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Jul 18

Steckly surges to Saskatoon win (updated)

Completes sweep of NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Western swing

2013-07-07_0615The rough start to the 2013 season for Scott Steckly is a mere memory as the two-time champion is squarely back in the hunt for another NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 title. 

The Milverton, Ont., driver held off a hard-charging Mark Dilley to claim the Velocity Prairie Thunder 250 presented by Bayer CropScience on Wednesday night at Auto Clearing Motor Speedway.

Steckly picked up his first win of the season four nights before at Motoplex Speedway and Event Park in Vernon, B.C., giving him a sweep of this year’s two-race swing through Western Canada as the series hits the midway point of its season. It’s Steckly’s 13th series career win which ranks third all-time behind D.J. Kennington with 18 and Andrew Ranger’s 17.

Steckly began the year with a pair of finishes outside the top 20, but since then he has driven his No. 22 Canadian Tire Dodge to a pair of wins and two second-place finishes.

“We decided we were going to really dig down and just win as many races as we can,” Steckly said. “We definitely could have won those first two races. So, it’s not performance. Our cars are fast every week. That’s just part of it. Hopefully, that was our bad luck for the year.”

Steckly, a two-time series champion who won the inaugural series visit to ACMS in 2009, was thrilled to win both western races this year.

“It’s amazing to be able to win two races in a row like this out west,” he said. “Not many people get to do that in their career.”

Pole sitter J.R. Fitzpatrick set a blistering pace early, but he was not able to hold off Steckly after a spirited battle for the lead that lasted for several laps. Steckly was able to take control after Dilley made contact with Fitzpatrick on Lap 226 that sent Fitzpatrick spinning out of contention for his first oval-track win since July 2007.

Dilley challenged for the lead in the closing laps, but could not get by.

“We got up beside him there once,” he said. “It’s hard to do. You can get up beside, but you can’t get a run off without wrecking. So, we got second two years in a row here. Maybe next year we can win.”

Jason Hathaway bounced back from a spin to finish third.

“I knew we had a good car and drove from 14th to the front,” he said.

But after contact sent him spinning late in the race, Hathaway had to make another charge forward.

“It’s kind of disheartening,” he said. “I wanted to get a win out here. I love coming out west. I love coming to Saskatoon.”

Kennington and Trevor Seibert finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Noel Dowler, Fitzpatrick, Ron Beauchamp Jr., Cameron Hayley and James Van Domselaar completed the top 10.

Kennington started from the rear of the field at the initial green flag due to an unapproved adjustment after NASCAR impounded the cars when his team scrambled to quickly swap engines following qualifying.

Kennington moved to the lead in the championship standings with 229 points, while Steckly climbed to second with 224 points. L.P. Dumoulin, who ran up front for much of the race but ended up 12th after an incident, slipped to third in the standings – also with 224 points. Hathaway is fourth with 223, with Fitzpatrick fifth at 208. Rounding out the top 10 are Martin Roy at 195, Dowler at 190, Beauchamp at 188, Ryley Seibert at 186 and Jason White at 182.

The TSN premier telecast of the Velocity Prairie Thunder 250 presented by Bayer CropScience will be on Sunday, July 28 at 11 a.m. ET while the French-language telecast on RDS2 will debut at 11 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 16

The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 is back in action next on July 27 at Autodrome St. Eustache (Que.) for the National 250. It is the series’ first visit to the track since July 2010.

NASCAR CANADIAN TIRE SERIES presented by MOBIL 1

Velocity Paririe Thunder 250 Unofficial Results

Wednesday At Auto Clearing Motor Speedway Saskatoon, Sk.

Lap length: 0.333 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

1. (7) Scott Steckly, Milverton, Ont., Dodge, 250 laps, 49.123 mph.

2. (10) Mark Dilley, Barrie, Ont., Ford, 250.

3. (14) Jason Hathaway, Dutton, Ont., Dodge, 250.

4. (12) D.J. Kennington, St. Thomas, Ont., Dodge, 250.

5. (13) Trevor Seibert, Williams Lake, B.C., Dodge, 250.

6. (15) Noel Dowler, Sherwood Park, Alta., Dodge, 250.

7. (1) J.R. Fitzpatrick, Ayr, Ont., Chevrolet, 250.

8. (6) Ron Beauchamp, Jr., Windsor, Ont., Dodge, 250.

9. (5) Cameron Hayley, Calgary, Alta., Dodge, 250.

10. (11) James Van Domselaar, Fort Saskatchewan, Ab, Chevrolet, 250.

11. (8) Alex Guenette, Terrebonne, Que, Dodge, 250.

12. (3) L.P. Dumoulin, Trois-Rivieres, Que, Dodge, 250.

13. (18) James White, Kamloops. BC, Dodge, 250.

14. (2) Kelly Admiraal, Edmonton, Ab., Chevrolet, 249.

15. (17) Jason White, Sun Peaks, B.C., Dodge, 246.

16. (9) Larry Jackson, Oakville, Ont., Dodge, 242.

17. (19) Nick Jewell, Fort Frances, Man, Dodge, 241.

18. (16) Ryley Seibert, Williams Lake, B.C., Dodge, 187, electrical.

19. (20) Ray Courtemanche Jr., Montreal, Que, Dodge, 172, accident.

20. (4) Martin Roy, Napierville, Que, Dodge, 150, engine.

21. (21) Kerry Micks, Mt. Albert, Ont., Ford, 2, ignition.

Race Statistics

  • Time of Race: 1 hour 41 minutes 41 seconds
  • Margin of Victory: .220 seconds
  • Fastest Qualifier: J.Fitzpatrick (80.918 mph, 14.815 seconds)
  • Caution Flags: 8 for 52 laps.
  • Lead Changes: 11 among 6 drivers.

Lap Leaders: J. Fitzpatrick 1-79; L. Dumoulin 80-83; C. Hayley 84-85; L. Dumoulin 86-91;J. Hathaway 92-131; J. Fitzpatrick 132; J. Hathaway 133-139; M. Dilley 140-144; J.Fitzpatrick 145-205; S. Steckly 206-208; J. Fitzpatrick 209-211; S. Steckly 212-250.

Standings: 1. D. Kennington, 229; 2. S. Steckly, 224; 3. L. Dumoulin, 224; 4. J. Hathaway, 223; 5. J. Fitzpatrick, 208; 6. M. Roy, 195; 7. N. Dowler, 190; 8. R. Beauchamp,Jr., 188; 9. R. Seibert, 186; 10. J. White, 182.

LINKS

source: nascar.com

 

KENNINGTON BACK ON TOP OF THE POINT STANDINGS

The fortunes for Castrol Edge Dodge driver DJ Kennington did not appear to be promising for much of the day during round six of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series at Auto Clearing Motor Speedway in Saskatoon, SK. After a struggle filled day the team changed motors in time for the evening race and claimed a fourth place finish, good enough to put them back in top of the championship fight.

Uncharacteristically the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge was not among the quickest cars during practice sessions, and when Kennington could only manage the 12th best effort during qualifying he knew something wasn’t right. “We were just missing something in the motor and I didn’t want to take a chance with it in the race” explained Kennington.

The move to swap engines after qualifying was bold because there were less than two hours until the green flag for the race and by rule Kennington would have to start the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge from the back of the field. “It still seemed like the right move, going with what we had was a bigger risk” stated Kennington

In what looked like a choreographed ballet the team had changed motors and fired up the new one in the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge in approximately 90 minutes.

Right from the start Kennington charged the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge forward and started gaining positions. Before long he was inside the top ten and then battling with the leaders. “We had the power that we needed to make that kind of run” said the driver.

In the closing laps Kennington pushed hard and for a time looked like he may even score a podium result, but in the end fell back to fourth at the finish. “This race was a total team effort” said the driver. “I always say I’ve got the best crew and in this race they showed it. To make the change and not just get the car in the race but to be that competitive, it shows why these guys are so good”.

Kennington has finished in the top ten in all six races this year and the fourth place result in Saskatoon puts him back on top of the championship standings.

DJ Kennington and the #17 Castrol Edge Dodge team are back in action next July 27th at Autodrome St. Eustache in St. Eustache, 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

 

LOUIS-PHILIPPE DUMOULIN HAS FOUGHT TIRELESSLY

Louis-Philippe Dumoulin has stood out again in qualifying the #47 WeatherTech Canada/Bellemare in third place yesterday on the Auto Clearing Motor Speedway in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. In the lead for a few laps throughout the race, the Quebecer has fiercely defended his place in the top-5, and did so until an incident occurred on the 236th lap.

“Third place is a really good result for the qualification round. We stayed among the leaders of the race and even took first place on some occasions. I fought hard all evening, the car was fast, and without that collision in the second-to-last restart, we would’ve finished in the top-5,” explains Louis-Philippe Dumoulin.

Right from the start, the driver of the #47 WeatherTech Canada/Bellemare could distance his opponents. The car is powerful, and Louis-Philippe Dumoulin skillfully makes his way through traffic, carefully avoiding the multiple incidents occurring in front of him (eight caution flags). During his fight for the fourth position, the Quebecer was victim of an accident. With only ten laps to go, Louis-Philippe Dumoulin restarts in fourteenth place, and crosses the finish line in twelfth.

“There are still six more races to go, and with the results we got this year we are confident that we can continue climbing the ranks, both on the oval and road track. We remained focused on this season’s objective,” shares the Dumoulin Competition driver.

At the end of the Western Canadian swing, Louis-Philippe Dumoulin ranks third in the NASCAR Canadian Tire series’ championship, tied (224 points) with Scott Steckly (22Racing who prepare 47 WeatherTech Canada/Bellemare cars), both only five points behind the leader. The next on-track event will occur in St-Eustache (Quebec) on July 27th.

The TSN premier telecast of the Velocity Prairie Thunder 250 presented by Bayer CropScience will be on Sunday, July 28 at 11 a.m. ET while the French-language telecast on RDS2 will debut at 11 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 16.

source: dumoulincompetition.com

 

TEAM MOPAR GRABS ANOTHER TOP TEN FINISH

Ron Beauchamp Jr. was looking to build off of his top 10 finish earlier this week in Vernon when he hit the track in last night’s Velocity Prairie Thunder 250 presented by Bayer CropScience at the Auto Clearing Motor Speedway.

#60’s Mopar/Exide/Pennzoil Dodge performed well in practice, running in the top ten in both sessions. Beauchamp kept up the momentum into qualifying and earned a 6th place start for the race. He was feeling good about his vehicle leading into the main event and only needed minor adjustments before the race.

Early on, Beauchamp set good pace for the race. He positioned himself near the front and kept up with the leaders. As the race progressed, #60 felt something in one of the tires but continued to drive. A couple of laps later, the problem surfaced and he suffered a flat right front tire, hitting the wall.

“The team did a great job to change the tire and get me back out there without losing a lap,” Beauchamp said later.

#60 was able to smoothly overcome the incident, pushing his way back to the front of the field, eventually breaking into the top five.

Beauchamp suffered another setback when his vehicle got bumped aside and was pushed back several positions, but he was able to battle back once again. He eventually finished in 8th place.

“It’s tough because we had a top five finishing car and came up a little short,” Beauchamp said after the race. “I’m looking forward to the next race in St. Eustache, I really like that track.”

The boost in points secures Beauchamp an 8th place position in the overall standings, with 188 points.

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 KEEPS ON BATTLING

Vehicle damage at the hands of other drivers cut Jason White’s day short in last night’s race at the Velocity Prairie Thunder 250 presented by Bayer CropScience at Auto Clearing Motor Speedway.

Jason White and his #21 Bowers & Wilkins Dodge got off to a rough start in practice, and struggled through both sessions. Crew Chief Mike Ernst worked hard to solve the handling issues, but the team didn’t qualify well despite their efforts. #21 started off the race in 17th.

Race leaders lapped White, but he continued to fight his way through the race and make as much progress as he could.

Trouble continued to follow #21, when he was the victim of an accident involving other cars.

“A couple of lead lap cars got together and I had nowhere to go and hit the right front,” he said. “Bent the toe on the car and got a flat. I had to come in and we went laps down.” 

White did his best to soldier on through the remainder, but struggled behind the wheel of a damaged car that was laps down from the leaders.

He eventually finished in 15th place.

“We’ll pull ourselves together before St. Eustache and hopefully change this bad luck we’ve had follow us around,” White said.

Jason White sits in 10th place in the season standings with 182 points.

To keep up with the latest news about Jason White and the #21 Bowers & Wilkins Dodge team follow Jason on twitter for the latest updates @racinjasonwhite and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RacinJasonWhite Get more information about the NCATS series at http://hometracks.nascar.com/series/canadian_tire_series

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

 

DOWLER AND TEAM EMCO SCORE TOP TEN IN SASKATOON

Sherwood Park, Alberta’s Noel Dowler and the #5 EMCO/Rheem Dodge took a significant step in the right direction during round six of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series at Auto Clearing Motor Speedway in Saskatoon, SK on Wednesday night. After starting deep in the field Dowler charged his way forward to claim a sixth place result.

During the afternoon practice session the #5 EMCO/Rheem Dodge was consistently quick running in the top ten. “The car felt very comfortable throughout the practice sessions” said Dowler. “I’m still working on improving out qualifying and the cars were all so close that another tenth of a second would have put me in the top ten” he added.

Dowler would begin the 250 lap feature from the 15th starting spot and was hoping to move forward. “I just kind of held on for the first 100 laps or so” said the driver. “The car really wasn’t great so I just kind of stuck it out”

The #5 EMCO/Rheem Dodge team would wait until later in the race before making their scheduled pit stop for fresh tires. “That was our strategy to wait until late in the race and it helped” stated Dowler.

With fresh rubber and a quick race car Dowler began pushing the #5 EMCO/Rheem Dodge forward. “As it got to the late stages I had to be a little more aggressive, it was pretty tough going out there for a lot of the race”.

Through the final stages of the race Dowler continued to maneuver the #5 EMCO/Rheem Dodge forward and when the checkered flag waved scored a sixth place finish. “Picking up nine spots was big for us and we needed a better result that what we’ve been having. Now we’ve got something to build on moving forward” he added.

After six events Noel Dowler is up to seventh in the overall championship standings, just five points back of sixth.

The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series consists of 12 events from coast to coast in Canada. The next event takes place at Autodrome St. Eustache in St. Eustache, QC on Saturday July 27th. 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

 

 

Ray Courtemanche Jr. Victim Of Accident That Ruined Great Performance In Saskatoon NASCAR Canadian Tire Series

 

Velocity Prairie Thunder – Auto Clearing Motor Speedway

Ray Courtemanche Jr. and the La Cité de Mirabel Inc. team competed in the second race of the NCaTS Western Tour, at the Auto Clearing Motor Speedway, near Saskatoon (SK), on Wednesday night. Ray Jr. was driving a storming race before falling victim to someone else’s accident late in the 250 lap event. He was left with 19th position at the finish, and a badly damaged car that needs considerable work to get ready for the next NCATS race.

Ray Jr.’s driving continues to improve race after race, and he was passing cars that had started in front of him in the 250 lap race. His own qualifying time had been a mere 0.5sec slower than pole position, a great performance and testimony to how competitive the NCaTS field is, as he started 20th despite the great qualifying lap. By mid-race, he was well on his way to his best performance so far in 2013. In the car, Ray Jr. knew that things were going very well; “The car was responding perfectly to my driving, thanks to the best car set-up so far this year from my team. And then I got hit in the rear and on the sides as I was setting up a pass on lap 177.”

The accident was violent: “My car went in the air at least 1 meter, then crashed hard into a wall, destroying the front end. I feel OK now but I know I will ache all over tomorrow morning.” The front part of the chassis and (car’s) body needs replacement, along with suspensions, radiators, discs and sundry brackets. This means a lot of work to get the car ready, especially given the time needed to drive back from Saskatoon to the Jacombs Racing shop near Toronto, then the drive to Montreal for the next race, a mere six days from now.

The next outing for Ray Courtemanche Jr. and the No 9 La Cité de Mirabel Inc. Dodge will take place on July 27, at the short Autodrome St. Eustache oval, just North of Montreal.

source: Baldwin Marketing, Julie Baldwin

 

More “Hard” Experience and an 11th Place Finish For Alex Guénette

Velocity Prairie Thunder 250 – Auto Clearing Motor Speedway, SK

Young Alex Guenette continues to build his experience as a rookie in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, this time at the second race of the NCaTS Western Tour, run last Wednesday at the Auto Clearing Motor Speedway near Saskatoon, SK. The 17 year-old racer finished 11th after fighting in the Top Ten group for a good portion of the race.

This was Alex’s second race in five days, and his first visit to the third-mile Auto Clearing Motor Speedway. After a great qualifying session, Alex started 8th and stayed with the leaders for most of the 250 lap race, before a series of eight incidents (Four in the last 50 laps alone) and yellow periods pushed him down the order at the end.

Alex was a little surprised by all the action at the end of the race. “Things were very rough in the closing laps. Drivers were hitting each other and moving cars from in front of them with hard bumps. Despite missing two short practice sessions, I am glad to have kept the car intact over the whole race, and to have survived and learned from the rough stuff at the end.” Alex added that he was happy to have finished the race on the lead lap, and to accumulate some good points for the Rookie of the Year award.

The Moto Illimitée/DLGL No 39 Dodge will be back on track at the Autodrome St. Eustache, just North of Montreal, for the next round of the NCaTS this coming July 27.

source: www.alexguenette.com, Service Presse, poleposition.ca