Barrie: Series round 11 preview

NASCAR Canadian Tire Series News & Notes -- Barrie * Wild Wing 300 Notebook * NAPA Autopro 100 Post-Race Notebook * Home Tracks Spotlight: Barrie Speedway Barrie Is Epitome Of Short-Track Racing Some of the most exciting racing the NASCAR...

NASCAR Canadian Tire Series News & Notes -- Barrie
* Wild Wing 300 Notebook
* NAPA Autopro 100 Post-Race Notebook
* Home Tracks Spotlight: Barrie Speedway

Barrie Is Epitome Of Short-Track Racing

Some of the most exciting racing the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 has to offer comes within the cozy confines of the .333-mile tri-oval of Barrie (Ont.) Speedway.

"It's like flying a jet fighter in the gymnasium," said two-time Barrie winner DJ Kennington (No. 17 Castrol Edge Dodge).

The five Canadian Tire Series events in Barrie have produced just three winning drivers -- Kennington, Scott Steckly (No. 22 Canadian Tire/MotoMaster Dodge) and Don Thomson Jr. (No. 4 Home Hardware Chevrolet).

In both the 2007 and 2008 seasons, the track hosted two races, while the 2009 and 2010 campaigns have just a single events on the docket. Kennington pulled off the sweep in 2007 while Steckly duplicated that effort in 2008. Thomson won the lone event a season ago.

Barrie is easily the tightest oval the Canadian Tire Series visits and trouble can come from almost anywhere on the tracks.

"It's about survival," said Thomson. "You never have clean track in front. There is either lapped cars to deal with or the guys you are fighting for position with."

In the five Barrie races, to date, there has been an average of 11.4 cautions with each race having a scheduled distance of 300 laps, which brings the series-mandated double-file restarts to the forefront.

"The double-file restarts add excitement for the fans, but stress for the drivers," said Steckly. "All of the lead-lap cars are in a bunch battling for position and it doesn't take long to catch the rear of the field and the lapped cars."

With just three races left on the 2010 schedule and a tight points battle -- JR Fitzpatrick (No. 84 Schick Hydro Chevrolet) carries a 51-point advantage over Kennington into the Wild Wing 300 -- the stakes are all that much higher in this year's visit to Barrie.

"(Kennington) has been strong at all the ovals this year," said Fitzpatrick. "And I don't expect that to change. He knows how to win there. I just have to keep my cool and finish the race."

Kennington, meanwhile, is wary of his adversary's improved oval track performance of late.

"The (Fitzpatrick) car has really stepped it up on the ovals recently," he said. "We're going to have to be on top of our game to gain some ground."

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Fast Facts

The Race: Wild Wing 300 presented by DriveWise
The Place: Barrie (Ont.) Speedway

The Date: Saturday, Sept. 11
The Time: 8 p.m. ET

The Distance: 300 laps / 99.99 miles
Race Purse: $87,423 CAD

TV Schedule: Sat., Sept. 18, noon ET

2009 Winner: Don Thomson Jr.
2009 Polesitter: Anthony Simone

Schedule: Practice: 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.; Qualifying: 5:45 p.m.

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Hathaway Hitting Late Season Groove

Late in the season, some teams are burned out from the daily grind and some have given up on their goals, but not Jason Hathaway and his Ed Hackonson Racing team. They seem to be just getting warmed up.

While historically consistent all year long, Hathaway (No. 3 Snap-on Tools/Vortex Brake Pads Dodge), out of Appin, Ont., has a knack for closing out the season in strong fashion. In both the 2008 and 2009 seasons, he wrapped up the campaigns with four top 10s in his final six outings, including a win in the 2008 season finale at Kawartha Speedway.

In his last six starts this season, Hathaway has notched five top-10 finishes, setting a solid tone for the final three events of the season and a career-best finish in the points standings.

He currently holds down the sixth position in points and his previous best points finish of seventh came a season ago, for which he earned the Driver Achievement Award that signifies the driver displaying the most improvement from one season to the next.

Hathaway finished fifth in last season's Barrie event and led 23 laps along the way.

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Barrie News & Notes

The Race: This event is the 11th of 13 races on the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 schedule and the sixth of eight races on oval tracks this season. It is the series' sixth visit to the track.

The Procedure: The starting field is 24 cars, including provisionals. The first 21 cars will be determined through two-lap time trials. The remaining three spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 300 laps covering 99.99 miles.

The Track: Barrie Speedway opened in 1965 and has had substantial improvements made since 1999. At that time, the track was widened and lengthened from a .25-mile oval to its current unique .333-mile tri-oval configuration. The tri-oval and pit road are situated on the backstretch.

The Records: The one-lap qualifying record for the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series is 13.903 seconds (86.226 mph), set by Don Thomson Jr. on June 28, 2008. The 300-lap race record is held by DJ Kennington at 1 hour, 43 minutes, 59 seconds set Sept. 8, 2007 for an average speed of 57.644 mph.

Last Year: Thomson led a race-high 106 laps en route to his first Canadian Tire Series win at Barrie. He withstood challenges from both Mark Dilley and Scott Steckly in the closing laps. Additionally, Anthony Simone picked up his first series pole award.

Also On Tap: The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, Canada's premiere stock car division, will be joined at Barrie Speedway by the OLG Slots at Georgian Downs Thunder Cars and the Barrie Mitsubishi Motors Pure Stocks, both part of Barrie's NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program.

***

NCATS Notebook: NAPA Autopro 100 Wrap-Up

Another One: The NAPA Autopro 100 proved to be yet another road-course victory for Andrew Ranger (No. 27 Dodge Dealers of Quebec Dodge), his third of the season and ninth of his series career. He also has a pair of NASCAR K&N Pro Series road-course wins this season, as well.

Misery Loves Company: Both JR Fitzpatrick (No. 84 Schick Hydro Chevrolet) and DJ Kennington (No. 17 Castrol Edge Dodge), who sit atop the points standings, suffered hardship in Montreal in the form of mechanical problems and finished well outside the top 10.

Buck Up: Road-course ace Robin Buck (No. 66 Durabody Ford) finished third in Montreal -- his best series finish since a third-place finish in 2007 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Mobil 1 Command Performance Driver of the Race: Ranger collected $1,500 from Mobil 1 as the Command Performance Driver of the Race Award winner. It was his third Mobil 1 award this season.

Autolite Time To Change Your Position: This award goes to the driver who improves his finishing position the most over the previous event. Scott Steckly (No. 22 Canadian Tire Jumpstart Dodge) earned the $1,500 prize by bouncing back from a 17th-place finish at Mosport Speedway to finish fourth at Montreal.

Dodge-Mopar Fast Five: This program rewards the top five finishing Dodges in the race eligible for the award. In the NAPA Autopro 100, race winner Ranger had the top-finishing Dodge and earned $2,000. Steckly placed second among the Dodges with his fourth-place effort and earned $1,500. Jason Hathaway (No. 3 Snap-on Tools/Rockstar Energy Drink) grabbed the third spot and $1,000. The performance of Trevor Seibert (No. 69 Lake Excavating/EMCO Waterworks Dodge) ranked him fourth among the Dodge entrants and netted $750. J.F. Dumoulin (No. 04 Groupe Bellmare/GP3R Dodge) finished eighth overall and was the fifth highest-finishing Dodge and collected $500 in the process.

Coca-Cola Move of the Race: Improving his position the most over the course of the race was Michel Pilon (No. 85 Aquacouple Technologie Chevrolet). He started from the 34th position and finished 16th, which earned him the $1,000 award from Coca-Cola.

MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Race: The driver who compiles the most points in a specialized system involving qualifying, race finish and laps led collects this $1,100 special award. Ranger pulled the trifecta by winning the race from the pole position along with leading the most laps.

VTech Free Pass: VTech is honoring the driver who logs the highest race finish after receiving a 'free pass' during the event with a $1,000 award. Jarrad Whissell (No. 44 SMS Equipment/Komatsu Ford) earned this bonus en route to finishing in the 13th position.

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Home Tracks Spotlight: Barrie Speedway

An extraordinarily tight battle for the track championship is unfolding in the Rama Moccasin and Smoke Late Model division at Barrie (Ont.) Speedway as part of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.

The three-way skirmish between Al Inglis with eight feature wins, Ron Quesnelle (nine victories) and Gord Shepherd (five wins) is sure to go down to the final lap of the season as the three drivers are separated by just a few points.

Inglis has yet to finish outside of the top five in his 26 starts this season while Shepherd and Quesnelle have been just a shade less consistent. Quesnelle, however, seems to have the hottest hand with three wins in August.

A 40-lap Late Model main event is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 4. The division has an off week when the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series visits on Saturday, Sept. 11.

Jim Beleskey has the points lead in the OLG Thunder Car division and William Davies paces the Barrie Mitsubishi Motors Pure Stock classification.

Championship night at Barrie is set for Saturday, Sept. 18.

The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series serves as the foundation of NASCAR -- grassroots racing across the United States and Canada with more than 10,000 drivers competing at NASCAR-sanctioned short tracks throughout both countries.

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Up Next: Riverside

The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 next heads east to the Canadian Maritimes and Riverside International Speedway in Antigonish, N.S., for the Komatsu 300 presented by Wilson Equipment, the penultimate race of the 2010 season.

The annual visit to the .333-mile scale replica of the legendary Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway is always one of the highlights of the season for the competitors who like the 14-degree banking in the turns.

A year ago, Andrew Ranger picked up the win en route to his second NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 title in three seasons as he outdueled Jeff Lapcevich, Mark Dilley and Ron Beauchamp Jr. DJ Kennington started on the pole but was knocked out of the race by transmission problems.

-source: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR Canada
Drivers Gilles Villeneuve , Mark Dilley , Ron Beauchamp Jr. , Robin Buck , Don Thomson Jr. , Scott Steckly , Andrew Ranger , Jeff Lapcevich , Jason Hathaway , Jarrad Whissell , Anthony Simone