Ctmp 2 Finish
Marc-Antoine Camirand wins his third race of the 2022 season at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. (Photo by Matthew Manor/NASCAR)

Camirand Wins CTMP in ‘Biggest Race of the Season’ to Inch Closer to Championship

In the same dominating fashion he has shown all season, Marc-Antoine Camirand won the WeatherTech 200 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) and all but secured the 2022 NASCAR Pinty’s Series championship. 

Camirand held off Kevin Lacroix by 0.452 seconds to extend his points lead to 33 heading into the season finale at Delaware Speedway.

“We knew coming up here that this race was the biggest race of the season for us,” Camirand said. “We knew if we did well, we’d have a good gap for the last race of the season. That’s exactly what happened, and we’re happy to show up to Delaware with a good points lead.”

The maximum number of points a driver can earn in a race is 48. With an unknown number of entries for Delaware, it is possible that Camirand would only need to start the race to clinch the title. 

Four drivers – Camirand, Lacroix, Alex Tagliani and D.J. Kennington – entered Sunday’s race with a shot at the championship. Though all expectations were for a Camirand and Lacroix showdown for the CTMP win, the two didn’t disappoint.

Both drivers traded the lead early before caution flags brought a mixed bag of pit strategies. 

“Early in the race I passed (the 96) for first place before the pit stops, but as soon as we put on the second set of tires, I felt it wasn’t as good,” Lacroix said.

The duo lined up, side-by-side for three restarts in the second half of the race but Lacroix was never able to catch Camirand. He came close in the infamous Turn 9 on Lap 44, giving the 96 a wiggle, but backed off allowing Camirand to regain control.

“Marc was good, he didn’t make any mistakes, he deserves to win,” Lacroix said after the race. “You always want to win, but under the circumstances, we’ll take second.”

Lacroix is not averse to using his bumper in that final corner of the track, doing just that earlier this year to pass Gary Klutt for the Victoria Day Weekend win. That victory was the sixth of his career at CTMP, the most for any driver at one track.

“In the end, I was faster than Kevin in Turns 2 and 3, but he was faster than me in 8, 9 and 10,” said Camirand, who knew he couldn’t let the 74 to his bumper. “I was able to pull away from him enough so he couldn’t catch me there.”

Camirand relied on a fast car and perfect pit strategy to put himself in a position for the win.

“We had a really good strategy including taking fuel on Lap 11,” Camirand said. “My crew chief Robin (McCluskey) decided to take left side tires only and that was the turning point of the race. After that, the car was really good.”

Klutt, who battled Lacroix for second place, finished third. While it didn’t make up for the potential May win, it did give Klutt his first podium of the season. He has four in his career, all coming at CTMP.

L.P. Dumoulin finished fourth ahead of Treyten Lapcevich. Alex Tagliani, D.J. Kennington, Andrew Ranger, Sam Fellows, and J.P. Bergeron rounded out the top 10.