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Now in its ninth season, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 continues to set the bar for motorsports in Canada. Capacity crowds have been the hallmark of the young series, racing in front of 60,000 fans in both Edmonton and Montreal. The hotly-contested competition and Canada’s excitement for the NASCAR brand have been two of the primary reasons for the tremendous support.
NASCAR announced in September 2006 the purchase of the CASCAR Super Series, the top stock-car racing series in Canada. At the same time, they announced a long-term sponsorship agreement with Canadian Tire Corporation as the entitlement sponsor of the new series.
A gradual implementation of both competition and safety-based modifications have been made to the cars used in the CASCAR Super Series. These have included a move to a Goodyear 9.5” tire, the same size that is used in all NASCAR stock-car series, on-dash electrical and ignition systems, in-car fire suppression equipment and increased fuel cell protection. In 2009, the option of utilizing the NASCAR spec engine program was introduced.
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The first race was held on May 26, 2007 at Cayuga Motor Speedway and Don Thomson Jr. won a spirited battle for the first series win.
Andrew Ranger, in his first year of stock-car competition, won the second race on the road course at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. He took over the lead in the point standings after that event and never relinquished it on his way to the first championship. The first season saw no less than five races decided on the final lap.
The second season, in 2008, featured Scott Steckly and his sometimes dominating run to the series crown. He won three of the first four events of the year and held a tight grip on the driver championship point standings all season long. He set a series record with four victories in all. Also, Thomson established a series record with seven poles throughout the year.
In 2009, Ranger, again, took center stage by winning his second series championship in three seasons. He completed his transition from the open-wheel racing world by incorporating his highly-skilled abilities on the road courses with equally as strong program on the oval tracks. On the season, he won a single-season series record six races—three on road courses and three on ovals.
The 2010 season belonged to D.J. Kennington. He won his first series title on the power of five wins, nine top fives and 11 top-10 finishes. Kennington battled J.R. Fitzpatrick for the points lead all season long as the two exchanged the top spot an unprecedented five times. In the Montreal event at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, three female drivers (Maryeve Dufault, Caitlin Johnston and Isabelle Tremblay) were in the starting field of 34 cars.
The 2011 season was highlighted by Steckly’s second series championship fueled by three wins. In Montreal, a record starting field of 37 cars took to the storied road course.
Kennington captured his second championship and was the story of 2012 by winning a series record five consecutive races that equaled a modern era NASCAR touring series record among currently sanctioned series. The feat tied a mark that was accomplished four times previously, the last by Mike Stefanik in 19997 on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
In 2013, Steckly became the first driver to attain three championships as his four wins powered the record title run.
In eight seasons, 12 drivers have made the leap to compete at the NASCAR national series level. Fitzpatrick, Kennington, Ranger, Martin Roy, Steckly, Alex Tagliani, Thomson and Derek White have competed in the NASCAR XFINITY Series along with Jean-Francois and Louis-Philippe Dumoulin. Fitzpatrick, Alex Guenette, Kennington, Roy, Tagliani and White have raced in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Ranger finished third in the 2009 NASCAR XFINITY Series event after having a spirited battle with eventual race winner Carl Edwards for much of the race. In August 2011, a series regular made a start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series when Ranger took the green flag at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International. Tagliani also has three poles and three top fives in NASCAR national series competition.