ST-EUSTACHE, Que. — The NASCAR Pinty’s Series made its annual trip to Autodrome St-Eustache and for many reasons it will be a night to remember.
For 22 Racing driver Marc-Antoine Camirand, it was a night six years in the making. At GP3R, Camirand dominated the first half of the race before losing in a heartbreaking finish to teammate Alex Tagliani. A late-race pile up set up a thrilling NASCAR Overtime finish and the perfect opportunity for Camirand to strike. This time Camirand got the job done.
Camirand took the lead on Lap 239 just before a big crash would occur involving points leader L.P. Dumoulin, Kevin Lacroix and Tagliani forcing overtime. Camirand’s No.22 GM Paille Chevrolet held of hard charges from teammates Tagliani and Donald Theetge to finally claim his long awaited first NASCAR Pinty’s Series victory in the Lucas Oil 250 at Autodrome St-Eustache.
The 39-year-old driver from Saint-Leonard-d’Aston, Quebec lead a total of 116 laps en-route to scoring his first win in 34 starts. He also becomes the third first time winner this season, joining Cole Powell and Theetge.
Camirand also becomes the first driver to take the legendary No.22 car to Victory Lane since car owner and four-time series champion Scott Steckly retired at the end of the 2015 season.
Tagliani came into St-Eustache with one goal in mind, close the points gap to Dumoulin. Tagliani took the lead on Lap 129 and lead for 77 laps before being shuffled back in the field after being trapped on the high side during the Lap 233 restart. Tagliani mounted a charge to catch Camirand. He navigated his way through the Dumoulin-Lacroix wreck and was able to rebound finishing second, for his seventh podium finish of 2018. Powell found his way through the late race carnage and, despite missing a front bumper, was able to finish third notching his seventh top-five finish of the season.
Kerry Micks came home fourth scoring his first top five since Toronto in 2016, while Theetge rounded out the top five. David Michaud notched his best NASCAR Pinty’s Series finish in sixth, followed by DJ Kennington in seventh. Andrew Ranger, Jostens Rookie of the Race Steve Cote and points leader Dumoulin rounded out the top 10.
Following the frantic last laps at St-Eustache, Tagliani was able to cut Dumoulin’s points lead to only five heading into the season’s penultimate race at New Hampshire in two weeks. Powell is in third in points followed by Kennington and Camirand.
The Lucas Oil 250 will air on TSN on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 3:30 p.m., and on RDS2 on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 10:30 p.m.
The NASCAR Pinty’s Series will be back action September 22 for the Visit New Hampshire 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It will be the first NASCAR Pinty’s Series event held the United States.
NASCAR Pinty’s Series-Lucas Oil 250 Results
Lap length: 0.4 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (2) Marc-Antoine Camirand, Saint-Leonard-d’Aston, Que., Chevrolet, 257 laps, 50.731
2. (4) Alex Tagliani, Lachenaie, Que., Chevrolet, 257.
3. (13) Cole Powell, MT. Brydges, Ontario, Chevrolet, 257.
4. (10) Kerry Micks, Mount Albert, Ont., Ford, 257.
5. (5) Donald Theetge, Boischatel, Que., Chevrolet, 257.
6. (11) David Michaud, Terrebonne, Que., Chevrolet, 257.
7. (9) D.J. Kennington, St. Thomas, Ont., Dodge, 257.
8. (7) Andrew Ranger, Roxton Pond, Que., Dodge, 257.
9. (3) Steve Cote, Ile Bizard, Que, Ford, 257.
10. (6) L.P. Dumoulin, Trois-Rivieres, Que., Dodge, 257.
11. (17) Larry Jackson, Oakville, Ont., Ford, 257.
12. (16) Brett Taylor, Calgary, Alta., Dodge, 252.
13. (1) Kevin Lacroix, Saint-Eustache, Que., Dodge, 250, penalty-3 laps.
14. (15) Adam Martin, Ayr, Ont., Ford, 248.
15. (12) Joey McColm, Ajax, Ont., Dodge, 222, mechanical.
16. (14) Simon Dion-Viens, Saint-Joseph-de-Kamouraska, Que., Dodge, 221, accident.
17. (8) J.F. Dumoulin, Trois-Rivieres, Que., Dodge, 182, accident.
Time of Race: 2 hours 1 minute 35 seconds
Margin of Victory: .279 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: K.Lacroix (81.800 mph, 17.604 seconds)
Caution Flags: 12 for 66 laps.
Lead Changes: 6 among 3 drivers.
Lap Leaders: K. Lacroix 1-32; M. Camirand 33-129; A. Tagliani 130-205; K. Lacroix 206; A. Tagliani 207; K. Lacroix 208-238; M. Camirand 239-257.
Standings: 1. L. Dumoulin, 452; 2. A. Tagliani, 447; 3. C. Powell, 428; 4. D. Kennington, 424; 5. M. Camirand, 417; 6. A. Ranger, 407; 7. K. Lacroix, 400; 8. D. Theetge, 399; 9. B. Taylor, 354; 10. A. Martin, 342.