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Andrew Ranger claimed the first win for GM Paillé, 31st of his career and second at Autodrome Chaudiere. (Photo by Matthew Manor/NASCAR)

QUICK LOOK BACK: GM Paillé Racing Proves Dominance at Autodrome Chaudière

Starting the season with a new team, and in a new car, there is always a question of performance, but at Autodrome Chaudière on Saturday, the GM Paillé Racing team proved they’re here to win. 

Marc-Antoine Camirand started the QwickWick 250 in third while his teammate Andrew Ranger was a few rows behind in eighth. 35 laps into the 250 laps event, Camirand took the lead away from pole-sitter L.P. Dumoulin and kept a firm grasp on it. 

By lap 65, Ranger had battled his way into the third position, eventually battling his teammate for the lead as the caution came out for the halfway break. 

That break turned GM Paillé Racing’s day on its head. 

First, Camirand entered pit road a lap early. As the pace car continued on the track, the No. 96 GM Paillé Canada Chevrolet turned right towards the pits while the rest of the field continued on track. 

A lap later, coming to the pit road entrance, Ranger continued to follow the pace car while the field entered the now open pits behind him. 

Both drivers were penalized, Camirand for entering closed pits and Ranger for not following NASCAR’s direction, and both would have to restart from the tail-end of the field. 

The two fought their way through traffic and by lap 196 both drivers were back in the top-five. 

“The caution came out, I was supposed to pit, and I didn’t pit,” explained Ranger. “I was penalized by NASCAR, restarted 23rd, and just tried to pass everybody on the outside and inside.”

On lap 207, Ranger took the lead and despite a plethora of cautions in the closing laps, the No. 27 GM Paillé Canada Chevrolet captured the win in a green-white-checkered finish. 

“It’s never easy on a green-white-checkered. I think that everyone knows that anything can happen,” said Ranger. “We had a fast car but DJ [Kennington] played really nice with me and Marc was on the outside of me.”

“I tried to have a really good restart and the GM Paillé No.27 was definitely fast. The car was turning really good and we exited off corner four with a nice win for us.”

The victory is the 31st of Ranger’s career and second at Autodrome Chaudière.

Camirand held on for a second-place finish, his best at the Vallée-Jonction, QC track. 

“At the end, I was a bit quicker than Andrew but with some yellows, I was missing a bit but I’m really proud of the guys,” said Camirand. “I think we showed that we can run up front and we’re looking forward to the next one.”

Points Battle Tightens

A mere five points separate the top six drivers in the championship standings. Kevin Lacroix and Alex Tagliani are currently tied with 118 points while Camirand sits in third followed by Gary Klutt. Dumoulin has closed his gap and sits in five with Brandon Watson directly behind him. 

After engine issues caused Treyten Lapcevich to finish 22nd, he drops from second in points, down to eighth and a podium finish bumped Kennington up to seventh. 

Ranger and J.P. Bergeron sit in ninth and tenth, respectively, both just below 100 points. 

POINTS STANDINGS 

Onto Eastbound

NASCAR Pinty’s is about to break new ground as the series heads to Eastbound International Speedway in Avondale, Newfoundland and Labrador. 

A week of festivities is set for fans, drivers and teams on the island province and a boat load of racing action to be had. Kennington is an early favourite as he has already raced at the 3/8-mile oval. 

Ranger and Camirand will also be stiff competition with Lapcevich hoping to make a points come back and Watson gaming for another strong finish.

The QwickWick 250 Presented by St. Hubert will air on TSN on Saturday, June 18 at 2 p.m. ET, ahead of qualifying for the F1 Canadian Grand Prix, then on RDS2 on Friday, June 24 at 8 p.m. ET.