Trois-Rivieres: Series round nine preview

NASCAR Canadian Tire Series News & Notes -- Trois-Rivieres * GP3R 100 Notebook * Vortex Brake Pads 200 Post-Race Notebook * Second Career For Brisebois? Gale Is Benefitting From International Cooperation The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series ...

NASCAR Canadian Tire Series News & Notes -- Trois-Rivieres

*  GP3R 100 Notebook

* Vortex Brake Pads 200 Post-Race Notebook
* Second Career For Brisebois?

Gale Is Benefitting From International Cooperation

The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 has had a driver from France. There is a current competitor from Holland. Its first female driver participated over a year ago in Montreal. Now, it has had its first American-born driver -- Cale Gale -- start a race.

It may seem odd for a young man out of Mobile, Ala., to end up racing on the short tracks and road courses of Canada, but both Gale, 24, and the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series benefit from the association.

For Gale, it is an opportunity to race in a highly competitive series with two demanding road-course events -- Trois-Rivieres and Montreal -- still on the schedule which is invaluable experience for a young driver.

As for the series, it opens a door to American drivers and teams by presenting another viable option to build knowledge and skill in an established, competitive series.

Gale's path to Canada is pretty simple to trace. Under contract with Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI), Gale just connected the dots between KHI's long-time relationship with Rheem in the United States to Rheem Canada's new involvement in NASCAR's third-year venture north of the border through Farwell Racing.

"How I got here was Rheem's involvement in this and at KHI," said Gale. "And it was an opportunity for me to get on the track and gain more experience, especially on road courses."

Gale's racing career began at the age of four when his father put him in a go-kart. In 1989, the five-year-old began racing competitively at Mobile (Ala.) Motorsports Park, winning five features in his first year. The following season, he won 25 features and the track championship.

From there, it was on to pure stocks, super stocks and late models before hitting the road in search of stiffer competition. He made his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut in 2006 at Nashville Superspeedway.

He made his NASCAR Canadian Tire Series debut on Aug. 8 at Mosport Speedway and finished 14th.

"These cars are a little different," he said. "But we need to get a little faster."

Gale is not afraid to admit that he has little frame of reference for road-course racing and the chance to work on it is welcome.

"I'm not really sure what to expect," he said. "I haven't done a lot of (road-course racing) and that is why this was really enticing to me. I've been told that the track in (Trois-Rivieres) is a lot of fun, but a little tight in spots. I'm really looking forward to it."

Here's to another example of international cooperation for the good of many.

***

Fast Facts

The Race: GP3R 100
The Place: Circuit de Trois-Rivieres, Trois-Rivieres, Que.

The Date: Sunday, Aug. 16
The Time: 3:30 p.m. ET

TV Schedule: TSN, Aug. 29, Noon ET

Track Layout: 1.53-mile road course
Race Purse: $93,973 CAD

2008 Winner: Andrew Ranger
2008 Pole: JR Fitzpatrick

Schedule:
Friday: Practice 6:25-7:10 p.m.; Saturday: Qualifying 3:20 p.m.

***

Second Career For Brisebois?

After roaming the ice for 18 years, appearing in over a thousand National Hockey League games for Montreal and Colorado, Patrice Brisebois, 38, is not quite ready to hang up his skates, but he is about to take his long-time passion for racing to a new level.

This weekend at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres, he will make his NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 debut in the GP3R 100 in part to continue his growth in the motorsports world, in part to raise money for a good cause.

He is using this race and the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series event in Montreal on Aug. 30 as a vehicle to raise funds for the Dreams Take Flight charity, a program started by Air Canada employees that sends physically and mentally-challenged children to Disney World. So far, over 20,000 kids across Canada have made the journey.

This will be his first foray into professional racing, but he has competed in the amateur Ferrari Challenge for five years. And he is prepared to test the competition.

"I like the (NASCAR Canadian Tire Series) because of it's competitiveness," he said. "Those guys are there to win and will do anything to win. It's really something when you get in that car. I have practiced quite a bit imagining being out there with the other cars and a crowd."

It looks and sounds like Brisebois might just be hooked.

***

GP3R News & Notes

The Race: This event is the ninth of 13 races on the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 schedule and the third of four races on road courses this season. It is the series' third visit to the track.

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 42 laps covering just over 100 kilometers (64.26 miles).

The Track: The temporary street course of Circuit de Trois-Rivieres is a nine-turn, 1.53-mile track. Differing from the other three road-course events on the schedule, in Trois-Rivieres, the cars race in a counter-clockwise motion as on oval tracks. It is the oldest street course in North America and this year is the 40th edition of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres.

The Records: The one-lap qualifying record for the Canadian Tire Series is 68.446 seconds (80.472 mph) set by J.R. Fitzpatrick on Aug. 16, 2008. The race record is held by Andrew Ranger at 1 hour, 3 minutes, 15 seconds set Aug. 17, 2008 for an average speed of 66.764 mph.

Last Year: Fitzpatrick led the first 28 laps before surrendering the lead to Scott Steckly, who paced the field for 17 laps. However, a full-course caution came out on Lap 41 to set up a green-white-checkered finish. On the final lap, Fitzpatrick made contact with Steckly while trying to make a pass for the lead which allowed Andrew Ranger, who had spent much of the race in the third position, to scoot past and collect the victory.

More Time: In his series debut on July 11 at Autodrome St. Eustache, Jacques Villeneuve's race lasted just a few hundred yards before being collected in a Lap 1 accident. The former F1 and Indy 500 champ again will try his luck in a NASCAR Canadian Tire Series event.

Local Flavor: No less than eight drivers native to Quebec will be in the field for the GP3R 100. Along with Ranger and Villeneuve, Indy Car Series regular Alex Tagliani is returning to the series. Other Quebec drivers are Patrice Brisebois, J.F. Dumoulin, L.P. Dumoulin, Dexter Stacey and Derek White.

***

NCATS Notebook: Vortex Brake Pads 200 Wrap-Up

Leap Frog: When Andrew Ranger (No. 27 Walmart/Tide Ford) won in Edmonton on July 25, he tied Scott Steckly (No. 22 Canadian Tire/Tow Truck in a Box Dodge) for the series all-time lead in wins at six. However, Steckly promptly went out and won the very next race to retake the lead. Not to be outdone, Ranger again tied Steckly with his win at Mosport Speedway. The two now also share the series record for wins in a season with four.

Nice Job, Rookie: Making his series debut, Steven Mathews (No. 15 Mathews Motorsports Ford) notched a sixth-place finish in the Vortex Brake Pads 200 and became the fourth rookie driver since the beginning of the 2008 season to finish inside the top 10 in a debut outing.

Mr. Consistency: With his third-place showing at Mosport Speedway, DJ Kennington (No. 17 Castrol/Mahindra Tractor Dodge) picked up his sixth top-five finish of the season in eight events. In his series career, Kennington has finished inside the top five in 23 of his 33 starts. He has 27 career top-10 finishes.

Mobil 1 Command Performance Driver of the Race: As a reward for his NASCAR Canadian Tire Series victory at Mosport Speedway, Ranger collects $1,500 from Mobil 1 for the fourth time this season.

Mopar Quick Three: This program rewards the top three finishing Dodges in the race eligible for the award. In the Vortex Brake Pads 200, third-place finisher Kennington was the highest-finishing eligible Dodge and thus earned a $2,000 bonus. Ron Beauchamp Jr. (No. 60 Mopar/Mobil 1 Dodge), who came home in fourth place, was the second-highest finishing eligible Dodge, which earned him a $1,000 award. Picking up $500 for finishing as the third-highest eligible Dodge was Dave Whitlock (No. 39 Dickies/NMT Dodge). He finished eighth overall.

Coca-Cola Move of the Race: Improving his position the most over the course of the race was Beauchamp. With a sub-par qualifying effort, he started 14th on the grid before navigating his way to a finish of fourth. As a result, he earned the $1,000 award from Coca-Cola. It was his fifth top five this year after having just five in his two previous seasons.

MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Race: In a new program for 2009, the driver who compiles the most points in a specialized system involving qualifying, race finish and leading laps collects the $1,000 award. Kennington qualified third and finished the race in third while leading the most laps (94).

In Case You Missed It: TSN coverage of the Vortex Brake Pads 200 from Mosport Speedway will premiere on Sunday, Aug. 23 at 4 p.m. ET. Check local listings for the most up-to-date information. Additionally, the Velocity Prairie Thunder from Saskatoon's Auto Clearing Motor Speedway will premiere on Saturday, Aug. 22 at midnight ET.

***

Up Next: Montreal

The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 pays a visit to Montreal's legendary Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for the AUTOPRO 100, the final road-course event of the season.

Being paired with the NASCAR Nationwide Series makes it the biggest event of the year. Over 30 cars are expected to be on hand to take on the 2.71-mile, 14-turn temporary street course located in Parc Jean-Drapeau on Île Notre-Dame, a man-made island in the St. Lawrence River.

In last year's event, hometown hero Andrew Ranger battled JR Fitzpatrick all race long. Fitzpatrick led 21 of the 23 laps, but he got off the course on the final lap, spinning him out of contention. Ranger took the checkered for his, then, second career win.

-credit: nascar

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Canada
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Kevin Harvick , Alex Tagliani , Gilles Villeneuve , Dave Whitlock , Ron Beauchamp Jr. , Scott Steckly , Andrew Ranger , Patrice Brisebois , Cale Gale , J.R. Fitzpatrick , Dexter Stacey , Derek White