The final road course events of the season added two more drivers to the win list in 2021.
In the Olymel Grand Prix of Ontario, it was former Canadian Tire Motorsport Park winners, Gary Klutt and L.P. Dumoulin on the front row.
Klutt led 20 of the 30-lap race, until 10 to go when he started to fall off the pace, due to a mechanical issue. Dumoulin then fended off a hard charge by Marc-Antoine Camirand on the final lap to claim his fourth win at CTMP and first of 2021.
“We were waiting, more towards the end of the race to make a move and at some point, Klutt had a mechanical problem,” explained Dumoulin. “The last two restarts didn’t really help us, I think it got overcast and colder and the tire pressure we had was maybe a bit too low, so we had a hard time getting back up to speed.”
“Camirand in the last two laps was right there behind us, pushing hard. I think we gave a pretty good show,” he continued.
— NASCAR Pinty’s Series (@NASCARPintys) September 4, 2021
On Sunday, it was time for the Clarington 200.
It was Kevin Lacroix and Klutt leading the field to green, for the 51-lap race. The No. 74 Bumper to Bumper Dodge led until lap 16 when pit stops began.
Alex Tagliani had a different strategy… The No. 18 team decided not to take tires and we cycled through to the lead.
Tagliani led the next 27 laps until five to go when Camirand saw his opportunity to pass and took it.
Since the series inception, the No. 22 car has never won on a road course, but that streak is now broken, as Camirand went on to claim his second victory in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series.
“To be honest the last lap was a really long one,” said Camirand. “At the end, I was battling with Alex, it was a fair pass. I was patient behind him because he didn’t change tires and I got the opportunity to pass him in corner three, then that was it.”
“I’m so happy for the 22 Racing team and GM Paillé, they deserve it. Today we knew the car was really good and I just managed that car,” Camirand continued.
— NASCAR Pinty’s Series (@NASCARPintys) September 5, 2021
Tagliani leaves CTMP with an eight-point lead over Dumoulin. The remaining races will focus on the teams’ oval programs and both drivers saw podiums at Sunset back in August.
“It’s a great win for the 22 side and a very good race for the organization,” said Tagliani. “I think Marc had some pretty bad luck this year and he deserved a good result for his moral. For us, we’re back in the lead of the points so we just have to finish strong”
Struggles for Lacroix
Heading into CTMP, Lacroix sat just seven points behind the leader and is a fan favourite at the Bowmanville, ON road course.
The St. Eustache, Quebec native spent the opening laps of the Olymel GPO in the top three. However, heading into turn five on lap ten, Lacroix, lost power due to a transmission failure and was forced to retire from the race.
On Sunday, despite scoring the pole, he came up just short of a podium position in the Clarington 200 and now sits third in the standing, 30 points behind Tagliani.
Historic Weekend for 22 Racing Team
The 22 Racing Team had a lot to celebrate this weekend, across multiple series.
First, Treyten Lapcevich scored his career-best finish (third place) in the Olymel GPO on Saturday, just before making the nearly two-hour drive to Flamboro Speedway to compete in the APC Series event. Camirand also finished on the Saturday podium in second.
“I followed some guys, learned some new lines and I think I picked up quite a bit of speed over the race. At the end there I was able to make some spots on the restarts,” explained Lapcevich. “I’m just really proud of our whole RGC Sports/QwickWick crew. I couldn’t be happier really.”
At Flamboro, Lapcevich drove from last to second after missing qualifying, but it was fellow 22 Racing teammate, Kyle Steckly who took home the checkered flag in his APC Series debut.
The winning momentum was strong on Sunday, as the 22 Racing prepared for the Clarington 200. While Lapcevich had some trouble with his No. 20 RGC Sports/QwickWick Chevrolet, Camirand and Tagliani dominated the race.
Overall, the team picked up a win, four podium finishes and five top-fives at CTMP.
The second @NASCARPintys double podium of the weekend at @CTMPOfficial! @MACamirand22 finally put the 22 car on the top step of podium at a road course and Alex @tagliani takes 2nd and regains the #NASCARPintys points lead! pic.twitter.com/icbifM79OZ
— 22RacingTeam (@22RacingTeam) September 5, 2021
Kyle Marcelli Scores First Podium
In only three starts in the series, Kyle Marcelli scored his first podium of his NASCAR Pinty’s career in the Clarington 200.
The sportscar star, made his debut at GP3R earlier this season and although the No. 7 Ford was fast each race, bad luck seemed to plague the team.
“GP3R was my first time in this car, and I had so much to learn, I knew it was going to be an uphill battle,” explained Marcelli. “We just got into the top-five at GP3R and broke an axel with nine laps to go. Our weekend started off a little rocky here at CTMP, we broke a shifter in qualifying, then we had an alternator fail in race one.”
“Today was our day, the guys worked really hard overnight to give me a good car. From the drop of the green, I knew I had a good car. I wanted to take my time to learn as much as possible,” he continued. ” I really wanted to finish my season in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series on a high. So third place is just a huge thank you to the sponsors and to the team and a good foundation to build on for next year.”
View this post on Instagram
This upcoming weekend the series heads back to the ovals at Flamboro Speedway for two 125 lap races. Pete Shepherd III and Shae Gemmell will be returning as well as Donald Theetge will be back in the No. 80 Chevrolet.
Lacroix won at Flamboro last year and could make up some of the points deficit but expect oval regulars like Lapcevich and Shepherd to be upfront as well.
The Olymel Grand Prix of Ontario will air on TSN on Saturday, September 11, at 1:00 p.m., and the Clarington 200 will air on TSN that same evening (Saturday, Sept. 11) at 5:30 p.m.
Each race also will air on RDS/RDS2. Fans in the United States can stream races after they air on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.