After months of planning and anticipation, the NASCAR Pinty’s Series has finally arrived in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Following a trek across the eastern part of the country – over 2,500 km for some teams – haulers arrived at Eastbound International Speedway and Concert Park Thursday in advance of Saturday’s PRO•LINE 225 Presented by QwickWick. The race is the first for the Pinty’s Series in Newfoundland, the seventh different province the series has visited.
“Our fans and competitors have been excited for the trip east since we announced this race,” said Chad Seigler, NASCAR Vice President, International Business. “This weekend is a great opportunity to showcase NASCAR and our drivers to fans on the eastern coast, and those that made the trip. We have a great partner in the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Tourism and are honored to be part of the Come Home 2022 festivities.”
This will be the first look at the track for almost every series regular which opens the door for a surprise winner. Though some drivers, like current points leader Kevin Lacroix (No. 74 ESR WHEELS/Lacroix Tuning/Boulonnerie Dodge), enjoy the challenge of a new track.
“We’re quite confident, I learn new tracks pretty fast,” Lacroix said. “I think we have a good basic setup and have other similar tracks we can refer to.”
While it may be difficult to know exactly what you need at a new race track, there are ways for drivers to prepare before showing up.
“I’m watching a lot of video from the track to help me try to anticipate what will happen,” said Treyten Lapcevich (No. 20 RGC Sports/Qwick Wick/FBM Chevrolet). “You can kind of see the lines that people are taking and try to duplicate that when you get there.”
But the advantage may go to series legend D.J. Kennington (No. 17 Castrol Edge/CIM Metals/Cathcart Trucking Dodge) who competed at the track just a few years back.
“I’m really looking forward to getting our Castrol Edge Dodge on track at Eastbound Speedway,” Kennington said. “I had a great experience there a couple of years ago, it’s a fun track to race on and having that little bit of experience will certainly help us at the start. There’s a lot of race fans there and we’re looking to put on a good show for them and be on the top step of the podium at the end of the night”.
Eastbound International Speedway is the 21st different track to host a race in the 16-year history of the NASCAR Pinty’s Series. It has been a NASCAR-sanctioned Home Track since 2016.
Beyond the action on the track at Eastbound International Speedway, the trip marks the first time to the province for some drivers and a familiar return for others.
Kevin Lacroix is one who will be making his first trip to The Rock.
“It will be my first time that far east,” Lacroix said. “I’m really excited to discover what it’s like over there – the culture, the people. It’s very different from Montreal, so I’m excited to see that.”
For reigning series champion LP Dumoulin (No. 47 Weathertech/Bellemare Dodge), a trip to The Maritimes has a special meaning.
“My mom is from New Brunswick, so every time we go out East I get really excited,” Dumoulin said. “I have friends in Newfoundland who are waiting to see us. It’s a different lifestyle out there, I love it.”
Three races, three overtime finishes, three different winners
An exciting pattern has emerged in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series with the first three races of the 2022 season being decided in Overtime.
Andrew Ranger (No 27 GM Paille Chevrolet) was the latest driver to capture the checkered flag after an overtime finish, holding off teammate Marc-Antoine Camirand (No. 96 GM Paille/Chevrolet Canada Chevrolet) to win the QwickWick 250 Presented by St. Hubert at Autodrome Chaudiere.
Ranger has competed at all 20 tracks the series has raced at and has at least one win at 17 of them.
“We have a fantastic car for Newfoundland and can’t wait to get there,” Ranger said. “It’s great for the series and great for the fans – and I hope to win another race. Any time you win a ‘first’ race, it is special. It’s a nice track and the fans will be amazing, and I can’t wait to get there.”
Ranger joined Treyten Lapcevich (Sunset) and Kevin Lacroix (CTMP) as 2022 series winners.