The best thing for a driver to overcome a couple of frustrating finishes is to come back and rebound with a solid outing. Marc-Antoine Camirand did that and more Saturday night at Autodrome St-Eustache.
After recording back-to-back DNFs due to mechanical issues at Nova Scotia’s Riverside International Speedway and Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, Camirand took the lead Saturday on Lap 239 in his No. 22 GM Paille Chevrolet and survived a overtime finish to score his first career NASCAR Pinty’s Series win.
Camirand won the Lucas Oil 250 in his 34th series start, and also joined his teammates Alex Tagliani and Donald Theetge as winners this season.
“I had been waiting for this for a very long time,” said Camirand. “It feels so great to finally cement that win. Moreover, to get that first win on an oval track, when people say that I’m a road-course ace, it gives something even more special to that first victory.”
In keeping with tradition here is the picture of the trophy and checkered flag with our winning car @MACamirand22 All three of our drivers have now won this year. Lets keep the momentum going as we head to @NHMS in a couple of weeks. pic.twitter.com/pluhZoYWyA
— 22RacingTeam (@22RacingTeam) September 9, 2018
Camirand edged Tagliani in NASCAR Overtime to score a hard-fought victory.
“As we expected, it wasn’t an easy race, but I think that I managed to stay out of trouble,” the Saint-Leonard-d’Aston, Quebec native said. “I had a good qualifying run, I started the race in second place, and I stayed in the front pack. I think that all my friends and fans there saw a very good show.”
Camirand led a race-high 116 laps.
Tagliani Tightens Points Race With Runner-Up Finish
Tagliani suffered some damage to his No. 18 Epipen/Rona Chevrolet early in the race, and also a skirmish with Kevin Lacroix and L.P. Dumoulin late in the race to rebound and finish second for his seventh podium finish of the season.
His second-place showing combined with Dumoulin finishing 10th allowed Tagliani to move to within five points of the lead (252-247) shaving nine points off of Dumoulin’s lead with two races remaining in the 2018 schedule.
“We really had an amazing car tonight,” Tagliani said. “This second-place finish is really good for our championship aspirations because it seriously reduces the gap to the point’s leader. This is not an easy track to run on when you start the race on the outside lane. I was quickly overtaken, but I managed to rejoin the leaders.
“Then, someone rammed my Chevrolet Camaro causing the alignment to be off and breaking my right side wheel hubs. I had to pit to repair. I lost several positions in the process.”
Tagliani pitted and made repairs to his car and returned to action and quickly made his way through the field.
“I managed to climb all the way to first place at the mid-point of the race,” Tagliani added. “There is a lot of bumping and banging in this series and it’s easy to quickly lose positions. In fact, I made three comebacks tonight; the final one gave a second-place finish.”
Donald Theetge Gives 22 Racing Strong Showing
Donald Theetge continued his first full-time season competing in the series with another impressive finish and in the process helped his team make history this season.
Theetge finished fifth at Autodrome St. Eustache for his fourth top-five finish of the season and helped 22 Racing have all three of its driver’s come home in the top-five for the second time this season and third overall in the history of the race team.
Team owner and four-time Pinty’s Series champion Scott Steckly has also watched all three of his cars win this season with Camirand’s win on Saturday. Theetge won earlier this summer in Saskatoon and Tagliani has also won twice this season.
- Cole Powell continues impressive performance on oval tracks with another podium finish. Powell piloted his No. 3 Kubota/Copps Buildall Chevrolet to a third-place showing on Saturday which continues an impressive streak for the Mt. Brydges, Ontario driver. In the process he also became the only driver to finish in the top-four in all oval-track events held so far this season.
- Kerry Micks finished completed a strong weekend with his first top-five finish since 2016 when he came home fifth at Autodrome St. Eustache on Saturday. The veteran driver, who competes part-time, qualified 10th and remained in the lead pack all night in just his seventh start of the season.
- L.P. Dumoulin finished 10th to end a streak of five consecutive top-three finishes highlighted by a pair of wins as the Trois-Rivieres, Quebec driver continues his quest for a second Pinty’s Series championship.
- Frustrating season continues for Kevin Lacroix as he was penalized three laps after his incident with Tagliani and Dumoulin during the later stages of the race. He was penalized during the final caution of the race on Lap 247 when he and Dumoulin got together while running in the top five. The St. Eustache, Quebec native led three times for a total of 64 laps in the race.
- DJ Kennington has already built an impressive Pinty’s Series resume. The two-time champion already holds a handful of records and he tied a personal best on Saturday night. The St. Thomas, Ontario veteran continued his streak as the only driver to finish in the top 10 in every race this year and in the process scored his 11th top-10 finish of the season for the seventh time in his career. Kennington can set a personal best in he scores one more top-10 showing in the one of the final two races of the season.
The NASCAR Pinty’s Series will make history when it competes in the United States for the first time in the Visit New Hampshire 100 on Saturday, Sept. 22 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire.