The NASCAR Pinty’s Series made its annual trip out west to Saskatoon and Alberta and both stops didn’t disappoint the fans with three action-packed races during the trip.
Donald Theetge and Cole Powell joined the group of race winners as each driver picked up their first NASCAR Pinty’s Series wins in the doubleheader at Wyant Group Raceway last Wednesday.
L.P. Dumoulin took advantage of a late restart to grab the lead and win his second race of the season on Saturday at Edmonton International Raceway.
Donald Theetge Celebrates First Win
Donald Theetge passed pole sitter Kevin Lacroix on Lap 16 and remained out front the rest of the 125-lap feature to score his first series win in his 18th start. The 51-year-old driver from Boischatel, Quebec, built a comfortable lead until the only caution flag of the race flew on Lap 89 after contact between Luc Haukaas and Adam Martin set up a restart on Lap 96.
“First of all it’s a dream come true with the win. The car was really quick and we finally won one after coming so close last year. I would like to say thank you to Scott as we chose him and his 22 Racing team becuase we knew that we could win a race with his team.” – Donald Theetge
Cole Powell was able to finish second for his second runner-up finish in his first five series starts. Alex Tagliani, Marc-Antoine Camirand and DJ Kennington completed the top five. Theetge’s victory also was the first for the Chevrolet Camaro that debuted this season in the Pinty’s Series for the first time.
Cole Powell Follows Up Runner-Up Finish with Inaugural Victory
When former driver Jason Hathaway and veteran team owner Ed Hakonson decided to return to full-time competition this season they decided to put Mt. Brydges, Ontario native Cole Powell in the season and that decision has already paid big dividends.
Despite visiting tracks for the first time this season, Powell had already scored three top-five finishes in his first five starts and he followed up a runner-up finish in the opening race at Wyant Group Raceway with his first win in the night cap.
Powell was able to pass pole sitter L.P. Dumoulin on Lap 79 and stayed out front the rest of the way to win by .266-seconds. Dumoulin followed in second with Camirand third for his second straight top-five finish.
Theetge followed up his win with a fourth-place finish and Kennington came home fifth again.
“I was happy to get back to some oval racing here at Wyant. Jay and the Team gave me a great car and the fans got an awesome show tonight in the double feature format. Thanks to the Team and Copp’s and Kubota for their help in our first win!” – Cole Powell
Dumoulin Retakes Points Lead with Win in Edmonton
Kevin Lacroix started from the pole and looked as if he was going to lead every lap Saturday at Edmonton International Raceway on the way to his first win of the season after a string of tough-luck finishes recently. Unfortunately for hi, his tough luck continued in the late stages of the race.
Lacroix led the first 281 laps of the Luxxor 300 before Alex Tagliani passed him on a late restart only to watch Dumoulin pass Tagliani with a daring move in turn 1 one lap later and go on for his second win of the season.
The win also gave Dumoulin the opportunity to retake the points lead over Powell by four points as the series crossed the midway point of the 2018 season.
Lacroix came home second to score his best finish of the season since his win at Jukasa in June with Tagliani, Powell and Kennington rounding out the top five.
- Series drivers, Kennington and Tagliani all honor Humboldt Broncos in Saskatoon. Before the Velocity Prairie Thunder Twin 125’s on Wednesday, Kennington presented the team a check after he auctioned off his hood that was on his Cup Series car at Bristol Motor Speedway in April. Tagliani also auctioned his helmet that featured Humboldt Broncos and every car displayed a team or personnel member of the team during the races.
- Shantel Kalika makes first series starts during western swing. While she competes on a regular basis Wyant Group Raceway, Kalika stepped up to make her first series starts finishing a respectable 15th or better in all three starts and she also completed every event without a DNF.
- Sherwood Park, Alberta native Noel Dowler enjoyed a solid week in his first starts of the season as well. Dowler, who annually competes during the western swing and has made 60 series starts throughout his career, finished ninth in both races in Saskatoon and come home seventh in his start at his home track at EIR on Saturday.
- Although Kennington and Camirand have yet to win a race this season they have done something no other drivers have done through the first half of the season. Both drivers are the only two to have finished in the top 10 in all seven series events this season. Camirand has used his consistency to sit third in the championship standings nine points behind Dumoulin. Kennington, who has already won two titles, is fifth just 16 points out of the top spot.
The NASCAR Pinty’s Series teams will now return east and visit Quebec for the second time this season during their next race. The historic town of Trois-Rivières will host the annual Le 50 Tours Can-Am on the Circuit Trois-Rivières on Sunday, August 12th. Tagliani is the defending champion of this event while Andrew Ranger holds the record winning this event four times.
Star Phoenix – Saskatoon
Love at first sight as NASCAR’s Powell hits victory lane in Saskatoon
Helmets and hoods: NASCAR drivers forge ties with Humboldt Broncos
Win in Saskatoon and you’re in the fast lane for NASCAR Pinty’s Series championship
NBC NASCAR America