With the dawn of a new NASCAR Pinty’s season, comes 14 new opportunities for drivers to write their way into the history books. Last year was the first cross country season since the COVID-19 pandemic, and the series made a splash at every track they visited.
Two new venues were added to the schedule including the much-anticipated inaugural dirt race at Ohsweken Speedway. The series also visited Eastbound International Speedway on the island of Newfoundland and Labrador, which required a 16-hour long ferry ride through the Atlantic Ocean.
There were a record-tying eight different winners in 13 races. It was the fourth time – and first since 2018 – that the feat was accomplished.
There were also three first-time winners in 2022, also tying the series record. The new winners were 18 (Treyten Lapcevich), 26 (Alex Guenette) and 29 (Brandon Watson) at the time of their first win, showcasing the series influx of young talent. The season also saw 16 new drivers make their debut, the most since 2011.
An increase in car counts brought the average field size up to 23.6 cars, the highest since 2013 and sixth-largest in series history. Overall, thirteen drivers completed the full schedule, the highest number since 2009.
Building off the momentum of the 2022 season, fans should once again expect to be treated to side-by-side racing at the top racetracks in Canada, dramatic finishes, new drivers, fan-favorites, and at the end of it all, a season to remember.
Camirand Looks to go Back-to-Back
In the history of the NASCAR Pinty‘s Series, no driver has won back-to-back championships. Marc-Antoine Camirand wants to be the first.
Last season he became the seventh different champion over the series’ 16-year history and in that time no driver has ever gone two in a row.
“It’s another challenge for us,” Camirand said. “We know this series is really competitive so to do it again this year will be hard to do. But that’s definitely the plan, to try and win a championship again in 2023.”
Last year the 44-year-old won a career-best three races while driving for his own team with long-time sponsor – GM Paillé Racing Team. He also picked up nine top fives, 11 top 10s, two E3 Spark Plug Pole awards and led 803 laps, the second highest in series history.
“The offseason was very busy, we‘ve built another chassis and we‘ve prepped the other chassis to get ready for the first race of the season,” Camirand said. “We‘re in a lot better position than the same spot last year.”
Veterans vs. Young Guns
As the NASCAR Pinty’s Series continues to grow, so does the competition. While the seasoned veterans try to claim dominance, several young drivers are looking to establish themselves this year.
Alex Tagliani and Kevin Lacroix are both on the hunt for their maiden championships while Andrew Ranger and L.P. Dumoulin look to tie Scott Steckly with their fourth title (the most in series history). D.J. Kennington is chasing his third.
Treyten Lapcevich, Brandon Watson and Alex Guenette, all reached Victory Lane last year. Lapcevich won the season opener at Sunset and the inaugural race on dirt. Watson, who had a dominant season finally got his first win in the season finale at Delaware Speedway. Guenette, who was part-time, won at the historic Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières and will now run full-time with Ed Hakonson Racing in the iconic No. 3 Chevrolet.
Josten’s Rookie of the Year Contender, Thomas Nepveu will be making his series debut at Sunset alongside sophomore teammate J.P. Bergeron.
Kyle Steckly, son of four-time series champion Scott Steckly, will also make a handful of starts, beginning this weekend.
Josh Collins Racing Joins the Series
A new team will debut in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series this weekend – Josh Collins Racing from Newfoundland and Labrador will make the journey across five provinces to take part in the season opener.
Team namesake, Josh Collins, along with Brandon McFarlane, will both race part-time at the oval events this year.
Joining them for 2023 is Newfoundland-based transportation company Oceanex.
“We have a newly branded team effort this season that brings new excitement and growth opportunities for the team, and I’m looking forward to getting the season started and showcasing our speed,” said team co-owner Josh Collins. “We’ve been putting in countless hours in the off-season to put this expanded two-car team effort together.”
Doug Gonder Named Series Director
Ahead of the 2023 season, NASCAR announced the promotion of Doug Gonder to the helm of Series Director.
The London, Ontario native, first joined NASCAR as an official in 2012 focusing on technical inspection, including pit road, templates, car and engine. He was promoted to assistant series director in 2022.
Prior to joining NASCAR, Gonder worked as an official in the ARCA Menards Series and at Delaware Speedway, where he started his career as a race official in 2005.
He previously served as assistant series director under Cherie Putnam, who retired at the end of last season.
NASCAR Pinty’s Series etc.
• The 2023 NASCAR Pinty’s season is ready set to break records again. The 14-race schedule is the most events ever seen on the series calendar, with the addition of a second race at Ohsweken Speedway. The series will celebrate it’s 200th race at that event on Tuesday, August 15th.
• Starting in 2023, all the series races will stream live on TSN’s new subscription based, streaming platform, TSN+. The platform currently remains in its free-preview phase, so fans will be able to watch the NTN Ultimate Bearing Experience 25o free this weekend. Tape-delay broadcasts will continue to air on TSN and RDS2 in Canada and fans in the United States can watch live on FloRacing.
Race NTN Ultimate Bearing Experience 250
Date / Start Time Saturday, May 13, 2023 / 7 p.m. ET
Track / Location Sunset Speedway (Innisfil, ON)
TV TSN: Sunday, May 21 at 4 p.m. ET / RDS2: Sunday, June 11 at 1:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream Canada: TSN+
Fans can stay connected to the NASCAR Pinty’s Series – and all things NASCAR in Canada – at www.nascar.ca, on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.