Canadian Tire Series News & Notes: ICAR
Ranger Tough On Home Turf
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – There is no place like home for Andrew Ranger.
Ranger’s career record in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 is impressive – two championships, 16 wins, 34 top fives and 50 top 10s in 58 starts, but his numbers for Quebec tracks are stunning. In 18 starts in ‘la belle province’ the driver hailing from Roxton Pond, Quebec has eight victories, 15 top-five and 17 top-10 finishes.
“I feel comfortable racing at home,” said Ranger. “The support from my home fans drives me to success.”
One of those eight triumphs came last season at Circuit ICAR, a track seemingly built for Ranger and his uncanny sense for car control.
“It’s a pretty technical track with lots of tight turns,” he stated. “It’s a fun track to race. You really have to hit your marks to be fast.”
All but four of the Quebec starts have come on road courses which have produced ridiculous results to the tune of eight wins in 14 starts and runner-up finishes in five of the other six races. Ranger won three straight at Circuit de Trois-Rivieres from 2008 to 2010 to go along with second-place finishes in 2007 and 2011. He returned to Victory Lane last season.
The four oval-track starts were at Autodrome St. Eustache and led to two top-five and four top-10 finishes for the 26-year-old.
The Jiffy Lube 100 presented by Snap-on is the season debut for Ranger in the Canadian Tire Series. Like in the 2010 and 2011 seasons, he is competing across several series in 2013. In May, Ranger finished 10th at Minnesota’s Brainerd International Raceway in NASCAR K&N Pro Series West competition. In that race, he started from the pole position and had the lead before a late-race spin knocked him from contention.
All told, 13 of Ranger’s 16 Canadian Tire Series wins have come on road courses with non-Quebec wins coming at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Edmonton City Centre Airport and Toronto’s Exhibition Place.
“I can’t really explain (the road- course success),” said Ranger. “Starting out in karting gets you used to turning in both directions and give you a feel for the balance. For me, though, it’s about pushing hard every step of the way and getting the most you can get on every turn and every lap.”
Ranger and the rest of the Jiffy Lube 100 presented by Snap-on field will practice and qualify on Saturday, July 6 with the race scheduled for the following day. Ticket information can be found at www.circuiticar.com.
The Race: This is the fourth event of the 2013 season for the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 and the second of four road-course events on the schedule. This is the series’ third time to visit Circuit ICAR.
The Procedure: The starting field is 30 cars, including provisionals. The first 25 cars will qualify through NASCAR Road Race (group) qualifying. The remaining five spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 30 laps covering 63.37 miles.
The Track: Circuit ICAR is a modern complex for motorsports located 20 minutes north of Montreal, Que., on the grounds of the Mirabel Airport. The complex has over three kilometers of road circuits with multiple configurations, a .25-mile drag strip, skid pad, drift park, autocross track and a 1-kilometer karting track designed by Jacques Villeneuve.
The Records: The single-lap qualifying record is held by Alex Tagliani and was set on June 4, 2011 at 78.828 mph (96.499 seconds). The 30-lap race record was established on June 5, 2011 by Robin Buck, he completed the event in 1 hour, 13 minutes, 35 seconds for an average speed of 57.246 mph.
Right At Home: Nearly half of the anticipated entrants for the Jiffy Lube 100 presented by Snap-on are Quebec natives. Defending race champion Andrew Ranger leads the contingent that includes Elie Arseneau, Xavier Coupal, Ray Courtemanche Jr., Jean-Francois and Louis-Philippe Dumoulin, Alex Guenette, Alex Labbe, Martin Roy, Hugo Vannini and Derek White.
New King Of The Road?: L.P. Dumoulin claimed his first Canadian Tire Series victory in the season opener on the road course at Ontario’s Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and looks to make it two in a row on road courses with a win at Circuit ICAR. Dumoulin has finished fourth in each of the two races on the Mirabel track.
Odd: None of the top three drivers – D.J. Kennington, Jason Hathaway and Jeff Lapcevich – in the Canadian Tire Series point standings have win in 2013. L.P. Dumoulin is the highest-ranked race winner at fourth.
Quebec Sandwich: Series teams will log some miles in July. The month starts at Circuit ICAR in Mirabel, Quebec and ends on July 27 at Autodrome St. Eustache (Quebec). In the middle will be the western swing that includes Motoplex Speedway and Event Center in Vernon, B.C., and Auto Clearing Motor Speedway in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
LAST TIME OUT: Clarington 200
Pete And Repeat: With back-to-back Canadian Tire Series victories Pete Shepherd III is the first series driver not named D.J. Kennington to win consecutive events since Andrew Ranger in 2009. Kennington claimed successive wins in 2009 and on two occasions in 2012.
Good Timing: Scott Steckly scored a runner-up finish in the Clarington 200 ending a nightmarish start to the season that saw that two-time series champion register finishes outside the top 20.
Trending: With a ninth-place effort on the oval at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Hugo Vannini has registered consecutive top-10 finishes for the first time in his series career.
NEXT TIME OUT: A&W 300
The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 heads west for its next outing. The A&W 300 is set for Saturday, July 13 at Motoplex Speedway and Event Center in Vernon, B.C. The race is the first of two Western Canada dates. Last season, D.J. Kennington collected his first Motoplex victory as he extended his series-record five-race winning streak to three.