OHSWEKEN, ON (August 16, 2022)- “It’s going to be a big event, probably the biggest racing event in Canada this year.” – Stewart Friesen
Three long years after it was announced, the NASCAR Pinty’s Series will finally visit Ohsweken Speedway Tuesday night.
The Pinty’s 100, the first dirt race in series history, was originally scheduled for 2020 before the Covid-19 pandemic put the season on hold. The delay has only added to the anticipation.
“I’m proud to welcome the racing community to Ohsweken,” said Glenn Styres, owner of Ohsweken Speedway and driver of the No. 0 GSR/Ohsweken Speedway Chevrolet in the Pinty’s Series. “We’ve hosted major events over the last two decades, but this race will bring people to the track who have never visited.”
For Styres, Tuesday’s race is a dream 25 years in the making. Styres and his family built the speedway behind his house in 1996 and have transformed it into one of the premier racing facilities in Canada.
“It’s absolutely incredible,” Styres said. “It’s really surreal to me, it’s hard to believe it’s finally here. We’ve been waiting a long time for this.”
In addition to the regular Pinty’s Series field, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff driver Stewart Friesen (No. 22 Mister Transmission Chevrolet prepared by 22 Racing) and NASCAR / short track legend Ken Schrader (No. 3 CANUSA/APC Miami Muscle/Fast Eddie Chevrolet prepared by HER) are scheduled to compete.
“It’s very humbling to be able to do this with Schrader and all the Pinty’s Series guys,” Friesen said. “I’m pretty good friends with D.J. Kennington and (Alex) Tagliani and some of the big names of that series. It’s going to be a cool event, and I’m really excited for it.”
Friesen, from Niagra-on-the-Lake, has experience at the 3/8-mile dirt track having won a World of Outlaws sprint car race at Ohsweken in 2015.
“It was definitely one of the best moments in my career, and to do it with my wife, with her team and her as crew chief was really, really special.”
When asked what type of racing fans should expect Tuesday night, Styres answered with a big grin.
“The track will be really good, I’m predicting four-wide racing. There is without a doubt going to be three or four grooves on this track.”
Andrew Ranger tested Pinty’s Series car at Ohsweken in 2019
Being the reigning champion has its perks.
Andrew Ranger (No. 27 GM Paille Chevrolet Chevrolet), the 2018 NASCAR Pinty’s Series champion, is hoping perks he received his championship year will give him an edge at Ohsweken. Ranger was champion when the Ohsweken race was being finalized and tested his car for the sanctioning body at the 3/8-mile dirt oval, making him the only driver with experience in a Pinty’s Series cars on the track.
“The track was very fun,” Ranger said. “It was my first time on dirt in a NASCAR stock car, so for me it was a great experience.”
“The crowd is going to be nuts,” Ranger added looking forward to Tuesday night. “The race is going to be very different than we’re used to on asphalt, but it’s going to be very fun.”
Dirt track preparation is key for series regulars
With the majority of Pinty’s Series regulars coming from asphalt-racing backgrounds, there has been a variety of preparation for Tuesday’s race.
Three-time series champion L.P. Dumoulin (No. 47 Weathertech Canada/Groupe Bellemare Dodge) entered a Sportsman Modified race at Autodrome Granby to gain experience for the Pinty’s 100.
“The race was run as part of their season championship,” Dumoulin explained. “My goal was to gain experience rather than fight and have an impact on a regular competitor’s result.”
Fellow Quebec driver Kevin Lacroix (No. 74 NAPA/Lacroix Tuning/Valvoline Dodge) also spent time at Granby, but he was on track testing.
“It was really different than on asphalt but I enjoyed it,” Lacroix said. I can’t wait to see how we will behave on the track during the race because the driving technique and all the car adjustments must change. So we will have to adapt quickly to the new conditions.”
Race Pinty’s 100
Date / Start Time Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022 / 9:30 p.m. ET
Track / Location Ohsweken Speedway
TV TSN: Sunday, Aug. 21, 1:30 p.m., prior to the NASCAR Cup Series race at Watkins Glen / RDS2 Saturday, Sept. 10, 1 p.m.
Live Stream Canada: TSN.ca / TSN app
Fans can stay connected to the NASCAR Pinty’s Series – and all things NASCAR in Canada – at www.nascar.ca, on Twitter, Facebookand Instagram.
From: Josh Hamilton