The big news for the 2016 Canadian NASCAR series was Pinty’s Delicious Foods replacing Canadian Tire after nine seasons as the title sponsor. There were also some newsworthy items in 2017. The first was the appointment of Cherie Putnam as Series Director. Putnam was the first woman in Canada and only the second female to oversee a NASCAR division. Also, the series would be implementing the Overtime Line similar to the procedure used in NASCAR’s top divisions. Finally, there would be group qualifying as opposed to a single car on track during time trials. The groups would be determined by practice times.

For the most part, the series schedule mirrored that of 2016. For the sixth straight year, the title chase 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. New for 2017, was a return to Delaware Speedway after a three-year hiatus. Delaware replaced Sunset Speedway on the calendar. For the first time, two races would be held on the same day. The event called, the Velocity Prairie Thunder Twin 100s would be contested at Wyant Group Raceway. In all, the series would visit eleven tracks in five 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.

Canadian Tire Motorsport Park hosted round eleven, the TOTAL QUARTZ 200, of the 2017 NASCAR Pinty’s Series on the Labour Day weekend. During the event, drivers would compete in a fifty-one-lap race around the ten-turn 2.459-mile road course.

After this weekend, there would be just two races left in the season – St. Eustache and the finale at Jukasa Motor Speedway. Competitors had to balance risk with reward in order to maximize their points.

The pole-sitter, Kevin Lacroix leads the field of twenty-four starters into Canadian Tire Motorsport Park’s corner one. Jumping into second place is the Dodge of the third fastest qualifier, Alex Tagliani. About to slot in behind, Tagliani is Anthony Simone who shared the front row with of the pole-sitter, Kevin Lacroix. Also making an excellent start is L.P. Dumoulin is the WeatherTech Dodge.
The championship point’s leader, Alex Labbe pits for dry tires. It was a difficult weekend for Labbe who lost an engine in practice. A transmission problem in qualifying meant it had to be replaced. This was considered an unapproved change by NASCAR and Labbe was gridded twenty-fourth. During the race Labbe worked his way through the field and at the finish was sixth – the last car on the lead lap. He has a twenty-six point lead over Lacroix.
Poor judgment in round ten at Riverside International Speedway cost Kevin Lacroix ten valuable championship points. To keep his title hopes alive, Lacroix will have to ‘go for broke’ in the final three contests. He gave notice in practice by recording the fastest lap and did the same in qualifying. Lacroix led a total of forty laps and won his third consecutive race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and the fourth of the season.
Alex Tagliani drove the No. 18 EpiPen/Lowes/St. Hubert/Fast Wheels Dodge. With a win at Trois-Rivieres and five top-five finishes, Tagliani is sixth in the title chase. At Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, he was the second quickest in practice and set the third fastest qualifying time. Tagliani jumped into second place at the start but could not maintain Lacroix’s pace. He finished second - 26.805-seconds behind the winner.
It has been a lean season for the 2007 and 2009 Canadian NASCAR series champion, Andrew Ranger. Ranger has had three runner-up finishes but failed to start the Edmonton round and has not scored a win in 2017. He qualified sixth quickest in the Mopar/Pennzoil Dodge. Ranger drove a steady race passing Anthony Simone, D.J. Kennington and L.P. Dumoulin to finish third – making it an all Quebecois podium.
Reigning NASCAR Pinty’s Series champion, Cayden Lapcevich was off the pace during the final practice session. In the qualifying, Lapcevich moved from the fifteenth to twelfth quickest time. His performance in the No. 76 Fastline Motorsports Dodge improved only slightly during the race. At the checkered flag, Lapcevich was one lap down to the leader in eleventh place.
It was a great qualifying effort for Anthony Simone. Simone’s Dodge suffered serious damage in round nine at Trois-Rivieres. The team’s repairs were successful as he missed earning the pole position by just 0.114-seconds. Simone’s strategy during the race was to stay on track and not pit – this allowed him to lead for a total of eleven laps. Like the other drivers, he was unable to maintain Lacroix’s pace and finished fourth.
2014 series champion, L.P. Dumoulin was fifth quickest during the final practice session. Dumoulin repeated his performance in qualifying – recording the fifth fastest time. During the contest, the driver of the No. 47 WeatherTech Canada/Bellemare Dodge lost a lap behind the race leader. Dumoulin worked hard and on lap-44 repassed, Kevin Lacroix to be on the lead lap. At the finish, he was in fifth place.
It was an all Quebec podium for the NASCAR Pinty’s Series. In the center, standing on the top of the rostrum for the fourth time in 2017 is the race winner, Kevin Lacroix. To the left of Lacroix, is the runner-up and driver of the EpiPen/Lowes/St. Hubert/Fast Wheels Dodge, Alex Tagliani. Completing the podium is the two-time series champion, Andrew Ranger.

11Kevin LacroixBumper to Bumper/Total / Dodge51-
23Ryan KluttSt. Hubert/Fast Wheels / Dodge51-
36Andrew RangerMopar / Dodge Challenger51-
42Anthony SimoneInnovative P. & M. / Dodge51-
55L.P. DumoulinWeatherTech Canada / Dodge51-
624Alex LabbeCan-Am/Kappa / Ford Fusion51-
78Marc-Antoine CamirandGM Paille / Chevrolet50-
87Gary KluttPioneer Pools Canada / Dodge50-
94D.J. KenningtonCastrol Edge / Dodge Challenger50-
1014Adam AndrettiAnchor Bolt & Screw / Dodge50-
1112Cayden LapcevichFastline Motorsports / Dodge50-
1215Adam MartinJohnsonville / Ford Fusion50-
139Jason HathawayKubota/Fast Eddie / Chevrolet50-
1411J.F. DumoulinSpectra Premium / Dodge49-
1513Peter KluttLegendary Motorcar / Chevrolet49-
1610Matthew ScannellLeland/OMVIC / Ford Fusion49-
1723Larry JacksonCBRT/B&B Decals / Dodge Challenger48-
1817Noel DowlerEMCO / Dodge47-
1916Joey McColmCanadian Tire/Piloti / Dodge47-
2021Martin / Dodge Challenger44-
2118Trevor MonaghanYvon Insulation / Dodge Challenger42-
2220Brandon WhiteWhite Motorsports / Dodge42-
2322David ThorndykeThorsons EVT / Chevrolet Impala41-
2425Robin BuckOntario Chrysler Dealers / Dodge25Vibration
DNS19Jocelyn FecteauCricket/Farnham Axle / Dodge0-

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