2018 marks the twelfth season for the Canadian NASCAR championship. Pinty’s Delicious Foods continues to be the series title sponsor. In the off-season, there was a significant change in the race format for most venues.

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.

The Pinty’s Grand Prix of Toronto was round four of the 2018 NASCAR Pinty’s Series season. Drivers were scheduled to compete in a thirty-five-lap race around the 2.82-kilometer (1.755-mile) temporary street course at Toronto’s Exhibition Place. However, a late race caution extended the contest by an additional two laps.

Nineteen NASCAR Pinty’s series competitor’s enter Toronto’s Exhibition Place’s corner nine in anticipation of the Starter’s flag. Leading the field is the pole-sitter, Alex Tagliani driving the Epipen / Rona / St. Hubert / Spectra Premium sponsored Chevrolet Camaro. Sharing the front row with Tagliani is his teammate, Marc-Antoine Camirand in the GM Paille Chevrolet Camaro.
The two-time series champion, Andrew Ranger used an aggressive and well-timed pass to score his second victory of 2018. Ranger driving the No. 27 Dodge with backing from Mopar and Pennzoil was the third fastest qualifier. He moved into second place early in the race and capitalized on the event’s last re-start to pass the leader, Alex Tagliani in corner one for the win. With the victory Ranger tops the title chase.
On Friday, Alex Tagliani won the E3 Spark Plugs Pole award. Tagliani captured the top spot by just 0.765-seconds. In the process, the driver of the No. 18 Chevrolet Camaro set a new lap record. Tagliani took command of the race at the start and led the first thirty-five-laps. On the final restart, he lost positions in corner one to Andrew Ranger and J.F. Dumoulin but Tagliani fought back for a second place finish.
Marc-Antoine Camirand was second quickest during Friday’s qualifying session and would start beside his teammate, Alex Tagliani. Camirand had good reason to be optimistic about his chances for a victory in Toronto - he had successfully competed at the venue a number of times in various series. Unfortunately, contact during the contest dropped him down the order but Camirand was able to salvage a sixth place.
The No. 04 Spectra Premium sponsored Dodge of J.F. Dumoulin started in the eighth grid position. Some great driving and inheriting positions when his competitors encounter issues put Dumoulin in third place after the final caution. On the re-start, he and Andrew Ranger ‘freight-trained’ the leader, Alex Tagliani but his second position was short-lived. At the finish, Dumoulin grabbed the final spot on the podium.
The 2015 NASCAR Pinty’s Series Rookie of the Year, Gary Klutt is always a threat on a temporary street or road course – his first victory came at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2015. In the qualifying session, Klutt set the sixth quickest time in the Nu-Aria / Toronto Digital Imaging sponsored Dodge. A steady performance during the race resulted in a fourth-place finish – his best of the season.
In his debut at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, James Vance finished a very credible eighth after starting at the rear of the field. The driver of the Canadas Best Race Team Ford Fusion was again gridded ‘shotgun on the field’ as the result of an incident with J.F. Dumoulin during qualifying. Vance made great progress during the race and was seventh at the checkered flag – the highest placed rookie.
The championship leader, L.P. Dumoulin entered the Toronto round with a seven-point advantage over Cole Powell. His season thus far included a victory at CTMP and a runner-up finish at Autodrome Chaudiere. Dumoulin was seventh quickest during the qualifying session and finished fifth in the race. He and Andrew Ranger were now tied in the title chase but Ranger was considered the point’s leader due to his two wins.
The NASCAR Pinty’s Series podium at the Streets of Toronto. On the left is the runner-up and driver of the No. 18 Chevrolet Camaro, Alex Tagliani. To the right and on the podium for the first time since 2015 is the third-place finisher, J.F. Dumoulin. Between these two is the winner and new championship leader, Andrew Ranger.

13Andrew RangerMopar / Dodge Challenger37-
21Alex TaglianiEpiPen/Rona / Chevrolet37-
38J.F. DumoulinSpectra Premium / Dodge37-
46Gary KluttToronto Digital Imaging / Dodge37-
57L.P. DumoulinWeatherTech Canada / Dodge37-
62Marc-Antoine CamirandGM Paille / Chevrolet37-
718James VanceCBRT/Expo Systems / Ford Fusion37-
811D.J. KenningtonCastrol Edge / Dodge Challenger37-
914Donald TheetgeCircuit Acura / Chevrolet37-
1019Peter Shepherd IIINational Exhaust / Ford Fusion37-
1116Adam MartinJohnsonville / Ford Fusion37-
1212Cole PowellKubota/Choko Authentics / Chevrolet37-
1310Peter KluttLegendary Motorcar / Chevrolet37-
1413Brett TaylorCBRT/iRacing / Dodge37-
1517Jason WhitePowdered Ventures Exc. / Chevrolet36-
164Kevin LacroixBumper to Bumper/Total / Chevrolet30-
179Kerry MicksLeLand/Beyond Digital / Ford Fusion16Accident
1815Larry JacksoneNASCAR Ignite Series / Ford Fusion8Electrical
195Anthony SimoneInnovative P. & M. / Dodge7Rear Axle

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