2019 marks the thirteenth season for the Canadian NASCAR championship. Pinty’s Delicious Foods continues to be the series title sponsor.

There were a couple of newsworthy stories for 2019. One of them was the addition of live streaming. TSN and TSN Direct subscribers will be able to watch six NASCAR Pinty’s Series races live on tsn.ca and the TSN App. In other news, the 2017 champion, Alex Labbe would return to the series after a year of competing in the NASCAR XFINITY championship. Labbe would team up with Dave Jacombs who guided him to his 2017 title. Also, coming back was perennial front runner, Jason Hathaway in the Ed Hakonson Chevrolet raced last year by Cole Powell. And finally, on the driver front, Mark Dilley will return to full-time competition for the first time since 2011. Lastly, the cars would be fitted with General Tires replacing Goodyears, which were the spec supplier since the series inception in 2007.

The series schedule mirrored that of 2018. For the ninth straight year, the title chase kicked-off on the Victoria Day Weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Following Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, the series would travel to the ovals at Jukasa Motor Speedway and Autodrome Chaudiere. July would be a busy month with teams competing on the temporary street course at Toronto’s Exhibition Place. They would also be making their annual western Canada trip with a doubleheader at Wyant Group Raceway in Saskatchewan and Alberta’s Edmonton International Raceway. Returning to the east, drivers would be racing at Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Riverside International Raceway in Nova Scotia, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Autodrome St. Eustache. For the second consecutive year, the penultimate round would be held south of the border at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The championship would end in September at Jukasa 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 2019 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, as he did in 2018, 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.
Marc-Antoine Camirand had the pole until the final lap of qualifying when Alex Tagliani bettered his lap time by 0.189-seconds. Driving the Epipen / Rona / St. Hubert / Spectra Premium sponsored Chevrolet Camaro, Tagliani led from the pole but was under constant pressure from Camirand and Andrew Ranger. Ranger grabbed the top spot of the lap-15 restart but two circuits later Tagliani was back in front and captured his ninth series victory.
Andrew Ranger entered round-four second in the title chase. He was second quickest in the practice session; however, his times were disallowed after being penalized by NASCAR Officials. Ranger started the event in sixth place and from there he moved through the field - leading three-laps. Ranger was in third place on the final circuit but inherited second when Camirand crashed. His runner-up finish put him at the top of the standings.
Setting the pace in practice was the defending series champion, L.P. Dumoulin with a time of 1.16.267. However, he went slower in qualifying while three drivers improved their times – Dumoulin would start fourth. During the event, the driver of the No. 47 WeatherTech Canada Dodge never lost touch with the leaders. But he wasn’t in contention for a podium result until Camirand crashed which gave him the final spot on the rostrum.
Marc-Antoine Camirand was second quickest during Friday’s qualifying session and would start beside his teammate, Alex Tagliani. Camirand is a veteran of the Exhibition Place circuit having successfully competed in both open and closed wheel race cars at this track. He chased Tagliani for much of the contest but with just two laps left in the event, Camirand hit the turn eight tires. Unable to continue, he was classified in sixteenth place.
Kevin Lacroix was victorious in the opening round at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and entered the Toronto event leading the championship by a single point. Lacroix won the 2017 race at Exhibition Place but last year his car stopped on course with four-laps remaining in the contest and finished sixteenth. This year, he qualified eighth but was in fourth place at the checkered flag. Unfortunately, he lost the championship lead.
Both these drivers are pointed in the wrong direction. During qualifying, David Thorndyke driving the Chevrolet spun in turn six. To avoid hitting Thorndyke, J.F. Laberge in the No. 91 Dodge also spun. Thorndyke is facing the traffic and Laberge is in the middle of his ‘three-point turn.’ In the race, Thorndyke was the last driver on the lead lap and finished in fifteenth place. Laberge would be the first retiree after contacting the turn five tires.
J.F. Dumoulin is running a limited schedule this season driving the No. 04 Dodge Challenger. Toronto was only his second event – Dumoulin’ first race was at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park where he finished in sixth place. At Exhibition Place, Dumoulin qualified tenth but passed Anthony Simone, Peter Klutt and inherited positions when Camirand, Gary Klutt and Alex Labbe encountered issues. At the finish, he was in fifth place.
The NASCAR Pinty’s Series podium for round four at Toronto’s Exhibition Place. On the left is the runner-up and new points leader, Andrew Ranger. And, on the right side of the rostrum is the defending series champion and third-place finisher, J.F. Dumoulin. Between these two is the winner, Alex Tagliani. The victory provided Tagliani with some redemption as he was leading last year’s event when he was passed on the final lap.

11Alex TaglianiEpiPen/Rona / Chevrolet37-
26Andrew RangerMopar/Pennzoil / Dodge Challenger37-
34L.P. DumoulinWeatherTech Canada / Dodge37-
48Kevin LacroixBumper to Bumper/Total / Chevrolet37-
510J.F. DumoulinSpectra Premium / Dodge37-
65Anthony SimoneMOPAR / Dodge37-
79Peter KluttLegendary Motorcar / Chevrolet37-
814Jason HathawayKubota Canada / Chevrolet37-
912D.J. KenningtonCastrol Edge / Dodge Challenger37-
1011Jason WhitePowdered Ventures Exc. / Chevrolet37-
1113Donald TheetgeCircuit Acura / Chevrolet37-
1215Mark DilleyLeland Industries / Ford Fusion37-
1317Brett TaylorCVRD Canopies / Dodge37-
1419T.J. RinomatoHOLR Magazine / Ford Fusion37-
1518David ThorndykeThorsons EVT / Chevrolet Camaro37-
162Marc-Antoine CamirandGM Paille / Chevrolet36-
173Gary KluttRC Trailers / Dodge28Suspension
187Alex LabbeHotel Le Concord / Ford Fusion20Transmission
1916J.F. LabergeDagobert / Dodge9Accident

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