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Alex Guenette made his full-time series return in 2021, with Rick Ware Racing. (Photo by Matthew Manor/NASCAR)

Season Rewind: Alex Guenette

Alex Guenette returned to the NASCAR Pinty’s Series full-time in 2021 as a second driver for a new team, Rick Ware Racing.

It was his first time back since filling in for Alex Tagliani at the end of 2019, but his last full-time ride was back in 2013, the same year he won Rookie of the Year honours.

RACING REFERENCE: Alex Guenette’s 2021 NASCAR Pinty’s Season

SUNSET SPEEDWAY

Mm2 2690Starting out the 2021 season at Sunset Speedway in Innisfil, Ont., Guenette had qualified 14th for the Frontline Workers 125.

On lap 85, Guenette had made his way up into the top-ten on a restart but got spun as other drivers dodged the leader, Treyten Lapcevich who got turned. After heading down pit road, he restarted at the back of the pack. Shortly after, on lap 98, he spun once again, coming into turn four.

Despite the multiple incidents, he never went a lap down. In the remaining laps, the Terrebonne, Que. native battled from the back and eventually finished eighth.

Starting ninth for the General Tire 125, Guenette’s second race of the night was quiet compared to the first. Remaining of the lead lap, he brought the No. 52 Motos Illimitess/DLGL.com Dodge home in sixth.

GRAND PRIX DE TROIS-RIVIÈRES

Guenette already had good results at GP3R before 2021. His best was back in 2014 when he finished seventh on the historic street course.

The 25-year-old’s weekend started great, picking up top-ten results in both practice and qualifying.

When the green flag dropped, Guenette settled into the eighth position quickly. As the race entered the second half, his teammate Andrew Ranger suffered a brake failure, ending his day early.

With 13 laps to go, Guenette suffered the same fate while running 11th.

He immediately headed down pit road to the attention of his team but the No. 52 Dodge never restarted and ended his day in 16th, a total of 15 laps down.

CIRCUIT ICAR Mm2 9974

In his previous two starts on the Mirabel Airport tarmac, Guenette had finished tenth and second respectively, giving the No. 52 team a lot of hope heading back to ICAR.

Starting sixth, the Terrebonne, Que. native ran a stellar race, making it up to the fourth position in the closing laps. As the race went into NASCAR overtime, Guenette battled with Alex Tagliani and finished his day in fifth, his best of the season, that far.

CANADIAN TIRE MOTORSPORT PARK

For the remaining two road course events of the season, the series returned to a fan favourite, CTMP. Guenette’s results there before 2021 showed struggle, however, picking up a 26th due to an engine failure and 18th in 2013.

The first event of the weekend was a 30-lap sprint race on the 2.459-mile course. After qualifying 14th, Guenette improved his position by three, ending the Olymel Grand Prix of Ontario in 11th, on the lead lap. 

On Sunday, it was time for the Clarington 200 and the final road course event of the season. Starting 12th, the 25-year-old battled his way forward, claiming the top-ten stop and the fifth-place spot in the points standings. 

FLAMBORO SPEEDWAY

Returning to the ovals, the No. 52 Motos Illimitess/DLGL.com Dodge was ready to tackle Flamboro Speedway. Guenette qualified tenth and was ready to make a hard charge to the front, but five laps into the MotorMaster 125, he spun in corner four and was unable to get turned around before the leaders put him a lap down.

On lap 79, he got the free pass and started to show his speed. While his teammate, Andrew Ranger, went on to win the race, Guenette managed to finish his day in eighth., picking up another top-ten finish. 

DELAWARE SPEEDWAY

Three races remained as the series travelled to Delaware Speedway, and kicking the weekend off was the Canadian Tire 125 on Friday night. 

Having qualified 14th, Guenette needed to make up some ground over the 125 laps, but he was collected in an incident early in the race along with several others. Despite that, he managed to keep the No. 52 Dodge on the lead lap for the entire race and brought the car home in seventh. 

On Sunday, Guenette scored an impressive 3rd place starting position for the QwickWick 125. He battled with the leaders through each restart, even as the race headed into NASCAR Overtime. He crossed the finish line in fourth, picking up his best finish of the 2021 season.

With just the Pinty’s Fall Brawl remaining, Guenette and the No. 52 team were very optimistic, especially after the result they just showed. But trouble for the Terrebonne, Que. native started early.

On the opening lap, Guenette and Cole Powell got into each other causing the No. 36 Ford to spin and along with several others. While the incident didn’t cause severe damage to the No. 52 and he was able to continue. 

Mm1 334240 laps later, Guenette had made his way up to fifth and was battling with Brandon Watson and D.J. Kennington for position. As the No. 64 and No. 17 went side-by-side, the two spun and collected Guenette, ending his day early.

Once out of his car, Powell approached Guenette in the pits, the two argued and the driver of the No. 36 was removed from the track by NASCAR Officials. 

In the end, Guenette finished 18th, 107 laps down due to cooling and claimed the seventh spot in the 2021 points standings.