Sunday’s NASCAR Pinty’s Series race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park cannot be described as uneventful. The 51-lap race saw battles throughout the field from start to finish, with L.P. Dumoulin capturing the chequered flag.
Pole sitter Kevin Lacroix brought the field to the green flag, and opened up a slim lead over the rest of the pack throughout the first few laps. By Lap 11 Lacroix had built up a five-second lead over second place driver L.P. Dumoulin, and remained in the number one spot until he pitted on Lap 17.
The first caution of the day came out on Lap 20. For the restart, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular Noah Gragson received the wave around putting him back on the lead lap.
The second round of pit stops brought Kevin Lacroix back to the lead by Lap 23, followed closely by Andrew Ranger and Alex Tagliani.
By the mid way point of the race, Gary Klutt had made his way up to third, and on Lap 26 got by Alex Tagliani for second, setting his sights on Lacroix and the race lead. Klutt was able to get within .369 seconds of Lacroix but put his car in the wall trying to fend off a fast charging Tagliani.
On Lap 43 Alex Tagliani got by Lacroix and built up a small lead, before his car began to slow, relinquishing the lead to back to Lacroix on Lap 48.
A hard charging second placed Andrew Ranger made for an exciting last lap when the #27 driver spun Lacroix in Turn 5, handing Dumoulin the race win.
“Very happy for my team and sponsors. The start of the race was not perfect, but the team worked really hard to get it done,” said Dumoulin in Victory Circle.
Despite crossing the finish line in second position, NASCAR assessed Ranger a time penalty for his move on Lacroix, which bumped the #27 down to 12th place on the official timing and scoring charts.
Once the final classifications were determined, Marc-Antoine Camirand and Noah Gragson rounded out the podium, finishing second and third respectively.
As for Gragson, who is a regular in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the Las Vegas native had nothing but positive things to say about the Pinty’s Series.
“They are so badass in this series,” said the 19 year-old in the post-race press conference. “The top five or six guys, I don’t think they get enough credit from everybody in the States.”
Gragson, while disappointed in his third place finish, will look to take what he learned about CTMP in Sunday’s race and apply it when the Camping World Truck Series visits the road course in August.
Up next for the Pinty’s Series will be the first oval of the season at Jukasa Motor Speedway in June.