NASCAR Canadian Tire Series News and Notes: Riverside
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 11, 2014) – J.R. Fitzpatrick has had some near misses in pursuit of a checkered flag at Riverside International Speedway, and this week’s Wilson Equipment 300 is a prime opportunity to end the drought at the Nova Scotia oval and get back into NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 championship contention.
Fitzpatrick is a three-time runner-up at Riverside. The Ayr, Ontario, native finished second to Mark Dilley in 2007’s inaugural event and again in the 2008 return trip to Don Thompson Jr. His third runner-up there came to D.J. Kennington in 2012.
Among the top eight winningest drivers in Canadian Tire Series history, only Fitzpatrick and Pete Shepherd III have yet to reach Victory Lane at Riverside. Fitzpatrick’s nine career wins have come at four different tracks, but only once has he won on an oval: British Columbia’s Motoplex Speedway in 2007.
Fitzpatrick held the outright points lead after the first three races of the season, and entered the fourth event tied atop the standings. Although he remains second to leader L.P. Dumoulin, the margin continues to grow wider, now at a season-high 26-point deficit.
At the end of August Fitzpatrick gets to return to Ontario’s Canadian Tire Motorsport Park where he was dominant in victory in May, but to stay in the title hunt he’ll also need to find success in the three remaining oval events, starting with Saturday’s Wilson Equipment 300.
RACE: Wilson Equipment 300
PLACE: Riverside International Speedway, Antigonish, N.S.
DATE: Saturday, Aug. 16
TIME: 8 p.m. ADT
BROADCAST: TSN – Sat., Aug. 23, 2:30 p.m.; RDS2 – Thu., Sept. 11, 8 p.m.
TRACK LAYOUT: .333-mile, banked asphalt oval
2013 POLESITTER: Scott Steckly
2013 WINNER: Jason Hathaway
EVENT SCHEDULE: Practice 1-1:30 p.m., Final Practice 2-2:30 p.m., Qualifying 4:40 p.m., Driver Autograph Session 5:15 p.m.
TRACK CONTACT: Paul McLean, 902-863-2410, firstname.lastname@example.org
TRACK TWITTER: @Riverside_NS
EVENT TWITTER HASHTAG: #WilsonEquipment300
NASCAR CONTACT: Jason Cunningham, 704-201-6658, email@example.com, Twitter: @NASCAR_NE
The Race: The eighth annual Wilson Equipment 300 will be the eighth of 11 events on the 2014 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 schedule, and the lone trip to the province of Nova Scotia and Riverside International Speedway.
The Procedure: The maximum starting field is 24 cars, including provisionals. The first 21 cars will have secured starting positions based on two lap time trials and the remaining three spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race is scheduled for 300 laps (99.99 miles).
The Track: Riverside International Speedway originally opened in 1969 and was modeled after legendary Bristol Motor Speedway. In 2006 the track was completely demolished and rebuilt with a new racing surface, concrete walls, lighting, grandstands and control tower. Like its U.S. counterpart in eastern Tennessee, Riverside features high-banked turns. Here, the turns are banked 14 degrees. The frontstretch is 440 feet long with banking of six degrees while the backstretch is also 440 feet but with five-degree banking.
Pole Winners: The first seven Riverside races have produced four different pole winners, led by Scott Steckly’s three. Steckly set the series’ track qualifying record on Sept. 18, 2010 at 14.488 seconds (82.973 mph).
Race Winners: There have been six different winners in the first seven Canadian Tire Series events at Riverside. Only D.J. Kennington has two triumphs.
Riverside Race Notes:
Dumoulin Starting to Pull Away: With five-consecutive podium finishes, L.P. Dumoulin has forged a 26-point lead in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 championship standings with four races remaining. Dumoulin captured his second win of the campaign on Sunday in the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres in Quebec after his first oval track victory was earned in July at Saskatchewan’s Auto Clearing Motor Speedway. Dumoulin, who has yet to finish outside the top five in 2014, is attempting to become the first Quebec native to capture the Canadian Tire Series crown since Andrew Ranger in 2009.
Ranger Coming on Strong: Ranger’s continued quest to overcome a slow start to the 2014 season is paying dividends. After finishes of 21st and 12th to start the season, back-to-back wins at Circuit ICAR in Quebec and Alberta’s Edmonton International Raceway were key in turning things around. The two-time Canadian Tire Series titlist has since posted two more top fives and now sits 30 points back of championship leader Dumoulin and four behind second-place Fitzpatrick. Ranger won at Riverside during his 2009 title campaign.
Dilley’s Dominion: While he has checkered flags from two additional tracks, Riverside is arguably Dilley’s most-successful circuit on the Canadian Tire Series schedule. Not only did Dilley win the inaugural event there, but he has a series-best average finish of 4.7 across the previous seven events, including two other podiums. He finished fourth a year ago.
Last Time Out: Trois-Rivieres
The seventh race of the 2014 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 season was contested on Aug. 10 at Quebec’s Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres. Here are some highlights from the JuliaWine.com Le 50 Tours:
- L.P. Dumoulin earned the victory in front of a hometown crowd to record his fifth straight podium finish and extend his lead in the championship standings.
- Marc-Antoine Camirand captured his first career pole prior to the event, but was involved in the final caution of the day with Xavier Coupal on the first attempt at a green-white-checkered flag finish. Due to time constraints and the clean-up associated with the accident, the race was red-checker flagged and ended. Coupal was transported to an area hospital where he was evaluated and released later that night.
- Andrew Ranger finished second. In the eight all-time Trois-Rivieres events, he has won four and finished second in four.
- Kerry Micks was credited with a third-place finish for his best result in nearly three years while J.F. Dumoulin’s fourth-place effort was his best in 18 career starts.
Next Time Out: Bowmanville
Following the Wilson Equipment 300, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 will return to action on Aug. 31 with the Pinty’s presents the Clarington 200 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park near Bowmanville, Ontario. It will mark the 10th all-time event at the 2.459-mile road course, and second this season. J.R. Fitzpatrick won the 2014 opener there while L.P. Dumoulin is the defending winner of this late-summer event. The Canadian Tire Series will be joined on the weekend race card by the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Riverside Speedway entry list, from NASCARHomeTracks.com:
|02||Mark Dilley, Barrie, Ont.||Johnsonville/Leland/BDI Ford||Susan Micks||Rino Montanari|
|3||Jason Hathaway, Dutton, Ont.||Princess Auto/Rockstar Energy Drink Chevrolet||Ed Hakonson||Craig Masters|
|5||Noel Dowler, Sherwood Park, Alta.||Empire Mechanical Chevrolet||Kevin Dowler||Robin McCluskey|
|17||D.J. Kennington, St. Thomas, Ont.||Castrol Edge/Mahindra Tractors Dodge||Doug Kennington||Dave Wight|
|18||Stefan Rzadzinski, Edmonton, Alta. *||EpiPen/Dicom Express Dodge||Bronte Tagliani||Tyler Case|
|22||Scott Steckly, Milverton, Ont.||Canadian Tire/Sylvania Dodge||Scott Steckly||Randy Steckly|
|24||John Flemming, Halifax, N.S. *||Happy Harry’s Affordable Bldg. Ctr. Dodge||Scott Steckly||Mike Knott|
|25||Joey McColm, Ajax, Ont.||Canada’s Best Store Fixtures Dodge||Bud Morris||Ryan Weiss|
|27||Andrew Ranger, Roxton Pond, Que.||Mopar/Exide Dodge||D.J. Kennington||Bill Burns|
|28||Donald Chisholm, Antigonish, N.S.||Keltic Ford/Nova Construction Ford||D.J. Kennington||TBD|
|47||L.P. Dumoulin, Trois-Rivieres, Que.||WeatherTech Canada/Bellemare Dodge||Marc-Andre Bergeron||Mario Gosselin|
|56||Matthew Scannell, Milton. Ont. *||B&D Auto/Trailers by Jim Bray Dodge||Daniel Bray||Howie Scannell Jr.|
|72||Alex Labbe, Saint-Albert, Que. *||Lou’s BBQ/VR Victoriaville Dodge||Dave Jacombs||Ron Easton|
|84||J.R. Fitzpatrick, Ayr, Ont.||Equipment Express/Autism Speaks Chevrolet||John Fitzpatrick||Don Thomson Jr.|