NASCAR Canadian Tire Series News and Notes: CTMP
Series Release/Photo by Matthew Manor/Getty Images for NASCAR
Penultimate Event For 2015 Season
· Lacroix Looks To Continue Breakout Campaign
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 25, 2015) – The surprise of the 2015 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 season, Kevin Lacroix will look to continue his magical run in the Pinty’s presents the Clarington 200.
A promising road course prospect, Lacroix shut down his racing career for five years before returning to the sport this May when he debuted in the Canadian Tire Series during Victoria Day SpeedFest. Unfortunately he was involved in an accident four laps into the event, but the first-time misfortune quickly proved to not be an indicator of things to come.
Nobody could have predicted what happened when Lacroix made his second series appearance at Circuit ICAR near his hometown of St-Eustache, Quebec. With a pass of polesitter Alex Tagliani three laps into the event, Lacroix cruised to a dominant victorious performance.
It was just the beginning of what has been a historic season for the 26-year-old, as he became the first driver to record a win in just his second Canadian Tire Series start.
Following ICAR, Lacroix made his oval debut at this home track, Autodrome St-Eustache. He was fast right out of the trailer and qualified third, but had a rear end failure after spending much of the first half race running with the leaders, and retired early from the event.
Lacroix’s fourth appearance featured even more history as he passed Andrew Ranger coming to the checkered flag in the prestigious Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres to become the first rookie in Canadian Tire Series history to win two races in a season.
As the series returns to Bowmanville, Lacroix has one more opportunity for history ahead of him. Only Ranger, in both 2009 and 2010, has won three road course races in a season.
If his first four races are any indication, no mark is safe for this upstart.
RACE: Pinty’s presents the Clarington 200
PLACE: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Bowmanville, Ont.
DATE: Sunday, Aug. 30
TIME: 10 a.m. ET
TELECAST: Sept. 5, 12 p.m. ET on TSN; Oct. 22, 7 p.m. on RDS2
TRACK LAYOUT: 2.459-mile, 10-turn asphalt road course
2014 WINNER: J.R. Fitzpatrick
2014 POLESITTER: Andrew Ranger
EVENT SCHEDULE: Saturday – Practice 9:30-10:25 a.m., Final Practice 1:10-2 p.m., Driver Autograph Session 3:15-4 p.m., Qualifying 4:40-5:25 p.m.
TRACK CONTACT: Ryan Chalmers, 905-983-9141, firstname.lastname@example.org
TRACK TWITTER: @CTMPOfficial
EVENT TWITTER HASHTAGS: #PintysClarington200
NASCAR CONTACT: Jason Christley, 386-547-2469, email@example.com, Twitter: @jay_christley
The Race: The Pinty’s presents the Clarington 200 will be the penultimate event of the 2015 season for the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1, and the second of two races at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
The Procedure: The maximum starting field is 34 cars, including provisionals. The first 29 cars will have secured starting positions through NASCAR road-race style group qualifying. The qualifying groups will be determined by practice times, and the two sessions will be 20 minutes apiece. The remaining five starting spots will be awarded through the provisional process. Four change tires are allotted for the race, which is scheduled for 51 laps (125.4 miles, 201.8 kilometers).
The Track: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park opened for auto racing in 1961. The 2.459-mile, 10-turn road course welcomed the Canadian Tire Series for the first time on June 17, 2007, an event won by Andrew Ranger. The facility also previously featured a half-mile oval that held seven series events from 2007-13.
Race Winners: There have been five different race winners in 11 all-time races at the CTMP road course. J.R. Fitzpatrick has the most wins with five, including a 2014 sweep. Rookie Gary Klutt won from the pole in the May season-opener.
Pole Winners: There have been five different pole winners at the CTMP, led by Andrew Ranger’s five. Ranger set the series’ track qualifying record in May 2014 at 82.956 seconds (106.712 mph).
Pinty’s Presents The Clarington 200 Notes
Fourth Title in Sight for Steckly: With just two events left on the 2015 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 schedule, Scott Steckly is closing in on what would be a fourth series championship. The Milverton, Ontario, native brings a 12-point lead on Andrew Ranger to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Based on their respective histories at the track, Ranger stands to make up some ground this week, but Steckly has been on a roll for the majority of the campaign. Steckly has won three of the previous six races, including last time out at Nova Scotia’s Riverside International Speedway when he had lapped all but the second place car at the finish.
Steckly on the Road: Despite Steckly’s wealth of success in the Canadian Tire Series, he’s still in pursuit of a first road course victory. In 38 all-time series events on the road, Steckly has posted an impressive average finish of 8.5, but a trip to the Winner’s Circle has eluded him. A 19-time winner on ovals, Steckly has been a runner-up on the road four times with a best finish at CTMP of third in 2012. He finished fifth at the Bowmanville course in May.
Ranger’s CTMP Success: Ranger has won the pole in five of 11 all-time events at CTMP, and he’s raced pretty well there too. The Roxton Pond, Quebec, road ace has an average finish of 8.4 at the facility, where he won the inaugural event in 2007 and earned a second victory in 2009 – his two championship seasons. During May’s Victoria Day SpeedFest, Ranger finished ninth after starting second.
Double Duty for Tagliani: Alex Tagliani will duplicate his experience from a year ago and pull double duty at CTMP. In addition his regular Canadian Tire Series No. 18 EpiPen Chevrolet ride, the accomplished Quebec wheelman will also compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event with Brad Keselowski Racing. Tagliani made his series debut in a BKR entry in last year’s Chevrolet Silverado 250 and finished 16th after winning the pole.
Gallagher Entered With 22 Racing: Camping World Truck Series regular Spencer Gallagher is entered for the Pinty’s presents the Clarington 200 in the 22 Racing No. 24 and will run as a teammate to Steckly. It will mark the Canadian Tire Series debut for Gallagher, who has four top 10s in 26 career Camping World Truck Series starts. His only previous NASCAR road racing experience was three such starts in 2011 in K&N Pro Series West action.
Rookie Race: The Jostens Rookie of the Year competition is coming down to the wire as Marc-Antoine Camirand leads May CTMP winner Gary Klutt by just three tallies with two races to go. Klutt had a fast start to the campaign, but Camirand has come on strong during the season’s second half with four top fives in the last five races, including a career-best runner-up finish last time out at Riverside.