NASCAR Canadian Tire Series News and Notes: Pinty’s 250 at Kawartha
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 15, 2015) – Any one of four drivers can walk away from Kawartha Speedway Saturday knowing they have placed their name in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1’s record book.
Scott Steckly, Jason Hathaway, Andrew Ranger and L.P. Dumoulin are all in the running for the 2015 title with only the Pinty’s 250 left to decide who gets to take home the trophy, and each has an opportunity to create their own unique history.
For Steckly, of Milverton, Ontario, Saturday represents a chance to further his legacy. The points leader already has a series record three championships, and a fourth would double the second closest drivers on that list: Ranger and D.J. Kennington. A fourth championship would also place him in elite company in NASCAR’s regional touring division ranks, as he would become just the eighth driver – and second active competitor – to attain that many titles among the eight current divisions in competition. Steckly can guarantee a fourth title with a top-five finish on Saturday.
Hathaway and Ranger are tied for second entering Kawartha, just nine points behind Steckly in the second-closest margin entering the traditional season finale in series history. Steckly trailed D.J. Kennington by five prior to the 2013 Pinty’s 250, and won that race to take home the crown.
Saturday represents the best championship opportunity Hathaway has had during his career. The points leader following four mid-season events this year, the St. Thomas, Ontario, native’s best previous championship finish was third in 2013. Hathaway, Steckly and Kennington are the only drivers to compete in all 108 all-time series events, and Hathaway is the lone member of that select group without a title.
The opportunity ahead for Ranger is to tie Steckly for the most titles in Canadian Tire Series history. The Roxton Pond, Quebec, racer won the series’ inaugural season crown in 2007 and added a second two years later. In his sixth full-time season in the series, Ranger is positioned for what would be a fourth championship podium finish.
Dumoulin enters the week as the longshot contender. Still alive mathematically, at 23 points behind Steckly in a 24-car field, he faces tall odds. A championship performance would be historic for the Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, native as no driver in Canadian Tire Series history has been able to earn back-to-back crowns.
Tale of the Tape – 2015 Title Contenders
|Driver||Wins||Poles||Top Fives||Top 10s||Laps Led||Prev. Titles|
|Steckly||3||3||6||9||1,042||2008, `11, `13|
RACE: Pinty’s 250
PLACE: Kawartha Speedway, Fraserville, Ont.
DATE: Saturday, Sept. 19
TIME: 5 p.m. ET
TELECAST: TSN-Sat., Oct. 3, 1 p.m. / RDS2-Thu., Oct. 22, 7 p.m.
TRACK LAYOUT: .375-mile, banked asphalt oval
2014 POLESITTER / WINNER: J.R. Fitzpatrick
EVENT SCHEDULE: Practice 11-11:30 a.m., Final Practice 12-12:45 p.m., Qualifying 3:15 p.m., Driver Autograph Session 3:50 p.m.
TRACK CONTACT: Dave Middleton, 705-939-6316, firstname.lastname@example.org
TRACK TWITTER: @KDSpeedway
EVENT TWITTER HASHTAG: #Pintys250
NASCAR CONTACT: Jason Cunningham, 704-201-6658, email@example.com, Twitter: @NASCAR_NE
The Race: The Pinty’s 250 will be the 11th and final event on the 2015 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 schedule, and the ninth all-time trip to Kawartha Speedway.
The Procedure: The maximum starting field is 26 cars, including provisionals. The first 23 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 250 laps (93.75 miles) with a five-minute midway break at or near Lap 125.
The Track: Kawartha Speedway is part of the Kawartha Downs and Speedway complex in Fraserville, Ontario, east of Toronto near Peterborough. The .375-mile asphalt oval speedway with progressive banking is surrounded by a harness-racing horse track.
Pole Winners: The eight previous Kawartha races have each produced seven different pole winners as J.R. Fitzpatrick is the only driver with more than one. Mark Dilley set the series’ track qualifying record on Sept. 23, 2007 at 17.704 seconds (76.254 mph).
Race Winners: There have been five different winners in the first seven Canadian Tire Series events at Kawartha, led by D.J. Kennington’s three triumphs.
Pinty’s 250 Race Notes:
Kawartha Closers: This year’s Pinty’s 250 will keep the tradition alive. Each and every season of NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 competition since 2007 has concluded with the season finale at Kawartha Speedway.
Jostens Rookie Competition: The overall points championship will garner the most attention on Saturday, and rightfully so, but there’s also intense competition for the Jostens Rookie of the Year Award. Entering the Pinty’s 250 Gary Klutt has a five-point lead on Marc-Antoine Camirand for the honor. The rookie standings are determined on a point-per-position basis, from 10 points for the highest-finishing rookie, to nine, and so on. There are currently eight rookies registered for the Pinty’s 250, which does give Camirand a chance to catch and pass Klutt.
Potential Rookie History: Both Camirand and Klutt have an opportunity to become the highest-ranking Jostens Rookie of the Year in series history. Through the first eight years, the best overall championship finish the top rookie has recorded was eighth in 2012 by Martin Roy. Klutt enters Kawartha ranked sixth while Camirand sits eighth.
Ontario Milestone: The Pinty’s 250 will mark the 50th race in Canadian Tire Series history in the province of Ontario. Bowmanville’s Canadian Tire Motorsport Park holds the series’ overall record for most events held with 12 followed by 10 at Barrie Speedway. This week will mark Kawartha’s ninth event.
Ontario Drivers Win 2015: With a few exceptions here and there, the Canadian Tire Series lineup generally breaks down to Ontario and Quebec competitors. Hathaway’s win last time out at CTMP clinched Ontario drivers the title for most wins in 2015 versus their Quebec counterparts. Entering the finale, Ontario pilots have garnered six checkered flags to four for Quebec natives. Ontarians have won this unofficial competition in each of the series’ now nine years.
CBRT Notes: Canada’s Best Racing Team will bring three cars to Kawartha, each with an interesting tidbit: Kevin Poitras will pilot the No. 8 Ford in what will mark his first series oval start … Team manager and veteran driver Joey McColm is poised to finish in the top 10 in the final standings in back-to-back seasons in his No. 25 for the first time in his career … The series’ first Newfoundland driver, Josh Collins will be in the No. 87 for his second career start.
Touring Awards: Following the season finale at Kawartha Speedway, the next engagement on the calendar will be to celebrate all of the NASCAR regional touring series champions at the 2015 NASCAR Touring Awards. The annual postseason event will take place in the Crown Ballroom at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Dec. 12 in Charlotte, North Carolina.