Meet NASCAR Pinty’s latest race winner, Kevin Lacroix
Kevin Lacroix is one of the many Canadian road-racers-turned-into-stock-car-competitors. The former open wheel challenger has become a force to be reckoned with in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series.
Kevin Lacroix was born March 14, 1989 in a family heavily involved in the aftermarket auto parts business. Kevin started racing karts at the tender age of seven, and after having collected several titles, he moved up to car racing, finishing second in the American Formula BMW Championship in 2005 with four wins in 14 races.
Lacroix then raced in the Star Mazda Series and ChampCar Atlantic Championship before he took a step back from auto racing in 2008. He became a father, turned his attention to triathlons for a while and got involved in the family business. He resumed his career in 2015 with the NASCAR Pinty's Series.
Last weekend at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park’s road course, Lacroix scored his third pole and fifth career win in the Canadian-based Series.
Motorsport.com spent some time with Lacroix at CTMP before Sunday’s race held in the downpour.
Lacroix scored two wins in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series last year, but also suffered from costly mechanical failures. It’s easy to suppose that his goal is to win the title this year.
“It was my objective last year," said Lacroix, driver of the No. 74 Bumper to Bumber/Total Dodge. "We started on a bad note, but we made progress throughout the year. We solved several problems. The end of last year was pretty good, so if we get a decent start this time, it will look promising. I must also work at being more consistent on the ovals."
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“All ovals we run on are small," Lacroix explained. "Speed was there last year, especially at the end of the season. I was always running in the top 3 or 4, but I need to be more consistent this season.
“On these small ovals, you’re always running in traffic, you get no rest whatsoever. So, I have to keep calm and stay focussed. I have to learn to be patient. Last year at Antigonish, I was a little bit too aggressive at the start and I collided with another car on Lap 15 out of 300. I pitted for repairs and returned into the fray with a six-lap deficit. I was the fastest out there and I even passed the leader of the race. These oval races are long, and I have to remain clam and not try to win during the opening laps.”
A new oval car
Lacroix, who also contested races in the defunct A1 Grand Prix series alongside James Hinchcliffe, explained that his old oval car, which had been fabricated by Don Thomson, Jr. in 2008 has been abandoned.
“Thompson has built us a new, 2017 car last winter, and he predicts it will be much better than the old one. It’s already 150 pounds lighter and the front suspension geometry is different. We didn’t test it yet, but Don is very confident it will be pretty good on the ovals,” Lacroix continued.
The Montréal, Québec resident also explained that his road racing car has been updated for this season.
“We ran into some brake problems last year, which we solved before the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières,” he said. “We also faced some engine problems as our units had lost some 40 horsepower since the beginning the season. In Toronto, we clearly understood that we were down on power. We purchased a new motor for Trois-Rivières. I broke the track record there and won the race, which proves that the problem is solved.
“We bought two new engines for this year. We tested them on the dyno and they’re as good as my Trois-Rivières motor. We now have three good engines, the brakes of the road car are now fixed, and if the oval car is as good as Don Thompson says it is, I think we’re set for a very good year,” Lacroix predicted.
And by scoring victory last Sunday, Lacroix proved that he will be a serious contender for this year’s NASCAR Pinty’s Series title.
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