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.

The final round of the NASCAR Pinty’s Series took place at Jukasa Motor Speedway. Teams would be racing for 200-laps around the 5/8-mile oval in the Pinty’s Fall Brawl.

A field of twenty drivers line-up in preparation for the Starter’s green flag. On the pole is D.J. Kennington driving the No. 17 Castrol sponsored Dodge.   Kennington started from the pole-position three times in 2017 but failed to win. Starting beside Kennington is the 2017 NASCAR Pinty’s Series Champion, Alex Labbe.  Behind the front row are third and fourth fastest qualifiers – Donald Theetge and Cayden Lapcevich.
Two-time series champion, D.J. Kennington is the only driver to have started all 134 NASCAR Pinty’s Series races.  However, Kennington has not won an event since 2013.  At Jukasa, he had reason to be optimistic as he was quickest in the practice session and earned the pole position.  During the contest, Kennington led a total of thirty-five-laps but he contacted the third turn wall on lap-181 and retired with a steering issue.
To secure the 2017 NASCAR Pinty’s Series title, Alex Labbe simply had to start the race at Jukasa Motor Speedway.  It was fortunate for Labbe that this was his only requirement to win the championship as he encountered a series of problems.  He qualified second but on lap-32 Labbe hit the wall bringing out the first caution.  During a second pit-stop for a flat tire, the crew found more serious damage and Labbe was the race’s first retiree.
2016 NASCAR Pinty’s series champion, Cayden Lapcevich scored his first win of the season in the third round at Autodrome Chaudiere and captured another victory at Saskatoon.  At Jukasa, Lapcevich qualified fourth and despite an unscheduled pit-stop to replace the right front tire, he did not lose a lap.  He was second on the final lap and a very aggressive move on the race leader, Donald Theetge in the last corner allowed him to take the win.
Rookie, Donald Theetge had runner-up finishes at Edmonton and St-Eustache.  He was quick at Jukasa Motor Speedway – fifth fastest in practice and gridded third for the race.  During the contest, Theetge looked like he would get his first win (leading 134 of 200-laps) but a ‘bump and run’ on the last corner of the final lap by Cayden Lapcevich slowed Theetge enough that Lapcevich passed him for the victory.
L.P. Dumoulin, the 2104 NASCAR Pinty’s series champion, had an engine problem during practice.  The team replaced the motor and Dumoulin started twentieth - the final position on the grid.  Dumoulin was able to work his way through the field capture the final spot on the podium.  More importantly, he moved past D.J. Kennington in the final standings – finishing fourth in the championship.
The NASCAR Pinty’s Series podium at Jukasa Motor Speedway. On the right is second place finisher, Donald Theetge. To the right is the driver of the WeatherTech Dodge who captured the last spot on the podium, L.P. Dumoulin. Between these two is the winner, Cayden Lapcevich who took his third victory of the season and finished third in the championship point standings.
Kevin Lacroix had a good but not a great season.  Lacroix started the year with a victory at CTMP and captured three more wins during 2017.  He led the title chase until race eight at Edmonton when Alex Labbe topped the standings.  By the finale, the championship had been decided in Labbe’s favour.  At Jukasa Motor Speedway, Lacroix started ninth and finished fourth – he was second the final standings.
On the way to his first NASCAR Pinty’s Series Championship, Alex Labbe took wins at Delaware Speedway, Wyant Group Raceway, Edmonton International Raceway, Riverside International Raceway and Autodrome St-Eustache.  Labbe’s first finish out of the top-five was a sixth place at the second CTMP event.  This was a remarkable feat as he started twenty-fourth after losing an engine in practice and had transmission issues in qualifying.

14Cayden LapcevichFastline Motorsports / Dodge200-
23Donald TheetgeCircuit Acura/Le Soliet / Dodge200-
320L.P. DumoulinWeatherTech Canada / Dodge200-
49Kevin LacroixBumper to Bumper/Total / Dodge200-
517J.F. DumoulinSpectra Premium / Dodge200-
65Alex TaglianiEpiPen/Lowe’s / Dodge Challenger200-
711Larry JacksonCBRT/Piloti / Ford Fusion200-
86Donald ChisholmNova Construction / Ford Fusion200-
912Noel DowlerEMCO/MFP/Rheem / Dodge200-
107Andrew RangerMopar / Dodge Challenger200-
1114Brandon WhiteGoodleaf Recycling / Chevrolet200-
1218Brad GrahamTrailers by Jim Bray / Dodge Challenger198-
1313Armani WilliamsRace4Autism / Dodge196-
1410Trevor MonaghanYvon Insulation / Dodge195-
158Anthony SimoneInnovative P. & M. / Dodge192-
1619Martin CoteGo-VR / Dodge189-
171D.J. KenningtonCastrol Edge / Dodge Challenger182Steering
1816Mark DilleyLeland/OMVIC / Ford Fusion113Vibration
1915Adam MartinJohnsonville / Ford Fusion109Ignition
202Alex LabbeCan-Am/Kappa / Ford Fusion62Suspension

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