Jun 23

Shepherd making winning a full-time thing (updated)

Second straight NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Victory for part-time driver

Nascar Canadian Tire Series BilinguePete Shepherd III keeps on showing up and he keeps on winning. The Brampton, Ont., native isn’t running for the championship in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1, but that hasn’t stopped him from collection winner’s trophies.

He picked up another Saturday night in the Clarington 200 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

The victory on the facility’s half-mile oval was the second straight for Shepherd, who drove the No. 7 National Exhaust/Diamond Material Handling Dodge to Victory Lane last week at Delaware Speedway. It’s Shepherd’s fifth career win in 18 starts over the last four years.

It was a particularly special win for the 26-year-old Shepherd, as it came on the final series race on the track’s oval. Canadian Tire Motorsport Park announced recently it was closing it to concentrate efforts on the world-class road course, which hosts the series twice this year.

“What an honor it is to win the last race here,” said Shepherd, who was second there in 2011 and third in 2010. “I grew up watching my grandpa, my uncle, my dad race here – my mom, even – and this is such an historic race track and I love it to death. It’s my favorite track to drive on and it’s an honor to win here.”

Scott Steckly rebounded from a slow start to the season to finish second. He had finished 21st and 24th in his two previous races.

“It’s definitely a relief to finally finish a race,” said Steckly. “We actually had good luck. We actually didn’t have a second-place car tonight. But the crew worked really hard.”

J.R. Fitzpatrick was third after leading three times for 48 laps. He gave up the lead to Shepherd on Lap 156 and fell back another spot in the closing laps. But after a pole position was sidetracked by mechanical problems just seven laps into the season opener on the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park road course, he was happy to come to the facility and pick up a podium finish.

“When you’re starting from the bottom of the scale in points, you’ve got to think points,” Fitzpatrick said. “We’re really just determined to show people we’re determined to get back up there in the championship fight. And that’s what we’re doing.”

Fitzpatrick was able to move up to sixth in points, just 12 points behind first-place DJ Kennington. Steckly is up to 14th.

“The 7 (Shepherd) is not going for a championship and the 22 (Steckly) is probably a couple races behind because of a couple part failures, so if we just keep trucking like this, we’ll be back up front pretty soon,” Fitzpatrick said.

For Shepherd, though, his limited schedule is out of necessity over desire. He hopes if he keeps winning, that will change.

“I want to run for a title here really bad,” Shepherd said. “We’ve got National Exhaust on board and they help us – they fund us for these races, but in order to do the whole deal, we really need to have that big corporate sponsor on the car. … We really want it bad.

“Whoever gets on the side of the car, they’re going to be running for championships for a long time.”

Jason Hathaway’s fourth-place finish moved him to within a point of Kennington, while Steve Mathews rallied from engine problems in practice to finish fifth.

Martin Roy, L.P. Dumoulin, Jeff Lapcevich, Hugo Vannini and Kennington completed the top 10.

Kerry Micks was the fastest in qualifying and led a race-high 86 laps, but wound up 19th as ignition issues ended his nights after 146 laps. The race featured eight lead changes between four drivers. It was slowed six times for 34 caution laps.

The Clarington 200 will air on TSN on Sunday, June 30 at 1 p.m. ET and on RDS on Friday, July 19 at 11 p.m.

The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series will return to the road course with the Jiffy Lube 100 presented by Snap-on at Circuit ICAR in Mirabel, Quebec, on Sunday, July 7.



Saturday At Canadian Tire Motorsports Park Oval, Bowmanville, Ontario
Lap length: 0.5 miles
(Start position in parentheses)

1. (2) Pete Shepherd III, Brampton, Ont., Dodge, 200 laps, 61.528 mph. 
2. (4) Scott Steckly, Milverton, Ont., Dodge, 200. 
3. (3) J.R. Fitzpatrick, Ayr, Ont., Chevrolet, 200. 
4. (13) Jason Hathaway, Dutton, Ont., Dodge, 200. 
5. (5) Steven Mathews, New Liskeard, On., Ford, 200. 
6. (11) Martin Roy, Napierville, Que, Dodge, 200
7. (9) L.P. Dumoulin, Trois-Rivieres, Que, Dodge, 200. 
8. (8) Jeff Lapcevich, Grimsby, Ont., Dodge, 200. 
9. (15) Hugo Vannini, Repentigny, Que., Ford, 199. 
10. (10) D.J. Kennington, St. Thomas, Ont., Dodge, 198. 
11. (18) Jason White, Sun Peaks, B.C., Dodge, 198. 
12. (17) Ryley Seibert, Williams Lake, B.C., Dodge, 198. 
13. (19) Dave Connelly, Arnprior, Ont, Dodge, 197. 
14. (20) Bradon White, Kahnawake, Que., Chevrolet, 196. 
15. (21) Ray Courtemanche Jr., Montreal, Que, Dodge, 196. 
16. (16) Noel Dowler, Sherwood Park, Alta., Dodge, 184. 
17. (12) Alex Guenette, Terrebonne, Que, Dodge, 149. 
18. (6) Ron Beauchamp, Jr., Windsor, Ont., Dodge, 148. 
19. (1) Kerry Micks, Mt. Albert, Ont., Ford, 146, ignition. 
20. (7) Larry Jackson, Oakville, Ont., Dodge, 81, suspension. 
21. (14) Trevor Seibert, Williams Lake, B.C., Dodge, 30, transmission.

Race Statistics

  • Time of Race: 1 hour 37 minutes 31 seconds
  • Margin of Victory: 3.127 seconds
  • Fastest Qualifier: K.Micks (82.865 mph, 21.722 seconds)
  • Caution Flags: 6 for 34 laps.
  • Lead Changes: 8 among 4 drivers.

Lap Leaders: K. Micks 1-67; J. Fitzpatrick 68; S. Mathews 69-81; J. Fitzpatrick 82-88; K. Micks 89-106; P. Shepherd 107-115; K. Micks 116; J. Fitzpatrick 117-156; P. Shepherd 157-200.

Standings: 1. D. Kennington, 115; 2. J. Hathaway, 114; 3. J. Lapcevich, 111; 4. L. Dumoulin, 110; 5. S. Mathews, 107; 6. J. Fitzpatrick, 103; 7. M. Roy, 103; 8. N. Dowler, 102; 9. H. Vannini, 102; 10. P. Shepherd, 95.



source: nascar.com



The Clarington 200, third race of the season, was high in action, last Saturday, for Louis-Philippe Dumoulin at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Speedway. With his career-best starting position on oval tracks, the Quebecer took the ninth spot on the grid behind the wheel of the n°47 WeatherTech Canada/Bellemare Dodge. The driver was persistent and strategic to overcome many issues and finished the race in seventh position.

Practice sessions were shortened and delayed for almost two hours due to rain showers during the morning. The last NASCAR Canadian Tire Series race on the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park oval will have been high in emotions for drivers and fans. Supported by proactive crew members, Louis-Philippe Dumoulin gave a tremendous fight during the whole race, moving from ninth to sixth place.

“We had a good qualifying, so we could take the start from the inside. The n°47 WeatherTech Canada/Bellemare car was handling well. Early in the race, I knew I had to save the brakes to have a strong finish”, shared Louis-Philippe Dumoulin.

“The team did an excellent job during our scheduled pit stops, especially during a caution, when we changed two tires and gained three places [lap 113]”, explained the driver of the n°47 WeatherTech Canada/Bellemare car. Although he had a penalty on lap 69 and lost a few places, he has been able to stay on the lead lap.

“Our main goal was to save the car to finish the race among the leading pack. On the second-to-last restart [lap 185], I went into a collision with the n°5 car [Noel Dowler] and it damaged the front of the n°47 WeatherTech Canada/Bellemare car. We were strategic during the caution to fix the body. The team worked very hard to make three pit stops in a row. We were able to stay on the lead lap and keep our position”, said the driver of the Dumoulin Competition Team.

“It was a good race for us. The chemistry is present within members of the team and we share the same goal to gain points for the championship”, said Dumoulin. “We had a really good start. The car was fast. Louis-Philippe was running a smart race”, said the crew chief Tyler Case. With this top-10, Louis-Philippe Dumoulin gains a place in the overall championship standings, sitting fourth (110 points).

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source: dumoulincompetition.com


Ray Jr. Courtemanche Shows Improvement And Grit Again In La Cité de Mirabel inc. Racer

Ray Jr. Courtemanche once again showed how determined he is to put his No 29 La Cité de Mirabel inc. Dodge where it belongs on the result sheet. This past Saturday, Ray Jr. demonstrated how quickly he is learning the tricks of oval racing, this time in the Clarington 200, held at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, near Bowmanville, Ont.

Ray Jr. was glad to be back and eager to race in the Clarington 200, the third event of the NCaTS 2013 season. He had bounced back completely from a tough race the previous weekend and was ready to go, displaying all of his usual enthusiasm.

Some morning rain showers had cut practice time to one short session, during which Ray Jr. continued to fine-tune the car to his liking as he learned the track. He took the start in 21st place and raced hard and error-free, climbing to 15th position at the finish. This result puts Ray Jr. 13th in the 2013 season points total.

“I managed to avoid several incidents that happened in front of me, including a major multi-car crash. Towards the end of the race, I did hit one car. The impact destroyed the front bodywork and folded up the hood of my No 29 La Cité de Mirabel inc. Dodge, severely cutting down my visibility over the last 34 laps of the race.

Ray Jr. was happy with his performance after the race. “The Team is getting much better results than last year. We can now string together some quick laps during the race and the car always acts predictably, making it easier for me to build up my speed.”

After two races on oval tracks on consecutive weekends, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series moves back to Quebec for the second road course event or the 2013 season, at Circuit ICAR, just North of Montreal.

Andrew Ranger, multiple race winner and two-time NCaTS Season Champion will join the La Cité de Mirabel inc. team in the No 27 car for the ICAR race, this coming July 6 and 7. As in past years, Andrew will be there to win and is certain to put on a great show.

Both Ray Jr. and Andrew will be at ICAR this June 26 for some practice. Media are welcome at this closed event.

source: Julie Baldwin


Alex Guenette Quick But Mechanical Gremlins Strike Again

The rookie driver’s skill and pure speed stood out once again this past Saturday at the third round of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, held on the half-mile oval of the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, near Bowmanville, ON. A long stop in the pits midway through the race ruined Alex’s chance at a Top Ten result.

Bowmanville (ON), June 24, 2013 – Race day had started off well for the 17-year old driver, at least until he was forced to pull into the pits during the 200-lap race due to mechanical problems.

According to Alex Guenette, “We had a problem with the rear gear that ruined the car’s handling.”

The No 39 Moto Illimitees / DLGL Dodge rejoined the race after a long 50-lap stop to fix the problem and Alex then started to show the car’s real speed and put in some quick lap times. “I was driving as hard as I could to show what we could do, even though there was no hope of a good finish. We did at least demonstrate that the car was extremely quick!” Alex ended up 17th at the finish.

Guenette had found the car to his liking during the rain-shortened practice session, and qualified the car in 12th position, in a group of six drivers that were separated by on 0.12sec.

“I am a little frustrated, as this is our third mechanical issue in three races. Our car is incredibly quick and well prepared, but circumstances prevent us from showing just how good we are and finish where we should, based on our raw performance.”

Alex and the No 39 Motos Illimitées / DLGL Dodge will be at the ICAR track in two weeks for the second of four NASCAR Canadian Tire Series races on road courses.

This exciting event will take place on July 6 and 7. ICAR is located at the Mirabel Airport, 30 km North of Montreal.

source: alexguenette.com



Castrol Edge Dodge driver DJ Kennington was hoping to be the final winner of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series on the oval at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The track is scheduled to close later this year and while Kennington didn’t claim victory he did maintain his hold on top of the overall championship standings.

Not surprisingly the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge was among the quickest cars during the afternoon practice session. However qualifying did not go as Kennington hoped. “We went out first in qualifying and I didn’t get a good lap, it was my mistake” said the driver.

When the 200 lap race began Kennington was immediately on the hunt to gain positions and did just that and before long had made his way into the top five. “I knew we had a good race car” explained Kennington. “I just had to be patient and save something for the end of the race” he added.

As the competitors cycled through scheduled pit stops for fuel and fresh tires Kennington continued to keep the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge in good position for the end of the race.

In the late stages the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge had moved up to third when a late caution slowed the field. On the restart Kennington looked to pounce and go for the victory, however the field bunched up and he was struck from behind by the #15 car lifting the back end off the track. When it landed a rear gear was broken and Kennington would coast to the end with a tenth place result.

“We had a shot to win” said a disappointed driver. “I knew how good the car was, it was so hard to be patient and wait until the end knowing other guys wouldn’t be as fast. As soon as I started to push we got up front and we were right there at the end. It’s a tough break but at least we still have the points lead and we’ll be ready to fight again in a couple weeks” said Kennington.

DJ Kennington and the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge team are back in action at round four on Sunday July 7 at Circuit ICAR in Mirabel, QC

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 were well on their way to another outstanding result in round number three of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series this past weekend on the oval at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. However as the field bunched up on a late restart the resulting collision sent Dowler spinning into the wall and out of the race.

Rain showers delayed the start of practice but once the weather cooperated Dowler had the #5 EMCO/Rheem Dodge on track and handling well. They were not the quickest car in practice but knew the car would run solidly during the race.

Beginning the race from the 16th starting position Dowler drove the #5 EMCO/Rheem Dodge methodically and began gaining positions. “Our approach is to get comfortable and settle into a rhythm at the beginning” said the driver. With a long green flag run at the beginning of the race Dowler was able to move forward.

As the race progressed and cars cycled through scheduled pit stops for fuel and tires Dowler continued to move the #5 EMCO/Rheem Dodge toward the front of the field. “The team really did their homework and the car was working really well” said Dowler. “I wasn’t pushing too hard and we had ourselves inside the top ten and looking good” he added.

The race was slowed by a late caution period and Dowler had the #5 EMCO/Rheem Dodge up to sixth position and was looking for more in the final stages. As the field approached the green flag for the restart Dowler was struck from behind from another car which turned him around and into the inside wall.

There was significant damage to the #5 EMCO/Rheem Dodge and Dowler was unable to continue. He was scored 16th at the finish. “That was a hard hit” said the driver. “I’m not sure who hit me, it was a white car but it’s so disappointing. We were running in sixth and our car was great. I knew we were going to get at least a couple more spots in the closing laps and have ourselves another really good result and that’s what’s frustrating. I have to thank the team for all the hard work they did as well”.

After three events Noel Dowler sits eighth in the overall championship standings.

The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series consists of 12 events from coast to coast in Canada. The next event takes place at Circuit ICAR in Mirabel, QC Sunday July 7th. 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



On the heels of a satisfying finish last week, Martin Roy pulled out a top ten finish despite a shaky road to the final lap at the Clarington 200.

Roy took to the track for practice on the oval at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park after a rain delay behind the wheel of his #90 Batteries Expert/Gamache Dodge. The car was running well, but the team looked to make some adjustments to improve the performance and handling prior to qualifying. Despite his crew’s best efforts, the changes didn’t pan out to expectation, and the team rewound to their previous set-up. Regardless of the vehicle’s handling troubles, the team still pulled out an 11th place qualifying.

In the early going of the race the car performed well, keeping Roy inside the top 10, but #90 was still dissatisfied with the handling of the Batteries Expert/Gamache Dodge.

“The set up for this new car did not suit us today,” Roy said after the race. “We made changes in practice that didn’t really help us, even when we went back to our original set up the car did not perform very well.”

Crew Chief Mario Gosselin was determined to overcome the performance issues and decided to utilize strategy to earn a satisfying finish. Roy completed scheduled stops for tires and fuel early on, hoping to secure a top track position. Their strategy was solid, and Roy was able to muscle his way inside the top 10 despite his vehicle not running at peak performance on long runs.

#90 battled to the end, eventually crossing the finish line in 6th place, up 5 spots from his 11th place start.

“I’m happy we could salvage a 6th place finish,” Roy said. “It’s good for points but we will have a different set up the next time we race this car.”

After yesterday’s race, Martin Roy sits in 7th place overall with 103 points..

Martin Roy and his #90 Batteries Expert/Gamache Dodge team will be back in action for round four of the series, Sunday July 7th at Circuit ICAR in Mirabel, QC.

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



Ron Beauchamp Jr. got off to a strong start at the Clarington 200, but an early incident cut his day short at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Saturday.

The day got off to a soggy start due to a rain delay that pushed back practice. Once things dried out, Ron Beauchamp Jr.’s #60 Mopar/Exide/Pennzoil Dodge ran nearly at perfection, netting the team the fourth-quickest time in practice.

“The car felt great right out of the truck,” Beauchamp said. “I almost didn’t want to change it.”

The crew tinkered with a few adjustments, but ultimately returned to their original set-up for the qualifying laps. Their decision had a solid payout, earning the team a strong 6th place in qualifying.

The early laps of the race were a breeze for #60; the vehicle ran steady and strong. Beauchamp cruised at a comfortable pace to assess the car and feel for necessary adjustments.

#60 made a scheduled stop for fuel around the 1/3 mark of the race, pleased to be running with the lead group. Unfortunately for Beauchamp, his favorable positioning was cut short when he got tangled in an incident on a restart.

“I was just taking it easy, then on a restart I got hit from behind and the next thing I know I’m spinning out of turn two and into the grass,” Beauchamp explained after the race.

The crew quickly moved the vehicle into the pitlane to assess the damage. They discovered a puncture to the radiator, and the repair time cost them a significant amount of laps.

“This is a tough one, we had a very good car, we weren’t pushing at all but we just seem to get collected and that ruined our day,” Beauchamp said.

The team ultimately got the car back on the road to collect championship points, eventually finishing 18th.

“It’s disappointing because we want to be developing this car further, we know how good it is but for the second race in a row we’ll be focused on repairs,” Beauchamp said.

Ron Beauchamp and the #60Mopar Parts/Pennzoil/Exide Dodge will return to action in round four Sunday July 7th at Circuit ICAR in Mirabel, QC.

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



Jason White was anxious for a solid finish at yesterday’s Clarington 200 at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, but a penalty put a damper on #21’s day.

White’s #21 Bowers & Wilkins Dodge felt good in practice, despite a disappointing qualifying where he registered 18th quickest.

“The car felt good, so I’m not sure where we lost so much time, but I’m confident we can make up for it during the race,” White said after qualifying.

Once the race kicked off, #21 settled in early, navigating the laps consistently and smoothly. However just as White was hitting his stride, he was involved in contact with the 09 car that ended in a caution.

As a result of the incident with the other driver, White was assessed a drive through penalty for aggressive driving – a call he felt was undeserved.

“I was a little disappointed in that call and I always try to give other competitors room so I’m not really sure about that one,” White said.

The setback cost #21 a number of laps, but he kept hammering out laps hoping to salvage the day. His efforts weren’t entirely in vain – White kept digging and the #21 Bowers & Wilkins Dodge eventually earned an 11th place result.

“When you start 18th and improve 7 spots that’s not bad, but we had a better car than that so it’s a little disappointing,” White said after the race. “We’ll try and take the positives out of this and use that for our next race at ICAR.”

Jason White will be back in the #21 Bowers & Wilkins Dodge at the next event, Sunday July 7th at Circuit ICAR in Mirabel, QC. 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