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 Pinty’s Grand Prix of Toronto was round five of the 2017 NASCAR Pinty’s Series season. Drivers would compete in a thirty-five-lap race around the 2.82 kilometers (1.755-mile) temporary street course at Toronto’s Exhibition Place.

Round five of the 2017 NASCAR Pinty’s Series and the field of twenty starters prepare to enter the last corner before receiving the starter’s green flag. On the pole is Andrew Ranger, driving the Mopar Express Lane Dodge. Sharing the front row with Ranger is the second fastest qualifier, Alex Tagliani in the EpiPen/Lowes sponsored Dodge.
Point’s leader, Kevin Lacroix driving the Bumper to Bumper Dodge was fourth quickest in practice. Lacroix and his team, led by Don Thompson, found more speed for qualifying and he set the third fastest time. At the beginning of the event, Andrew Ranger and Alex Tagliani swapped the lead. By lap-7, Lacroix was in first place and despite challenges from Camirand and L.P. Dumoulin he held on for his third win of the season.
L.P. Dumoulin, the 2014 series champion started the weekend off by posting the ninth quickest time in practice. Some improvements to the WeatherTech Dodge before the qualifying session allowed Dumoulin to improve his time and start seventh. Capitalizing on the misfortune of the early race leaders, Dumoulin found himself in third. A late race incident allowed him to grab a second place finish – his best result in 2017.
It was a challenging race for the pole-sitter, Andrew Ranger. In the opening practice session, the two-time Pinty’s GP winner was the second quickest - trailing Alex Tagliani. During qualifying, Ranger improved his performance and captured the pole with a time of 1:16.785. At the start of the race, he jumped into the lead but on the sixth lap made contact in turn five. Ranger lost three-laps while the crew made repairs and finished fifteenth.
Driving the No. 22 Chevrolet was Marc- Antoine Camirand. Over the years, Camirand has completed in many different series at Toronto. He demonstrated his experience by recording the third fastest time in practice and qualifying fifth. Problems for the early race leaders, Ranger and Tagliani, allowed Camirand to move into second. He kept the pressure on the eventual winner, Lacroix until lap-29 when he had an accident.
Defending race winner, Alex Tagliani driving the EpiPen/Lowe’s Dodge was the fastest driver in the practice session. In qualifying, the IndyCar veteran was one of two drivers to turn a time under 1 minute 17 seconds but he was 0.191-seconds slower than Andrew Ranger and started second. Tagliani inherited the lead when Ranger hit the tires in turn five but it was short-lived. He pitted twice during the race and finished fourteenth.
Trans Am TA2 competitor, Adam Andretti adapted quickly to the NASCAR Pinty’s Series stock car. In the one-hour practice session, Andretti was fourth fastest. Despite a tire failure and brushing the wall during qualifying, he was the fourth quickest. Unfortunately, Andretti missed the driver’s meeting and started at the back of the field. Even with this penalty, he charged through the field and earned the final spot on the podium.
The No. 76 Bay King Chrysler sponsored Dodge was driven by the defending series champion, Cayden Lapcevich. In the weekend’s only practice session, Lapcevich was seventh quickest but dropped to the thirteenth position in qualifying. During the contest, he demonstrated the maturity that earned him the 2016 title and was seventh at the conclusion of thirty-five laps.
Delaware Speedway race winner, Alex Labbe was sixth quickest in the practice session. Labbe driving the Can-Am/Kappa sponsored Ford Fusion was also sixth fastest in qualifying. During the race, Labbe was one of many drivers benefitting from the mistakes of his fellow competitors and finished fourth. He maintained his second position in the title chase but now trailed the leader, Kevin Lacroix by thirteen-points.
At the end of the practice session, D.J. Kennington was in the middle of the pack – tenth in the twenty car field. Qualifying didn’t go any better for the former series champion and he was gridded eleventh for the race. A solid performance allowed the Kennington to move through the field. At the checkered flag, he was on the lead lap and moved up five positions to finish sixth.
The NASCAR Pinty’s Series podium at the Streets of Toronto. On the left is second place finisher and driver of the WeatherTech sponsored Dodge, L.P. Dumoulin. To the right is series rookie, Adam Andretti who captured the last spot on the podium. Between these two is the winner, Kevin Lacroix who took his third victory of the season and padded his lead in the title chase.

13Kevin LacroixBumper to Bumper/Total / Dodge35-
27L.P. DumoulinWeatherTech Canada / Dodge35-
34Adam AndrettiEngineered Components / Dodge35-
46Alex LabbeCan-Am/Kappa / Ford Fusion35-
510J.F. DumoulinSpectra Premium / Dodge35-
611D.J. KenningtonCastrol Edge / Dodge Challenger35-
713Cayden LapcevichBay King Chrysler / Dodge35-
88Anthony SimoneInnovative P. & M. / Dodge35-
99Gary KluttPioneer Pools Canada / Dodge35-
1012Peter KluttLegendary Motorcar / Chevrolet35-
1118Trevor SeibertLake Excavating / Chevrolet35-
1220Larry JacksonCBRT/B&B Decals / Dodge Challenger35-
1317Adam MartinJohnsonville / Ford Fusion35-
142Alex TaglianiEpiPen/Lowe’s / Dodge Challenger33-
151Andrew RangerMopar / Dodge Challenger33-
165Marc-Antoine CamirandGM Paille / Chevrolet29Accident
1716Robin BuckOntario Chrysler Dealers / Dodge22Not Running
1815Brett TaylorRedtree Management / Dodge15Accident
1919Martin / Dodge Challenger8Not Running
2014Matthew ScannellLeland/OMVIC / Ford Fusion1Accident

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