Bowmanville, ON (May 21, 2018)- Donald Theetge knew the weekend was going to be a challenge due to his limited time on the difficult Canadian Tire Motorsport Park track in round one of the NASCAR Pinty’s Series but losing a lap and not being able to get it back hurt the teams chances of a top ten finish.
Saturday’s practice session for the Clarington 200 was cancelled due to fog, rain and wet track conditions. NASCAR then deemed that the later in the afternoon qualifying session would become a short practice for the teams to shake down their cars. Due to the lack of qualifying, NASCAR reverted to the rulebook and starting positions would be determined by 2017 points. Theetges #24 Mercedes Benz-St Nicolas/Circuit Acura Camaro had not participated in 2017 so they were relegated to start second last on the grid in 21st position.
Theetge made steady progress in the early stages of the 51-lap race when his crew called him to pit road for fuel. Unfortunately for the team, the caution flew shortly afterwards and Theetge had lost a lap on the pit stop mostly due to his poor starting position. There was only one further caution period and Theetge found himself running as the second car down one lap, so he was unable to get the free pass resulting in a 13th place finish.
“I am very disappointed with our result. Pitting for fuel when we did, and the caution right afterwards cost us a top ten finish I think,” said Theetge after the race. “On the positive side we finished the entire race and made points and the next two races are on ovals, so we will get caught back up to the leaders then.
The Clarington 200 from Canadian Tire Motorsport Park will be broadcast on TSN 4 on Sunday May 27th at 4:30 p.m. and on RDS2 on Tuesday June 5th at 10:30 p.m.
Next on the schedule for Donald and his Mercedes-Benz St. Nicolas/Circuit Acura team will be Jukasa Motor Speedway on June 16th. The final race of the 2017 season was held there and Theetge was one turn away from his first NASCAR Pinty’s Series win but went on to finish second.