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THOMPSON, CT - JULY 8:   A general view of the garage during practice before the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on July 8, 2017 in Thompson, Connecticut. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** | Getty Images
Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park will host the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East on Saturday. (Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)

PIT BOX: Thompson Highlights K&N Past While Spotlighting Future Stars

All eyes will be on the northeast for the next two weeks, as the sport’s top rising young stars in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East visit a pair of New England tracks. First up is Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, as the historic venue hosts its second annual Throwback race. The King Cadillac GMC Throwback 100 will honor the series’ Busch North roots while also serving as a key step in the 2018 championship chase. Further north, the NASCAR Pinty’s Series will again race on the streets of Toronto as the Pinty’s Grand Prix of Toronto headlines Saturday’s racing during the Honda Indy Toronto weekend.


NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES EAST at THOMPSON

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

The late Al Davis once famously said, “Just win, baby.”

King Event Logo 01

As the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East enters the second half of the season, those bonus points for winning take on an increasing importance. Six different drivers have won in the first seven races — including a pair of victories by Todd Gilliland and a road-course win from Will Rodgers, neither of whom are running for the championship. When you factor in Rodgers will be the driver to beat at Watkins Glen International, and possibility of West drivers winning the combination events at Iowa Speedway and/or Gateway Motorsports Park, Thompson represents a golden opportunity for one of the championship contenders to grab a win and make a significant impact in the standings.

Last year’s return to Thompson featured a back-and-forth battle between Gilliland and eventual race winner (and series’ champion) Harrison Burton. Neither are returning, which opens the door for a new winner.

Both Ronnie Bassett Jr. and Dillon Bassett had strong top-five runs last year at Thompson, and a victory could vault them into title contention. Ronnie Bassett is third in points, 28 behind leader Tyler Ankrum, while Dillon Bassett is seventh.

Tyler Dippel, who enters second to teammate Ankrum, saw his Thompson run end early because of engine issues last year. And NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship contender Chase Dowling will step into the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Chevrolet that Ryan Preece piloted to a sixth-place at Thompson a year ago. Dowling finished ninth at Dover in 2016 in his only previous series start.

RACING-REFERENCE: Previous K&N Pro Series East races at Thompson | K&N Pro Series East drivers’ career stats at Thompson

RACE FACTS

RACE King Cadillac GMC Throwback 100
PLACE Thompson (Conn.) Speedway Motorsports Park
DATE Saturday, July 24
TIME 7:15 p.m. ET
TELEVISION NBCSN, Tuesday, July 24 — 6 p.m. ET
TRACK LAYOUT .625-mile oval
2017 WINNER Harrison Burton
2017 POLE Chase Purdy
EVENT SCHEDULE Saturday — Garage opens: 11 a.m. ET; Practice: 1:45-2:25 p.m.; Final practice: 3:15-3:55 p.m.; Group qualifying: 5 p.m.; Autograph session: 6:15 p.m.; King Cadillac GMC Throwback 100, 7:15 p.m.
TWITTER @ThompsonSpdwy
HASHTAG #ThompsonThrowback #KNEast

RACE CENTRAL LIVE | ENTRY LIST

CREW CHIEF HANDOUT: The maximum starting field is 24 cars, for each race, including provisionals.

Qualifying groups will be determined by each vehicle’s overall fastest single lap from the official practice sessions.

The first 20 cars will secure starting positions based on the group qualifying session for the KING CADILLAC GMC THROWBACK 100. The remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process.

Each group qualifying session will be five (5) minutes in duration and the fastest single lap speed of each vehicle will determine starting positions 1st through 22nd. Adjustments or repairs may not be made on a vehicle after the vehicle enters the track to begin the qualifying session. Vehicles may not
return to the track or make any further qualifying laps unless directed to do so by a NASCAR Official or in the event of a caution. If a vehicle returns to pit road, the vehicle’s qualifying attempt is complete.

The KING CADILLAC GMC THROWBACK 100 will be 100 laps (62.5 miles).

The maximum tire allotment available for this event is as follows: Four (4) tires for practice, four (4) tires for qualifying and to begin the race for a total of eight (8) tires.


WHAT TO WATCH FOR

NASCAR Pinty’s Series at Toronto

The streets of Toronto have been very much dominated by the drivers of Quebec.

Pintys Grand Prix Logo

Andrew Ranger won the first two races at Exhibition Place (2010-11), while Alex Tagliani (2016) and Kevin Lacroix (2017) have won the last two. In fact, Ranger has three top five finishes in four starts on the temporary street course, Lacroix was third in his only other start in 2016, and LP Dumoulin has a pair of top five finishes in the most recent two races there.

Lacroix will look to get his championship drive back on track after mechanical issues at Autodrome Chaudiere knocked him out of the points lead. He’s won five of the last seven road courses in the Pinty’s Series, with an 18th (mechanical at GP3R in 2017) and fifth (2018 opener at CTMP).

RACING-REFERENCE: Previous Pinty’s Series races at TorontoPinty’s Series drivers’ career stats at Toronto

RACE FACTS

RACE Pinty’s Grand Prix of Toronto
PLACE Exhibition Place, Toronto
DATE Saturday, July 14
TIME 1 p.m. ET
TELEVISION TSN, Saturday, July 21 – 2:30 p.m. ET; RDS2, Tuesday, July 17 – 10:30 p.m.
TRACK LAYOUT 1.755-mile road course
2017 WINNER Kevin Lacroix
2017 POLE Andrew Ranger
EVENT SCHEDULE Friday — Garage opens: 9:15 a.m. ET; Final practice: 11:40 a.m.-12:40 p.m.; Group qualifying: 4:05

Saturday — Garage opens: 10 a.m. ET; Autograph session: Noon; Pinty’s Grand Prix of Toronto: 3:40 p.m.

TWITTER @CTMPOfficial; @NASCARPintys
HASHTAG #PintysGP

RACE CENTER | ENTRY LIST | TICKETS

CREW CHIEF HANDOUT: The maximum starting field is 32 cars, for each race, including provisionals.

Qualifying groups will be determined by each vehicle’s overall fastest single lap from the official practice sessions.

The first 27 cars will secure starting positions based on the qualifying session. The remaining five spots will be awarded through the provisional process.

Each group qualifying session will be five (5) minutes in duration and the fastest single lap speed of each vehicle will determine starting positions 1st through 27nd. Adjustments or repairs may not be made on a vehicle after the vehicle enters the track to begin the qualifying session. Vehicles may not
return to the track or make any further qualifying laps unless directed to do so by a NASCAR Official or in the event of a caution. If a vehicle returns to pit road, the vehicle’s qualifying attempt is complete.

The PINTY’S GRAND PRIX of TORONTO will be 35 laps (61.4 miles / 100 kilometers).

The maximum tire allotment available for this event is as follows: One (1) tire for practice, four (4) tires for qualifying for a total of five (5) tires. If this is a driver’s first event on a road course, the maximum tire allotment available is as follows: Four (4) tires for practice, four (4) tires for qualifying for a total of eight (8) tires.

In the event of rain or wet track conditions, and at the discretion of the NASCAR Pinty’s Series Director, practice, qualifying and/or the race may start or continue under those conditions. In wet conditions, and at the discretion of the NASCAR Pinty’s Series Director, competitors may be required to equip their cars with wet condition tires as specified by Goodyear. All cars must be equipped at all times with a functional defogger and a rear window flashing light part #40R00FRN and should be equipped with a functional windshield wiper motor. The rear window flashing light must be illuminated during wet conditions and must be located inside of the upper left section of the rear window. NASCAR Officials must approve all rear taillight mounting and its location.

All teams will be required to have one (1) set of four (4) mounted wet condition tires as specified by Goodyear in their assigned pit stall.


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