/8-mile long Wyant Group Raceway. The second of two contests taking place in western Canada this race included one more entry than the Edmonton race. Of the nineteen starters only two failed to be running at the checkered flag and, remarkably, a total of eleven cars finished on the lead lap.
Qualifying on the pole was Andrew Ranger in the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Challenger. This was Ranger’s second pole of the season and he entered the seventh round as the point’s leader by virtue of two wins (CTMP and ICAR). Ranger would lead the field for the first 91-laps and run in the top-five for the remainder of the race. At the finish, he was fifth and left Saskatoon with a one-point lead in the Driver’s Championship.
Sharing the front row with Andrew Ranger was Joey McColm in the Canada’s Best Race Team Ford Fusion. Five days earlier, at Edmonton International Raceway McColm started fifteenth but his race ended with an accident after 256-laps. Unfortunately, this bad race luck followed him to Saskatoon. On lap-52 McColm spun in turn four and was hit by Jason Hankewich making him the first retirement of the event.
Alex Tagliani qualified third but moved his Chevrolet Impala to second before the end of the first lap. Contact with the wall on the fifth lap dropped him down the race order but by lap-50 he was up to third. Tagliani remained in the top-five for the remainder of the contest. He would be classified in fourth at the checkered flag.
For all the good fortune that Jason Hathaway had in 2015, he was having an equal amount of bad luck in 2016. Hathaway qualified the No. 3 Chevrolet Impala eighth and worked his way into the lead on lap-100. For the next one-hundred laps Hathaway and Cayden Lapcevich would challenge each other for the lead. But it would come to an end on lap-215 as his car started smoking and he was forced to pit – Hathaway was classified seventeenth.
Finishing just 0.736-seconds behind winner Cayden Lapcevich was 2014 series champion L.P. Dumoulin. Dumoulin started his WeatherTech sponsored Dodge Challenger in the eleventh grid position. He drove through the field and with less than ten laps to go was challenging Lapcevich for the victory. Dumoulin led laps 246 and 247 but was repassed by Lapcevich earning the runner-up position.
Alex Labbe was proving to be the master of qualifying - in the first six-events he had three pole positions and his finishing record included a win at Autodrome Chaudiere. At the Wyant Group Raceway, he would start from the fifth spot. At the halfway point of the race Labbe was second but on lap-141 he tangled with Mark Dilley. Despite this incident, Labbe finished third.
Kevin Lacroix’s season got off to a slow start but in round-four at ICAR he scored his first podium followed by another at Toronto. In the western swing, he scored a pole position at Edmonton International Raceway. At the Wyant Group Raceway event, Lacroix qualified his Bumper to Bumper Dodge Challenger twelfth. For the most part, he had an uneventful race and finished eighth.
In qualifying, Kelly Admiraal was the ‘Best from the West’. Alberta’s Admiraal started seventh in the No. 56 Dodge Challenger with sponsorship from Young's Tree Service and OMVIC. For the first 100-laps of the race, Admiraal ran around the top-ten but contact on lap-120 dropped him down the order. At the checkered flag, he was in eleventh place.
Rookie Kevin Poitras started from the sixteenth grid position. On lap-120, the driver of the Piloti sponsored Ford Fusion had his first incident of the evening when he contacted a spinning Kelly Admiraal. Poitras’ second encounter was more serious. On lap-190, he tangled with Jamie Krzysik which caused damage to the front of the car – Poitras would finish fourteenth.
At the checkered flag, the ‘Best from the West’ was Alberta’s Noel Dowler. Dowler put the Empire Mechanical Dodge Challenger fourteenth on the starting grid. With twenty laps remaining in the race he was running seventh. Dowler would hold this position to the checkered flag for a well-earned result.

19Cayden LapcevichFastline Mspts./Dodge Challenger250-
211L.P. DumoulinWeatherTech/Dodge Challenger250-
35Alex LabbeCan-Am/Kappa/Ford Fusion250-
43Alex TaglianiEpipen/Riobel/Chevrolet Impala250-
51Andrew RangerMopar/Pennzoil/Dodge Challenger250-
64D.J. KenningtonCastrol Edge/Dodge Challenger250-
710Gary KluttPioneer Family Pools/Dodge Challenger250-
812Kevin LacroixBumper to Bumper/Dodge Challenger250-
914Noel DowlerMFP/Empire Mechanical/Dodge Challenger250-
1016Mark DilleyLeland/Ford Fusion250-
117Kelly AdmiraalYoung's Tree Service/Dodge Challenger250-
1218Jason HankewichGet-A-Grip Tire/Chevrolet Impala249-
1315Jamie KrzysikKrown-Pel Ventures/Dodge Challenger248-
1416Kevin PoitrasCBRTeam/Piloti/Ford Fusion247-
1517Ian AdmiraalSwan Rentals/Chevrolet Impala235-
1619Shania LaForceStonfish Rentals/Chevrolet Impala234-
1718Jason HathawayFast Eddie/Choko/Chevrolet Impala223-
1813Nick JewellCastrol Edge/3M/Dodge Challenger190Differential
192Joey McColmCBRTeam/Piloti/Ford Fusion57Accident

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