Jun 17

Shepherd conquers NASCAR Canadian Tire Series at Delaware (updated²)

First Victory at Ontario Oval, Fourth of career

2009-06-06He may be a part-time competitor on the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, but Pete Shepherd III sure makes the most of his opportunities.

Shepherd took the lead from J.R. Fitzpatrick on Lap 150 and held on through three restarts over the final 50 circuits to take the checkered flag in Saturday’s EMCO 200 at Delaware Speedway.

The triumph marked Shepherd’s fourth career victory. The Brampton, Ont., native has found Victory Lane four years in a row now, despite making just 17 starts during that span. However, going up against the full-time teams wasn’t quite as hard as it appears given the right circumstances according to Shepherd.

“Tonight, it really wasn’t that bad. The car was awesome,” said the driver of the No. 7 National Exhaust/Diamond Material Handling Dodge. “When you have a car like that, you just need to make it to the end of the race. We knew if we could stay out of trouble early on that we could race for the win at the end.”

It also marked Shepherd’s first win at Delaware, where his previous best finish in three starts on the venerable half-mile oval was fifth on two occasions.

Shepherd, who led a race-high 74 laps, had to deal with several challengers down the stretch, but none more so than Fitzpatrick.

“J.R. is one of the best in the business and he definitely had me concerned on those restarts,” Shepherd said. “He raced me clean and I want to thank him for that. He and I have a mutual respect for each other. It was a great night.”

Fitzpatrick settled for second place as once again a win on an oval eluded the championship contender. Seven of his eight series career wins have come on road courses and his lone win on a circle track came in July 2007 at Motoplex Speedway in Vernon, B.C. Nevertheless, Fitzpatrick and the No. 84 Equipment Express Chevrolet team was upbeat at the end of the night after a rough go in the season opener produced a finish near the rear of the field.

“It’s not exactly what we came here for, but in a way it was,” Fitzpatrick said. “We were pretty far back in the points, so second is pretty good and we led a lap (to pick up the one-point bonus).”

He echoed Shepherd’s sentiments on the final laps.

“I could’ve punted him, but I have too much respect for him to do that,” Fitzpatrick stated. “Down the stretch his car got better and better. I can’t thank my guys enough for a great race car tonight.”

Steve Mathews crossed the line in third for a series career-best finish after being among the leaders all evening.

“We didn’t have the car at the start, but we had some adjustability built into it and we were able to use that to our advantage,” said the pilot of the No. 15 Bill Mathews Motors Ford.

At one point late in the race Mathews found himself in the middle of a three-wide battle with D.J. Kennington and Ron Beauchamp Jr. on a track not exactly built for that type of racing. Beauchamp seemingly came out the loser in that battle and made his feelings known after the race by confronting Mathews.

“To Beauchamp, I have to say sorry about that, but I was in the middle and along for the ride,” Mathews stated. “There wasn’t much I could do.”

Kennington, who was in search of his fourth Canadian Tire Series win on his home track, finished fourth followed by Martin Roy in fifth. Noel Dowler, Larry Jackson, Hugo Vannini, Dave Connelly and Joey McColm brought home the remainder of the top-10 finishers in the second race on the 2013 slate.

Kennington took over the top spot in the point standings after L.P. Dumoulin experienced mechanical problems early in the race and limped to a 19th-place finish. Jeff Lapcevich is second six points in back of the leader followed by Jason Hathaway in third just seven tallies off the pace.

The EMCO 200 will air on TSN on Sunday, June 23 at 1 p.m. ET and on RDS2 on Monday, July 8 at 9 p.m.

The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series will return to action with the Clarington 200 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park on June 22 in Bowmanville, Ont.
UNOFFICIAL Results Saturday At Delaware Speedway Delaware, Ont.
Lap length: 0.5 miles
(Start position in parentheses)

1. (4) Pete Shepherd, III, Brampton, Ont., Dodge, 200 laps, 65.622 mph.
2. (5) J.R. Fitzpatrick, Cambridge, Ont., Chevrolet, 200.
3. (3) Steve Mathews, New Liskeard, Ont., Ford, 200.
4. (2) D.J. Kennington, St. Thomas, Ont., Dodge, 200.
5. (10) Martin Roy, Napierville, Que., Dodge, 200.
6. (16) Noel Dowler, Sherwood Park, Alta., Dodge, 200.
7. (9) Howie Scannell Jr., Milton, Ont., Dodge, 200.
8. (18) Hugo Vannini, Repentigny, Que., Ford, 200.
9. (21) Dave Connelly, Arnprior, Ont., Dodge, 200.
10. (14) Joey McColm, Ajax, Ont., Dodge, 198.
11. (6) Jason Hathaway, Dutton, Ont., Dodge, 197.
12. (8) Jeff Lapcevich, Grimsby, Ont., Dodge, 197.
13. (11) Ron Beauchamp, Jr., Windsor, Ont., Dodge, 196.
14. (15) Jason White, Sun Peaks, B.C., Dodge, 192.
15. (22) Ray Courtemanche Jr., Montreal, Que., Dodge, 191.
16. (17) Brad Graham, Glencoe, Ont., Ford, 186.
17. (19) Ryley Seibert, Williams Lake, B.C., Dodge, 179.
18. (20) Trevor Seibert, Williams Lake, B.C., Dodge, 172, accident.
19. (12) L.P. Dumoulin, Trois-Rivieres, Que., Dodge, 160.
20. (13) Alex Guenette, Terrebonne, Que., Dodge, 157, accident.
21. (1) Scott Steckly, Milverton, Ont., Dodge, 129.
22. (7) Mark Dilley, Barrie, Ont., Ford, 66.

Race Statistics

Time of Race: 1 hour 31 minutes 26 seconds

Margin of Victory: .680 seconds

Fastest Qualifier: S.Steckly (93.536 mph, 19.244 seconds)

Caution Flags: 6 for 46 laps.

Lead Changes: 7 among 6 drivers.

Lap Leaders: S. Steckly 1-70; A. Guenette 71-77; D. Kennington 78-92; P. Shepherd,III 93-115; J. Fitzpatrick 116; M. Roy 117-123; J. Fitzpatrick 124-149; P. Shepherd,III 150-200.

Standings: 1. D. Kennington, 81; 2. J. Lapcevich, 75; 3. J. Hathaway, 74; 4. N. Dowler, 74; 5. L. Dumoulin, 73; 6. S. Mathews, 67; 7. H. Vannini, 67; 8. M. Roy, 65; 9. T. Seibert, 62; 10. B. Graham, 62.


source: nascar.com


Hard day at the track for Ray Courtemanche Jr, but perseverance pays off

Ray Jr. was at Delaware Speedway’s short oval last Saturday night for the second race of the 2013 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. Ray Jr. was unlucky in his qualifying run and hit the wall hard. Despite the damage, he was able to bring the car home 15th after 200 laps difficult of racing.

Delaware, ON, June 17, 2013 – After a private practice session at that track two weeks ago, where Ray Jr. ran quick lap times, expectations were high when Ray and the La Cité de Mirabel Inc. team pulled in to the Delaware Speedway last Saturday morning. After working on suspension settings to cut another few tenths of a second off his lap times, Ray was unlucky enough to spin on cold tires on his first qualifying lap.

Damage to the car was extensive, and the team worked extremely hard and fast to rebuild the rear of the car so that Ray Jr. could start the race at the back of the pack. In the race, Ray Jr. quickly determined that the car’s handling was far from optimal. As he said after the race “I had to loosen my belts and stretch my right side in order to get full throttle, and I started cramping half-way through the race. When I lifted off the throttle, the gas pedal was jerking on and off and the engine actually kept pulling for a moment of two.”

Post-race inspection showed that the rear suspension was bent, that the engine has moved back when Ray hit the wall, and that the bell housing, a key link between the engine and gearbox, had broken and was allowing the engine to move sideways under acceleration. There had been no time before the race to even check under the hood, as everyone was concentrating on the extensive rear end damage, a herculean effort by all Jacombs Racing team members, as well as a few from other teams who pitched in. On top of that his cool water system was not working and Ray Jr. was slowly cooking in the car.

Despite the problems, Ray kept going right to the end of the race, and actually ran quicker lap time than before the accident. Ray was having some mixed emotions after the race. “It is frustrating to run a whole race and deal with all these issues, as I had to drive carefully to avoid problems when quicker car passed me. On the other hand, I actually went a few tenths quicker with the wounded car, so I guess I did learn a few things about driving these short, bumpy ovals. The team did an incredible job of fixing the car and I want to thank them all for their hard work.”

The next race on the NCaTS is on another short oval, at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, just East of Oshawa (ON), next Saturday night, June 22.

source: Julie Baldwin, Service Presse poleposition.ca


Mechanical Woes Rob Alex Guenette of a Shot at the Podium

Thirty laps from the end of the race, rookie driver Alex Guenette was looking at an assured fifth place in the second race of the 2013 NCaTS, the EMCO 200 held last Satuday night (June 15) on the 5/8 mile Delaware Speedway. Mechanical gremlins stuck at that point, robbing Alex of the finish he deserved.

Montreal, June 17, 2013 –Starting from the 13th position on the grid, Alex gradually climbed up the field to 7th as those in front of him made mistakes. A first caution flag at lap 60 saw every car in front of him stop for fuel and tire while he stayed on track and ended up first at the restart.

This was expected as part of the team’s race strategy. After the race, Alex was still convinced that the strategy was correct. “We were planning for a mid-race stops for fuel and tires, based on yellow period at that time. That is how it actually worked out, as we restarted in seventh place after that mid-race stop, with newer tires than those in front of me.”

Alex was working his way forward and going for 5th on lap 165, when brake failure threw him into the outside wall going into corner 3. End of Story! According to Alex, “I had saved my tires for a charge during the last 30 laps and a shot at a podium finish. The car handled great for the whole race, and I knew that the tires were still in enough shape for a final push.”

“As it stands now, the No. 39 Moto Illimitees / DLGL Dodge car is badly damaged, giving the team a lot of work to do before our next race, on the short oval at Canadian Motorsport Park, this coming weekend, June 22. I am sure that the car will be perfect there.” Alex is counting on this event for a strong finish after DNFs in the first two NCaTS races of the season.

source: alexguenette.com, Service Presse poleposition.ca


Returning to his home track at Delaware Speedway is always special for #17 Castrol Edge Dodge driver DJ Kennington. In front of plenty of family and friends once again Kennington showed his amazing consistency during round number two of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series securing another top five finish and with that Kennington takes over the top spot in the overall championship standings.

Beginning with practice early in the day the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge team went about their work fine tuning their car for the race. Kennington would conclude the final practice session with the quickest lap time. The St. Thomas, ON driver came up just short in qualifying and claimed the second starting position on the outside of row one. “I was just a little tentative” said Kennington afterward.

As the green flag dropped action picked up quickly and drivers were pretty aggressive. Kennington took his usual steady approach settling into a comfortable pace and staying near the front of the field.

As the caution flag flew just past the 1/3 mark the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge made a scheduled stop for fuel and also some handling adjustments. “The car felt just a little off” explained the driver. “We made some pretty significant changes trying to improve”.

Kennington would put the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge into the lead of the race on lap 78. The handling however still wasn’t at 100% and he would give it up a few laps later.

Following the second scheduled stop for fresh tires Kennington again looked to make a charge but would come up a little short in his bid for a fourth victory at the track. The #17 Castrol Edge Dodge would cross the finish line fourth.

“We just missed the set up a little bit” said Kennington. It was getting a bit wild at the end with some guys really pushing the envelope so we took what we could and brought the car home pretty clean. We’ll regroup this week and have the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge ready to rock next week” he stated.

DJ Kennington and the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge team will return to action for round three of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series on Saturday June 22nd at the Speedway at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park near Bowmanville, ON

Race fans are encouraged to keep up to date with the latest team news in several ways. Race fans should bookmark the team website www.djkracing.ca and follow them on twitter, @djkracing and fans should also “like” the DJK Racing Fan Page on Facebook.

source: Todd Lewis & TL Sports & Entertainment, tlsportsent.com


Sherwood Park, Alberta’s Noel Dowler and the #5 EMCO/Rheem Dodge team had a busy week prior to round number two of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series this past weekend, the EMCO 200 at Delaware Speedway. In front of a large contingent of EMCO customers and staff Dowler chalked up another top ten finish after battling back from an early obstacle.

The #5 EMCO/Rheem Dodge team worked hard through practice to improve the set-up of the car and following the second session the driver was pleased. “The car is fast and it felt really good, I’m excited about the race” said Dowler.

Qualifying is still something that the #5 EMCO/Rheem Dodge driver needs to work on. “It’s something I need to improve and be a little more aggressive at, we were faster than 15th where I qualified” said Dowler.

Once the green flag flew for the EMCO 200 Dowler set about improving his position in the field and that’s exactly what happened. Smartly moving the #5 EMCO/Rheem Dodge toward the top ten. “The car was pretty stout all day” said the driver afterwards.

As the race progressed Dowler continued to work hard and looking to gain positions. However they’re night would become a battle during a scheduled pit stop. “We broke a wheel stud during out pit stop and went down a lap” explained Dowler so we put our head down and fought back” he added.

A determined Dowler pushed the #5 EMCO/Rheem Dodge looking to gain back as many positions as possible and began marching forward. In the late stages another caution flag flew that benefitted the team. The first car one lap down they were granted the free pass back to the lead lap. Dowler continued his charge in the late stages and crossed the finish line with a hard fought sixth place result.

After two events Dowler sits fourth in the overall championship standings

“All in all I’m pretty pleased” said Dowler. “I have to thank the crew for doing a great job making the repairs; one lap could have easily become three laps, their work kept us in the hunt to get our lap back. I managed to drive back up to sixth without really ruffling any feathers, I might have been able to nudge my way up and get another spot or two but I didn’t think that was the way to go especially this early in the season. I’m happy we bounced back with a good result with all the EMCO supporters here tonight and I’m looking forward to getting back at it next week” he stated.

The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series consists of 12 events from coast to coast in Canada. The next race is Saturday June 22nd at the Speedway at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park near Bowmanville, ON. For more information about Noel Dowler and the #5 EMCO Dodge/Rheem team log onto www.apollomotorsports.ca and follow him on twitter, @noeldowler.

source: Todd Lewis & TL Sports & Entertainment, tlsportsent.com


EMCO « 200 » – Delaware Speedway

Louis-Philippe Dumoulin started the first oval race of the season, EMCO “200” at Delaware Speedway, from 12th position yesterday behind the wheel of the n°47 WeatherTech Canada/Bellemare Dodge. Everything was in place to allow him to complete the race within the leading pack. However, a mechanical failure early in the race made him lose several laps.

“The mechanical team made a fantastic job. The n°47 WeatherTech Canada/Bellemare was competitive and we were driving up front. In testing we were only three tenth of a second behind the best driver, it was really tight [9th best time in testing]. Qualifying in this position was strategically great and we were having a really good start to the race when a rear suspension piece broke », explained Louis-Philippe Dumoulin.

On the 8th lap, the Quebecer was forced to retire in the pit. He came back on track on the 45th lap. He was then 21st and managed to complete the race in 19th position. “It was frustrating to finish the race with that much gap with the leaders knowing the car was fast, but mechanical failures are also part of this sport,” added Louis-Philippe Dumoulin.

Next Race

The mechanical team is ready to fix the n°47 WeatherTech Canada/Bellemare car for the Clarigton “200” that will take place on June 22nd on the oval track of the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Warren Jones [spotter] insisted on the high level of improvement he saw in Louis-Philippe Dumoulin’s technique on oval tracks. “What’s encouraging is that we have a fast car. It is looking real great for the next race. We still have 10 races to go and our objective remains the same,” said the driver of the Dumoulin Competition Team.

source: dumoulincompetition.com


Ron Beauchamp Jr. headed into round number two of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series this past Saturday at Delaware Speedway confident behind the wheel of a brand new oval course car, but a late-race incident denied him a certain top five result.

Beauchamp was excited for the morning with a brand new #60 Mopar Parts/Exide/Pennzoil Dodge.

“I could really feel the difference in this new car,” he said. “It handled so much better than our previous car.”

#60’s 11th place qualifying time wasn’t as high as he would’ve liked, but the team remained in high spirits for the main event.

Beauchamp steered his new vehicle easily into the top 10, and the car was performing increasingly well with each lap. The team decided to make use of the first pit stop for fuel and minor handling adjustments. Their efforts paid off, and #60’s performance kept advancing.

The crew utilized the second pit opportunity for fresh tires and the Mopar Parts/Exide/Pennzoil Dodge hit its high note of the race, moving into 4th place.

An excellent result was in sight for Beauchamp, until a late restart following a caution period. Beauchamp was tagged from behind by #15 following a rough bout of racing. The hit propelled him into the inside wall with force. Unfortunately for the team, #60’s pristine new car suffered significant damage.

The team tried its best to recoup what they could in a pit stop, clearing bodywork to get the vehicle in shape to finish.

“When that late caution came out, I was pleased because the tires would cool off and I knew we’d be fast again,” Beauchamp said after the race. “It’s terrible that we had a top five finish taken away by a part-time driver.”

Beauchamp forged through the final laps, eventually crossing the finish line in 13th place.

Ron Beauchamp and the #60Mopar Parts/Pennzoil/Exide Dodge will get back in action at round three of the series Saturday June 22nd at Speedway at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

To get more information about the #60 Mopar Parts/Pennzoil/Exide Batteries team you can log on to www.beauchampmotorsports.com and www.mopar.ca

source: Todd Lewis & TL Sports & Entertainment, tlsportsent.com



Martin Roy battled hard during round number two of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series and came away with a satisfying finish at the EMCO 200 behind the wheel of his #90 Batteries Expert/Gamache Dodge on Saturday.

Roy debuted a new oval course car, and his crew set it up to handle consistently over the course of the entire race.

In test sessions a few days prior to the race, Roy was feeling good about his new vehicle. In practice, the car held up to expectation and the team qualified a respectable 10th

When the race kicked off, Roy quickly collected positions and earned a spot inside the top 10. However, #90 seemed to linger between 8th and 9th place and had trouble pushing forward in the field.

The crew pitted for tires and had a trouble with the right rear, which caused Roy to fall back in positioning. In light of the tire issue, he still managed to cling to the lead lap.

Despite the minor setback, the crew held on to the silver lining.

“When you’re the back of the pack on the lead lap, you really have nothing to lose,” said Crew Chief Mario Gosselin.

Roy jumped eagerly back into the race, and as laps ticked away, #90 managed to battle to the front of the field on lap 117. He was forced to relinquish 1st place in lap 123, but thankfully any significant car trouble was behind him for the remainder of the contest.

“The car was really good, but not perfect, and we’ll work hard to make the car better for next week,” Roy said after the race.

#90 grasped onto top five positioning through the rest of the race and battled to the end with a 5th place result.

“There is a lot of determination in this team and we want to keep improving,” Roy said. “I’m happy to take home 5th place.”

Martin Roy’s finish secures him into 8th place in the overall standings, with 65 points.

Martin Roy and his #90 Batteries Expert/Gamache Dodge team return to action this coming Saturday June 22nd on the Speedway at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park near Bowmanville, ON.

source: Todd Lewis & TL Sports & Entertainment, tlsportsent.com


Car troubles continued to plague Jason White and his #21 Bowers & Wilkins Dodge at Saturday’s EMCO 200. White was hopeful for a comeback after an incident at the hands of another driver soured the first race of the season last month.

During practice, old tires seemed to be the culprit of a subpar performance for the Bowers & Wilkins Dodge. The team regrouped, fitted the vehicle with fresh tires and performed better in qualifying, earning 15th place.

#21 didn’t miss a beat at the start of the contest, and he described the car as “fast, super fast.”

White fought hard and continued to claw his way to the front of the field.

“Either the car came alive or I did, or both” White said later. “We jumped right in line and quickly moved up.”

However as the race progressed, tensions ran high among the drivers and patience ran low. There was plenty of bumping and grinding among other racecars.

White continued to push forward among the hostile competition, but the car began to slow, alerting him of a problem.

#21 came to a pit road and the crew discovered a broken tie rod in the vehicle. The team did a great job of quickly making the repair and getting White back on the track.

Unfortunately for White, he went seven laps down and they were forced to focus on bringing home the Dodge in one piece.

“It was a tough break,” White said. “The guys worked really hard to fix the problem as quickly as they did. It’s disappointing but we’ll regroup and be back after it next week.”

Jason White will be back in the #21 Bowers & Wilkins Dodge at the next event, Saturday June 22nd at the Speedway at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. To keep up with the latest news about Jason White and the #21 Dodge team check out the team website at www.jasonwhiteracing.com and be sure to follow Jason on twitter for the latest updates @racinjasonwhite You can get more information about the NCATS series at www.hometracks.nascar.com

source: Todd Lewis & TL Sports & Entertainment, tlsportsent.com