2018 marks the twelfth season for the Canadian NASCAR championship. Pinty’s Delicious Foods continues to be the series title sponsor.

The biggest news for 2018 was that races would be split into three segments. Optional pit-stops are permitted between the segments. Not pitting will give drivers at the rear of the field an opportunity to improve their track position. The events at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and the finale at Jukasa Motor Speedway will be exempt from segment races. This new procedure is implemented to reduce expenses as teams will not be required to employ as many crew members.

For the most part, the series schedule mirrored that of 2017. For the seventh straight year, the title chase kicked-off 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 championship would end in September at Jukasa Motor Speedway. The changes to this season’s schedule included – Jukasa replacing the June Delaware Speedway date and for the first time in the series history, competitors would race south of the border at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. In all, the racers would visit ten different tracks in five provinces and one state.

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 (Challenger and Charger), Ford (Fusion) and Chevrolet (Camaro and Impala SS). Engine type and displacement are dictated by the make and model of the vehicle. The carbureted eight-cylinder motors produce approximately 550-horsepower. Depending on the gearing, these cars are estimated to have a top speed of 160-mph.

Since 2007, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) has hosted more NASCAR Pinty’s races than any other track. The series second 2018 stop at CTMP was in August during the Chevrolet Silverado 250 weekend. Drivers would compete in the TOTAL Quartz 200 for fifty-one laps (201.8 kilometers) around the ten-turn 2.459-mile road course.

Heavy rain washed out Saturday’s qualifying session. As per NASCAR rules, the starting grid was set by the morning’s practice times. This worked to the advantage of the point’s leader, L.P. Dumoulin who was quickest and started on the pole in the No. 47 WeatherTech Canada Dodge. Sharing the front row with Dumoulin with the two time series champion, Andrew Ranger driving the Mopar sponsored Dodge.
Alex Tagliani had an inauspicious start to the 2018 season. While contending for the victory his Camaro’s suspension broke relegating to a fourteenth place finish. But his fortunes would change in the series second visit to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Tagliani’s time in the practice session gave him the third starting position. On lap-30, he took the lead and went unchallenged to earn his first victory at CTMP.
Kevin Lacroix was having a difficult season. It appeared that Lacroix was headed for victory in the 2018 season opener but a last-lap incident with Andrew Ranger resulted in a fifth-place finish. Entering the second CTMP event, he was seventh in the standings. Practice did not go well for him as he had an engine issue and would start fifteenth. During the race, Lacroix charged through the field and captured second.
It was another good day for the 2014 series champion and current point’s leader, L.P. Dumoulin. Dumoulin, driving the No. 47 WeatherTech Canada Dodge was gridded on the pole for the TOTAL Quartz 200. He led five laps ‘enroute’ to a third-place finish. Dumoulin retained his championship lead but lost ground to the race winner, Alex Tagliani – the pair are now separated by fourteen markers.
Sports car veteran, Malcolm Strachan had a busy weekend. Strachan raced an Audi R8 GT4 LMS in the Canadian Touring Car Championship and won the GT Sport category on Sunday. The NASCAR rookie started seventeenth in the B&B Decals / Strodes / Aielli sponsored Chevrolet Camaro. A steady performance netted Strachan a ninth-place finish – the best performance by a rookie.
Championship contender, Marc-Antoine Camirand recorded his worst finish of the season in round ten at CTMP. Camirand who had only one finish outside the top-ten entered round-ten fourth in the title chase. He started fourth in the GM Paille Chevrolet Camaro but retired after crashing on lap-33 – Camirand was classified twenty-fifth. As a result, he dropped two places in the championship standings.
2018 was Cole Powell’s first season competing in the NASCAR Pinty’s championship. But it would be difficult to label him a newcomer as he had starts in the ACT Late Model, ARCA and NASCAR Whelen Modified series. Powell scored his first series win at Saskatoon and despite his lack of road racing experience was second in the standings. Unfortunately, a fourteenth place finish at CTMP dropped him to third in the title chase.
Andrew Ranger entered round ten having secured victories at Autodrome Chaudiere and Exhibition Place, Toronto. Mixed results during the season left the driver of the No. 27 Mopar Dodge sixth in the championship hunt. Ranger started on the outside of the front row and was in contention until an engine issue dropped him down the running order. Once the problem was resolved, he fought back to an eighth-place finish.
The NASCAR Pinty’s podium for round ten at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. On the left is the second place finisher Kevin Lacroix who bounced back from engine problems in practice. To the right and completing the rostrum is the current point’s leader, L.P. Dumoulin. Between these two is the winner, Alex Tagliani. This was Tagliani’s eighth series victory and his first at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

13Alex TaglianiEpiPen/Rona / Chevrolet51-
215Kevin LacroixBumper to Bumper/Total / Chevrolet51-
31L.P. DumoulinWeatherTech Canada / Dodge51-
46J.F. DumoulinSpectra Premium / Dodge51-
513Anthony SimoneInnovative P. & M. / Dodge51-
67D.J. KenningtonCastrol Edge / Dodge Challenger51-
75Gary KluttToronto Digital Imaging / Dodge51-
82Andrew RangerMopar/Pennzoil / Dodge Challenger51-
917Malcolm StrachanB&B Decals / Chevrolet51-
1012Donald TheetgeMercedes-Benz St. Nicolas / Chevrolet51-
1114Simon Dion-ViensBestbuy Auto Parts / Ford Fusion51-
1218Adam MartinJohnsonville / Ford Fusion51-
1316Brett TaylorRockstar Energy Drink / Dodge51-
1420Cole PowellKubota/Choko Authentics / Chevrolet51-
1526Larry JacksonCBRT/Victory Gamez / Dodge51-
1621Julia LandauerCBRT/PartSource / Ford Fusion51-
1722Jocelyn FecteauTeam LTD/Roxor / Dodge51-
1823David ThorndykeThorsons EVT / Chevrolet Camaro51-
1925Martin CoteGo-RV.com / Dodge48-
209Ryan KluttLegendary Motorcar / Chevrolet47-
2110Kerry MicksLeLand / Ford Fusion47-
2219Christopher SahakianUnitedAuto.ca / Ford Fusion47-
2324Raymond GuayClassique Candot Int. / Dodge43Mechanical
2411Robin BuckOMVIC / Dodge37Mechanical
254Marc-Antoine CamirandGM Paille / Chevrolet33Accident
268James VanceCBRT/Expo Systems / Ford Fusion19Electrical

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