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Andrew Ranger scores first victory of the season and first for Rick Ware Racing in NASCAR. (Photo by Matthew Manor/NASCAR)

QUICK LOOK BACK: Flamboro Speedway Brings Struggles for Oval Favourites

The NASCAR Pinty’s Series returned to the ovals at Flamboro Speedway last weekend, and many regulars had struggles at the 1/3-mile track.

The MotoMaster 125 kicked off an hour early due to the threat of inclement weather. Treyten Lapcevich claimed his first E3 Spark Plug Pole Award of the season and was joined by Andrew Ranger on the front row.

The two battled together for the first 15 laps until Lapcevich fell off the pace and stopped on the track, bringing out the first caution of the day.

From there Ranger controlled the remaining 110 laps but not without intense pressure from D.J. Kennington.

In the end, it was the No. 51 Miles for Migraine/Canadian Super Sellers Dodge that captured the checkered flag and Rick Ware Racing’s first win ever in NASCAR.

“The car was very good, very consistent, I was able to carry a lot of speed into the corner and everything was just perfect for tonight,” explained Ranger. “D.J., my friend, was right behind me, he gave me a lot of pressure throughout the race.”

Kennington picked up his second runner-up finish this season, and the pole for race two, the QwickWick 125.

“Our No. 17 Castrol Edge Dodge was awesome,” said Kennington. “Just fighting a little tight in the center and then it caused us to lose drive off, just because you lose the roll in the middle. We’re going to try and fix that up and hopefully, this wet stuff goes away so we can get back racing.”

Immediately following the MotoMaster 125, the rain arrived putting a halt to all on-track operations and eventually cancelling the remaining 125 lap race.

Alex Tagliani remains at the top of the championship standings, now with an 11-point gap ahead of L.P. Dumoulin. Both drivers had good finishes at Flamboro, with Tagliani finishing in fourth and Dumoulin in seventh.

RESULTS: MotoMaster 125

 

Brandon Watson Makes Series Debut

A familiar face to Ontario race fans made his series debut at Flamboro. APC Series regular, Brandon Watson, joined the Pinty’s field on Sunday, driving the No. 64 Chevrolet, usually piloted by Mark Dilley.

Watson was top-five in practice but ended up qualifying 11th. The 28-year-old from Stayner, ON battled his way through 125 laps to finish sixth in his debut and was also awarded, Jostens Rookie of the Race.

Oval Regulars Face Struggles

A number of fan favourite oval drivers grappled with mechanical issues at Flamboro.

Pete Shepherd III was the first with issues, suffering a failure after spinning in practice. The No. 7 Chevrolet team made the trip back to the race shop to pick up an alternate oval car.

During the race, Shepherd fought all the way from last to fifth, his best finish of the season so far.

Shae Gemmell was another driver that was wicked fast at Flamboro, even leading the field in practice.

While running in the top-three, Gemmell had a right-front tire go flat, was forced to pit and eventually finished 13th.

 

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A post shared by Shae Gemmell (@shaegemmell3)

Lapcevich has proved he is a strong contender at any race track this season, but especially so on the ovals.

But the No. 20 RGC Sports/QwickWick Chevrolet also faced a mechanical issue during the race and ended his day in ninth.

 

Kevin Lacroix’s Bad Luck Continues 

Despite being fast at every track this season, Kevin Lacroix’s 2021 season has been a roller coaster.

The No. 74 Bumper to Bumper/Lacroix Tuning Dodge has DNF’d, three of the seven races so far this season.

Lacroix did claim the win at Circuit ICAR and another podium finish at GP3R, but the recent mechanical issues have now pushed him down to sixth in the points standings, just one point off of Kennington and Lapcevich.

POINTS STANDINGS

 

Onto Delaware

For the final weekend of the 2021 season, the NASCAR Pinty’s Series is set to return to Delaware Speedway for the first time since 2017. Expect the drivers to go all out as we approach the championship finale on Sun. September 26.

Last time at the track, Alex Labbe left victorious but Shepherd and Kennington have both seen success there also.