The 2015 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Pinty’s 250 at Kawartha Speedway had all of the makings of a fantastic finale, with the championship on the line as an era for the series comes to a close.
Steckly had a 9 point lead over Jason Hathaway and Andrew Ranger leading up to yesterday’s race, which would be the final event under the Canadian Tire Series banner after a decade of the retail giant’s support. Steckly only needed to wheel the #22 to a top five finish in order to clinch the title.
Practice and qualifying were surprisingly laid back, as most in the paddock paid more attention to the threatening skies overhead. Steckly fired the first salvo by qualifying on pole before the skies opened. The torrential rain left many of us expecting the race would be moved to today, as some teams struggled to prevent their paddock canopies from leaving the scene.
The skies finally cleared and track staff got the racing surface dried out in time for the field to go racing. The laid back atmosphere evaporated as the green flag fell and the first caution arose just three laps in as a number of the top ten cars got tangled in turn 4. From there though, the race settled into a pretty consistent groove, with more or less clean battles happening throughout the field.
Hathaway was the class of the field for most of the race, with Steckly, DJ Kennington and teenager Cayden Lapcevich rounding out the top four for most of the race. The young Lapcevich did a great job running with the old boys until a late race restart which saw the Tim Horton’s sponsored car get bullied back to sixth spots. What is it they say about old age and treachery?
When the checkers flew, it was a solid win for Hathaway, but not enough to prevent Scott Steckly from snagging his fourth NCTS championship.
A mid-race incident between Kevin Lacroix and Dwayne Baker led to the traditional post race melee, as crew members for Baker’s team taunted Lacroix’s team with racially motivated comments, which not surprisingly led to punches being thrown. I suppose that in a sport with a bit of a redneck background, this is to be expected, but it certainly isn’t acceptable. If NASCAR is serious about appealing to modern fans, they should be dispatching their diversity squad to have a chat with Baker’s crew.
Some fans have complained that the series is no longer as visible as it once was back in the CASCAR days. With the departure of Canadian Tire as the title sponsor, there is hope that the series will have a bit more flexibility to grow its market. One has to wonder however if there is another Canadian company that might be interested in supporting racing in this country to the same level. We can only hope!
NASCAR Canadian Tire Series pres. by Mobil 1-Pinty’s 250 Results
At Kawartha Speedway
Lap length: 0.375 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (4) Jason Hathaway, St. Thomas, Ont., Chevrolet, 250 laps, 53.267 mph.
2. (1) Scott Steckly, Milverton, Ont., Dodge, 250.
3. (8) D.J. Kennington, St. Thomas, Ont., Dodge, 250.
4. (5) L.P. Dumoulin, Trois-Rivieres, Que., Dodge, 250.
5. (20) Marc-Antoine Camirand, Saint-Leonard-d’Aston, Que., Chevrolet, 250.
6. (2) Cayden Lapcevich, Grimsby, Ont., Dodge, 250.
7. (9) Alex Tagliani, Lachenaie, Que., Chevrolet, 250.
8. (7) Joey McColm, Ajax, Ont., Ford, 250.
9. (17) J.F. Dumoulin, Trois-Rivieres, Que., Dodge, 250.
10. (10) Andrew Ranger, Roxton Pond, Que., Dodge, 250.
11. (3) Gary Klutt, Halton Hills, Ont., Dodge, 250.
12. (14) Josh Collins, Placentia, N.F., Ford, 250.
13. (6) Mark Dilley, Barrie, Ont., Ford, 249.
14. (15) James Van Domselaar, Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., Chevrolet, 248.
15. (19) Noel Dowler, Sherwood Park, Alta., Dodge, 247.
16. (21) Adam Dowler, Sherwood Park, Alta., Dodge, 246.
17. (22) Brandon White, Kahnawake, Que., Chevrolet, 246.
18. (12) Anthony Simone, Aurora, Ont., Dodge, 230, fuel pump.
19. (13) Matthew Scannell, Rockwood, Ont., Dodge, 228.
20. (11) Dwayne Baker, Barrie, Ont., Dodge, 169, suspension.
21. (16) Kevin Lacroix, Saint-Eustache, Que., Dodge, 162, radiator.
22. (18) Jason White, Sun Peaks, B.C., Dodge, 143, drive line.
Time of Race: 1 hour 45 minutes 36 seconds
Margin of Victory: .368 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: S.Steckly (76.418 mph, 17.666 seconds)
Caution Flags: 6 for 55 laps.
Lead Changes: 1 among 2 drivers.
Lap Leaders: S. Steckly 1-47; J. Hathaway 48-250.
Standings: 1. S. Steckly, 446; 2. J. Hathaway, 442; 3. A. Ranger, 428; 4. L. Dumoulin, 420; 5. D. Kennington, 400; 6. G. Klutt, 383; 7. M. Camirand, 382; 8. J. Dumoulin, 381; 9. A. Tagliani, 356; 10. J. McColm, 348.