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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Andrew Ranger is used to winning in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series and although he’s currently in the third longest winless streak of his NPS career, he should be excited about returning to Circuit ICAR this Saturday for the Ecko Unlimited 75.
Ranger, who holds the series record for wins with 22, last scored a series win in this event last year – a span of 11 races – and if there is one place he expects to win it’s at ICAR.
Ranger was very successful racing the bigger course at Circuit ICAR winning four of the past six races on the 2.113-mile, 14-turn road course on the grounds of Montreal-Mirabel International Airport. After finishing 21st in his first attempt at ICAR in 2011, the Roxton Pond, Quebec native has finished either first or second in five consecutive races with four wins. He’s also either started from the pole or on the front row in four straight events.
However, things will be different when he and the rest of the NPS competitors visit this Saturday. Promoters wanted to hold the race at night so the ‘short course’ will be used this year for the first time as it has lights for night racing. The new course will be 1.1 kilometers in length (.684-miles).
Ranger enters the race fifth in the point standings and will likely face challenges from Kevin Lacroix and Alex Labbé as he goes for his fifth win at the Montreal facility.
Lacroix is the only other driver besides Ranger to win at ICAR since 2011 taking the win away from Ranger in 2015 during his rookie season and he’s already won on a road course this season in the opener at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in May.
Labbé enters this race as the points leader and started from the pole in this race last season. Defending series champion Cayden Lapcevich finished eighth in his first start at ICAR last season and won the most recent NPS race at Autodrome Chaudière two weeks ago.
|RACE:||ECKO Unlimited 75|
|PLACE:||Circuit ICAR, Mirabel, Que.|
|DATE:||Saturday, July 8|
|TIME:||7 p.m. ET|
|TELECAST:||TSN – July 15 at Noon ET; RDS – July 23 at 2 p.m.|
|TRACK LAYOUT:||1.1 kilometer (.684-mile) airport road course|
|2016 POLESITTER:||Alex Labbé|
|2016 RACE WINNER:||Andrew Ranger|
|EVENT SCHEDULE:||Practice: 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.; Qualifying: 3:30 p.m.; Autograph Session: 5:40 - 6:20 p.m.|
|TRACK CONTACT:||Elie Arseneau, 514-955-4227, firstname.lastname@example.org or Brianca Roy|
|NASCAR CONTACT:||Jason Christley, 386-310-6094, email@example.com|
The Race: The Ecko Unlimited 75 is the fourth event of the 2016 season for the NASCAR Pinty’s Series and the second of five road course events on the schedule. This is the series’ seventh all-time visit to Circuit ICAR.
The Procedure: The starting field is 28 cars, including provisionals. The first 23 cars will qualify through NASCAR Road Race (group) qualifying. The remaining five spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 75 laps covering 51.26 miles (82.5 kilometers).
The Track: Circuit ICAR is located northwest of Montreal, Quebec, on the grounds of Montreal-Mirabel Airport, which has been closed to commercial flights since 2004. The complex has over three kilometers of road circuits with multiple configurations, a quarter-mile drag strip, skid pad, drift park, autocross track and a one-kilometer karting track designed by Jacques Villeneuve.
The Pole Winners: Alex Tagliani was the inaugural event’s pole winner in 2011. Alex Labbé set a new track record last season at 94.868 seconds (80.183 mph).
The Race Winners: The first ICAR event saw Robin Buck take the checkered flag and Andrew Ranger was victorious in the next three subsequent races in Mirabel before Kevin Lacroix captured the win in 2015. Ranger returned to Victory Lane last season for his fourth win at the track and 22 overall in the series.
ECKO Unlimited 75 Notes:
Demanding Schedule Ahead: Following a long offseason, and just three events since the season began in mid-May, the NASCAR Pinty’s Series schedule will kick into high gear this week. Starting with the Ecko Unlimited 75, the Pinty's Series will contest five event in the month of July. Following Circuit ICAR, the series visits Toronto on July 15. Just 11 days later the annual western swing will take the series to Wyant Group Raceway (formerly known as Auto Clearing Motor Speedway) in Saskatoon on July 26 for twin 100-lap races. The series will continue west to Alberta on July 29 for the Luxxur 300 at Edmonton International Raceway .
Second of Five Road Course Races: ICAR will play host to the second of five road-course events for the Pinty’s Series in 2016. The season opened at Ontario’s Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on May 21, and the series will return there on Sept. 3. The third of five road course races will be contested at Toronto Exhibition Place on July 15 before the series returns Quebec for the annual stop at Trois-Rivieres on Aug. 13.
Parity Rules So Far In 2017: Although Alex Labbé enters as the points leader for the Ecko 75, the field is still wide open for the 2017 NASCAR Pinty’s Series championship. For the first time since 2012, the series has featured third different pole and race winners in as many races. Labbé leads Lacroix by just two points in the standings (129-127) with Lapcevich moving up to third after his win last at Autodrome Chaudière.