The anatomy of a NASCAR punt

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After I posted the above image the other day, someone suggested that this sequence was just waiting to be turned into an animated gif. A bit of poking about and it would seem that I have taught myself how to create one. So, here you have it: DJ Kennington getting into the back of Stefan Rzadzinksi in the closing stages of the first NASCAR Canadian Tire Series race of 2014.

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It wouldn’t be NASCAR without a bit of carnage

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Earlier this week, I told you about our man Russ Bond’s adventure in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. While Russ made it out more or less unscathed, others were not so lucky.

In the first third of the race, the track went full course yellow when the #22 of Scott Steckly got into the tires, ending his race. I was shooting from the top of turn 4 and could see the clean up efforts taking place in 3, when suddenly the #59 of Ryan Klutt appeared with its back end caved in. When Steckly’s car came by on a flatbed, the front end was all messed up. Coincidence? I haven’t spoken to either driver, so I’m not sure.

Not long after the race went to green flag again, Ryan’s Dad Peter’s #42 lost its hood somewhere. This is not the first time I have shot photos of Peter without his hood.
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Russ Bond has a great first NASCAR race!

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Regular readers will recognize Russ Bond from our World’s Fastest Car Review series. He is also the host of the Two Minute Test Drive at the wildly successful Motoring TV. What you might not know is that Bond has been part of The Garage Blog family since before TGB was even thought of. Russ and I were guest hosts on a radio show called Guy’s Garage, a show which steered me towards a second career in automotive media. It’s hard to believe that was 13 years ago!

Collectively, we’ve done some pretty cool stuff over those years, but I’ve gotta say that Rustye entering his first ever NASCAR Canadian Tire Series race might be the coolest.
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Camping World Truck Series test day at Canadian Motorsport Park

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I’ve been so busy over at Wheels.ca that I didn’t get around to posting this here. Of course I actually loaded the pics, I just didn’t get around to adding any words.

So, a couple of weeks ago, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series folks and a gaggle of media types invaded the brand spanking new events centre at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Fresh off his boot to the nuts incident, Nelson Piquet Jr. was on hand as an “impartial” test driver to lay down some baselines for the teams when they arrive on Labour Day weekend.

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Have at it boys!

Few sports are as hotly contested as auto racing, which means that when things don’t go someone’s way, there is always a chance for fisticuffs to break out. Of course the roundy round racers have more of a history of “takin’ it outside” than most other series. The NASCAR circus kept true to that history yesterday when Jeff Gordon got into Clint Bowyer on the last lap of the 3 to last race of the season at Phoenix.

For those of you, who like me, didn’t get to see the race, I’ve got the action for you below.

What do you think: with the absence of the NHL, should the NASCAR boys keep fighting like hockey players?

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Ralph Gilles talks about Dodge’s decision to pull out of NASCAR

As many fans try to figure out why the Dodge brand has decided to pull out of NASCAR at the end of the season, Ralph Gilles sits down in front of the camera to explain the reasoning. Put short and sweet, they have not been able to put together a deal with a team like Penske that has a complete package. If a team has to rely on outside help, then it doesn’t make sense for Dodge to go racing with them!

Check out the video after the jump.
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Danica goes green for St Pattie’s Day

In case you live under a rock, today is St. Patrick’s day. Today is also Saturday, which means there is a NASCAR Nationwide Series race this afternoon. Combine the two and there will be a lot of green beer being consumed at Bristol. The marketing team at JR Motorsports decided to have a bit of fun with Danica Patrick‘s Go Daddy Chevy in honour of the day too.

The #7 Impala has been sprayed with the same metallic green as the 2010 Camaro, and adorned with shamrocks and a Happy St. Patrick’s Day message. Obviously, the team is hoping the luck of the Irish will rub off on their St Patrick.

We’ve got video and images of the car after the break.

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NASCAR – The Field is Set, The Fans Are Ready, The Drivers Are Looking to Win! 2012 Here We Go.

The Shootout is completed.  The Duels have been run.  The Field has been set.  Just a few more practice sessions, a Truck Series race and a Nationwide race, and we’re there.  3 Months of off season completed and the fans are ready to show their support for their drivers.  Big time names have been floating around all week about who is running fastest laps, who has looked goon in the duels, where the qualifiers sit.  Now all we need to do is race.

The Daytona 500 is the biggest race of the NASCAR season.  Some may ask, “Why would you put your Superbowl at the beginning of the season?”

I am glad you’ve asked.  NASCAR, unlike other sports, has 43 teams competing for a win, at the same time, every week.  Other sports may have an equal number of teams competing over the course of a week, but this is 43 teams competing in the SAME race on the SAME day, week in and week out.  The off season for NASCAR this year was 95 days.  (Nov 21 2011 – Feb 26 2010)  Having their biggest race of the season as their opener shows the dedication of the teams, and recognizes the work they have done, the advancements they have made, and the determination that they can win.  43 teams all have a shot to win it, and 43 teams put everything into making that happen.

Putting the events on for a full week before the first official race of the season adds even more to the excitement.  The Budweiser shootout is a no holds barred, winner take all, big check  and bragging rights race that reminds us all the the season is about to begin.  Following the shootout the drivers prepare to qualify the next day to test the speeds their car has at the ready and to determine who will start on the front row.  Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle, both from the Roush Racing stable, had the best qualifying times putting Ford out front to start the Great American Race.

The final factor deciding where the racers will begin their adventure from is the Gatorade Duel races.  2 races back to back, 60 laps each,  determining the starting position of the rest of the field.  First race is open to all of the drivers who qualified into an odd numbered position, and will place them in order of completion down the odd numbered side of the field to start the 500.  With Tony Stewart being the winner of the first race this places him behind the pole sitter on the odd numbered side of the grid in 3rd, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr in 5th and so on down the line.  The second race is for the drivers who qualified into an even numbered position and their starting positions mirror the first race.  Matt Kenseth winning that one will start in 4th position behind his Teammate Greg Biffle in the second row, followed by Regan Smith in 6th and again, so on down the line.

This is the most confusing qualifying  method of the year, but it certainly brings a ton of attention and pageantry to the week leading up to the Daytona 500.  It draws additional television coverage, advertising dollars, and of course, the attention of the millions of devoted fans looking to see their drivers back on the track after the longest off season in NASCAR history.

36 races from here the Champion will be determined at Miami Homestead, the last race of the season, where Tony Stewart stood victorious in the closest points race in NASCAR history.  While it had ended in a tie, Tony Stewart won it for having more wins than Carl Edwards.  Carl Edwards is now seeking redemption and is looking to bring home his own Championship in 2012, but he has 42 other teams looking for the same result.  Dale Earnhardt Jr is looking for a win, any win, any where, to break his more than 3 season long drought to an end.

Dale Jr's #88 car during the 2011 season

After finishing second in his Duel race Jr had this to say about his results.

“I feel good about running second and for bringing the car home in one piece.  Hopefully we will get through the next couple of days without any troubles as far as we don’t want to bring out a back-up.We want to start the 500 in this car.”

“I just want to win – anywhere” said Dale Jr.  “I just want to go ahead and get that done so, I can think about the next one and get the streak over with and get back to victory lane.”

“We lost over a million dollars last year by not being in the Winners Circle Program.  The team could use that money.  There are just so many benefits to getting in the winners circle.  It’ll help our team, it will validate what me and Steve (LeTarte) have been trying to do the last couple of years.”

When asked if he would like to end his streak here in Daytona he said, “It’s the Daytona 500.  It’s the biggest race of the year.  It would be pretty spectacular for me personally to win it, but it would do so many other things that I can’t even list right now, for the team, for the company going forward.  It would be awesome.

Tony Stewart in victory lane at Loudon New Hampshire after winning his second race of the Chase

Tony Stewart has been to victory lane here 17 times, in every race except the one he wants, the Daytona 500.

“Obviously having won here 17 times and not on the right day is proof it’s no guarantee, obviously.  But it’s nice to win here, it gives you confidence going into Sunday” said Stewart after after winning his Duel race.

“I think we have shown the rest of the field that we have a car that has good speed.  I want those guys to see that we’ve got strength. I think it’s an advantage to do that at this point in the game.”

So get the beers chilling, and get the snacks ready race fans.  The wait is almost over, and our Superbowl is almost here.  Let us all be ready to cheer on the beginning of the 2012 season and to cheer our drivers on to the win.

A season of firsts for Jason White

October 20, 2011. Sun Peaks, British Columbia racer Jason White and the #21 A & W Dodge team had a season to remember in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. This year White forged a bold new partnership with Derek Lynch and the Kawartha Speedway Group and obtained powerful Dodge horsepower from DJK Racing and the results were all positive.

White made the changes to focus on his on track performance while allowing Lynch to lead the team as Crew Chief. And with the addition of more powerful motors White felt they would be a stronger team in 2011. “By defining roles and allowing me to concentrate on the driving I knew we’d be better and the results were there right away” said White.
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Tim Hortons renews Lapcevich marketing partnership for 2012

Team press release

December 7, 2011, GRIMSBY, ON – Jeff Lapcevich will compete in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series again in 2012 with Tim Hortons branding on his familiar family-owned #23 Dodge.

The Grimsby veteran recently renewed one of Canada’s longest-running motorsports marketing partnerships, and his team is optimistic looking forward.

“Signing our deal with Tim Hortons this early in the off-season gives us great optimism,” said Lapcevich. “We have one of the best partners in all of racing, but until an agreement is in place you don’t want to get too excited.”

Lapcevich has raced his Fastline Motorsports entry in most of the NASCAR Canada’s races since the series began in 2007, and his children compete year-round in quarter midget sprint cars.

“We had a good season this year,” said Lapcevich. “The cars are competitive, and we made some great strides in 2011.”

In recent years Lapcevich has kept his NASCAR schedule relatively close to home choosing to not make the western swing. While the series visited British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatoon, Lapcevich was focused on his children competing in the quarter midgets.

Cayden and Treyten Lapcevich have won numerous quarter midget titles across North America, and their schedules never end.

“We’re going to do a lot of racing next year,” said Lapcevich. “The boys started their indoor season recently in Ohio, and they’re off to a great start.”
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