Aug 15

NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Montreal preview

Montreal brings out drama
+ Drivers preview

2010-08-29_02442010-08-29_0305 Wild finishes pepper series’ history at legendary track. Whether it’s the big stage in sharing billing with the NASCAR Nationwide Series or the speedy track etched in the annals of Canadian racing, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series event at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve never fails to bring out the competitive spirit of the drivers.

Three of the series’ four races at the 2.709-mile track situated on Île Notre-Dame have been decided on the final lap including last season’s rough-and-tumble battle between winner and hometown favorite Andrew Ranger and Jason Bowles.

On the white-flag lap, Ranger and Bowles were side-by-side heading into the hairpin Turn 10 where the two made contact forcing Ranger out of the racing groove. However, he was able to battle back by Turns 13 and 14. The two cars once again made contact causing Bowles to hit the inside retaining wall before Ranger went on to take the checkered flag.

“I don’t talk a lot about it,” said Bowles recently. “I know what he did. He knows what he did and things like that come back to you at some point.”

Ranger, on the other hand, viewed it as last-lap racing.

“It was the last lap,” said Ranger. “We both wanted to win.”

The win was Ranger’s second at the track after winning the 2008 race by a tidy 2.846 seconds over Scott Steckly, but it wasn’t his only dramatic Montreal finish.

In the inaugural Montreal event in 2007, Ranger battled with Kerry Micks on the final lap. The two drag raced from Turn 10 to the finish line with Micks getting the edge by .103 of a second.

In 2009, the field was taking the green flag on a second attempt at a green-white-checkered finish when everyone stacked up in Turn 2 sending cars all over the place. The race was ended at that point. J.R. Fitzpatrick took the checkered flag under caution with Ranger trailing in second which foiled Ranger’s chance at winning all four road-course events en route to his second series championship.

I don’t know what it is,” said Fitzpatrick. “Everybody wants to win every race, but for some reason it gets pretty wild there.”

Race Notes:

Looking For Two: The NAPA AUTOPRO 100 is two-time Montreal race winner Andrew Ranger’s final chance to pick up a second NASCAR Canadian Tire Series win of the 2011 season assuming no changes to his schedule. It has been since 2007 that Ranger has not won two or more races in a season. He won earlier in the season in Toronto, but fell short in his other two series starts.

Big Numbers: Thirty-eight cars are expected to be on hand at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for the NAPA AUTOPRO 100 which has starting positions for 34 vehicles.

Tagliani Returns: Alex Tagliani, the 2011 Indianapolis 500 polesitter, will make his second NASCAR Canadian Tire Series start of the season. On June 5 at Circuit ICAR in Mirabel, Que., Tagliani led a race-high 24 laps before getting tangled with Ranger late in the race relegating him to an eighth-place finish.

Expanded TV Coverage: The NAPA AUTOPRO 100 will be recorded and shown in its entirety on TSN at 12:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Aug. 20 preceding NASCAR Nationwide Series coverage from Montreal. Vic Rauter, Dave Bradley and Billy Rowse Jr. will have the call with Todd Lewis handling the action on pit road.

No Place Like Home: In the neighborhood of 16 Quebec drivers are expected to be on hand in Montreal. Along with Ranger (Roxton Pond), Elie Arseneau (Laval), Patrice Brisebois (West Mount), Dave Coursol (St. Jerome), Ray Courtemanche Jr. (Montreal), Jean-Francois Dumoulin (Trois-Rivieres), Louis-Phillippe Dumoulin (Trois-Rivieres), Sebastien Dussault (Vaudreuil-Dorian), Michel Pilon (Blainville), Martin Roy (Napierville), Dexter Stacey (Kahnawake), Alex Tagliani (Lachenaie), Donald Theetge (Boischatel), Isabelle Tremblay (St. Hippolyte), Hugo Vannini (Repentigny) and Derek White (Kahnawake) will be looking for a win on their home turf.

Double Duty: Ranger along with Tagliani and J.R. Fitzpatrick will be doing double duty between the Canadian Tire Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series garages. All three are set to compete in both events. D.J. Kennington and Jason Bowles may join this list as events unfold.

Last Time Out: GP3R 100

New Blood: Andrew Ranger had ruled the 1.53-mile street course in Trois-Rivieres (Que.) by winning each of the last three NASCAR Canadian Tire Series events there, but this year Robin Buck led 38 of the 44 laps to pick up the win – his second of the 2011 season.

Rainy Day: For the second time in history, NASCAR Canadian Tire Series cars had rain tires bolted on under race conditions. In Trois-Rivieres, the cars kept the tires on for the entire event differentiating it from the June 2008 event at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ont., at which rain started to fall after the race was underway.

High Water Marks: At Trois-Rivieres, five drivers set or equaled series-best finishes. Jason White finished sixth to equal his mark earlier this season at Mosport International Raceway. Derek White’s seventh-place effort tied his previous career best set on June 5, 2010 at Delaware (Ont.) Speedway. John Farano posted a career-high finish of eighth. Dave Connelly logged his first series career top-10 finish with a 10th-place showing while Martin Roy, in just his third start, posted a career-best 13th-place finish.

Next Step: Points leader Scott Steckly has been among the top-three finishers on a road course eight times since the beginning of the 2008 season including runner-up finishes this season at Circuit ICAR and Toronto and a third-place effort in the GP3R 100.

Next Time Out: Wild Wing 300

With the road courses out of the picture, the final three events of the 2011 season will come on oval tracks. First up is the cozy .333-mile track at Barrie (Ont.) Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 10. Last year, D.J. Kennington earned the win en route to his first NASCAR Canadian Tire Series championship. Kennington equates racing at Barrie to flying a jet in a gymnasium. 


  1.  Place: Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, Que.
  2. Date: Saturday, Aug. 20
  3. Time: 9:30 a.m. ET
  4. TV Schedule: TSN, Sat., Aug. 20, 12:30 p.m. ET (in entirety)
  5. Track Layout: 2.709-mile road course
  6. 2010 Winner: Andrew Ranger
  7. 2010 Polesitter: Andrew Ranger
  8. Event Schedule: Thur., Aug. 18: Practice: 4:40-5:40 p.m.; Fri., Aug. 19: Qualifying, 2:30 p.m.

Fast Facts

Race: This event is the ninth of 12 races on the 2011 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series schedule and the last of five races this season on road courses. This is the series’ fifth visit to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. This is the second of two Quebec road-course races on the slate in August with the first being the GP3R 100 on Aug. 7 at Circuit de Trois-Rivieres (Que.).

Procedure: The starting field is 34 cars, including provisionals. The first 29 cars will qualify through NASCAR road race style qualifying. There will be two qualifying groups based on practice times. The remaining five spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 23 laps covering 100 kilometers (62.137miles).

Track: The 2.709-mile, 14-turn temporary road course is located in Parc Jean-Drapeau on Île Notre-Dame, a man-made island on the St. Lawrence River. The track was originally named Île Notre-Dame Circuit, but was renamed in 1982 following the death of legendary Canadian racer Gilles Villeneuve.

Records: The one-lap qualifying record for the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series is 105.003 seconds (92.877 mph) set by Andrew Ranger on Aug. 28, 2010. The 23-lap race record also is held by Ranger at 54 minutes, 57 seconds set Aug. 2, 2008 for an average speed of 68.058 mph.

History: The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series has been a part of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve event in conjunction with the NASCAR Nationwide Series since its inception in 2007. Ranger and Jason Bowles played bumper tag on the final lap last season with Ranger earning his second NASCAR Canadian Tire Series victory at the track. Kerry Micks won in 2007 while J.R. Fitzpatrick collected the prize in 2009.

source: nascar.com


2011-08-06_0292NASCAR Canadian Tire Series driver Isabelle Tremblay from St. Hippolyte, Quebec is thrilled to be returning to action at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve this coming weekend. Tremblay will return to the circuit where she is very comfortable racing and is anxious to keep working toward her goal of achieving the rookie of the year title for the 2011 season.

Though she had great success earlier this year in the F1600 series at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and has also competed in the ANCA Sportsman Series at Autodrome St. Eustache, Tremblay is focusing her efforts this weekend on the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. “The team has worked really hard on the car and we know that we can be a more competitive team so instead of running in multiple races I’m going to focus on NASCAR” explained Tremblay.

This shift in focus by Tremblay is supported by her sponsor Mobiliers Mondiale Salotti which was backing her F1600 effort. “As all teams do we were evaluating our season and as we are leading the rookie points in NASCAR we agreed that putting all our efforts into winning that title was the right thing to do” said Tremblay. “We are going to make it our priority” she added.

Isabelle Tremblay is fast becoming one of the most popular racers in her home province and will be a special invited guest to the Driver Autograph session on the grounds at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Thursday August 18th from 1-2PM. “I am also doing a radio show on Tuesday and have a video crew documenting the weekend, but I am totally focusing on working with the Dave Jacombs team and getting everything we can out of the car” stated Tremblay.

Practice for the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series takes place Thursday at 4:50PM. Qualifying is Friday afternoon beginning at 3:10PM. The race is Saturday morning at 9:30AM. Race fans can see the race on TSN & RDS. Check local listings for time in your area.

Isabelle Tremblay is grateful for the impressive support of her many partners this season which include: Group Beton Brunet, ADF Diesel, Furniture World Salotti, Insulation Ippersiel, Canadian Tire St. Jerome, DB Imaging, La Pizzeria Etc. and Leaf Racewear.

More information about Isabelle Tremblay and her 2011 racing program can be found by going to her website, www.isaracingteam.com

source: Todd Lewis & TL Sports & Entertainment, www.toddlewissports.com

Excitement ahead for Team EMCO in Montreal

2011-08-06_0223Sherwood Park, Alberta’s Noel Dowler AND the #5 EMCO Dodge team are pleased to arrive in Montreal, Quebec early next week and the activities leading up to round number nine of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series set for August 19 & 20th at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

As was the case for several events this season Dowler along with the #5 EMCO Dodge race car and hauler will be making several appearances to great EMCO employees, customers, suppliers and race fans prior to the event next weekend. “We’ve had such a good time at these events” said the enthusiastic Dowler. “We’ve taken hundreds of pictures, signed Hero Cards and everyone has been really warm and welcoming. I know it’s going to be a great time again next week” he added.

This will be the third Quebec visit this summer for the #5 EMCO Dodge team. “The Quebec race fans are so knowledgeable out racing and really supportive and encouraging” said Dowler. “The whole team has received that kind of support all season, and we don’t want it to end. We’re working hard to finalize the details and extend our season to add the race at Riverside Speedway in Antigonish, Nova Scotia and maybe more” he added.

The #5 EMCO Dodge team has made steady progress all season and Dowler has climbed to within eight points of the Rookie of the Year standings lead. “I can’t say enough about how hard this whole team has worked this season” stated Dowler. “With another good solid run in Montreal we could be right there” he added.

Racing on the famed Circuit Gilles Villeneuve presents a stimulating challenge for the #5 EMCO Dodge team. “It’s really cool to be racing on such a great track but we have to stay focused on the job and make sure to get the kind of race result we’re capable of achieving” explained Dowler.

Qualifying for the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series event at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve takes place Friday August 19th beginning at 2:30PM. The race will begin Saturday August 20th at 9:30AM. Fans can tune in to TSN at 12:30PM that day and see the race in its entirety.

Dowler will participate in a total of five road and street course events, along with the two oval track races at Motoplex Speedway in Vernon, BC and Auto Clearing Speedway in Saskatoon for a total of seven races. All of the 2011 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series races will be broadcast on TSN. Check local listings for times in your area. For more information about Noel Dowler Jr. log onto www.apollomotorsports.ca

source: Todd Lewis & TL Sports & Entertainment, www.toddlewissports.com