Montreal: Series round ten preview

NASCAR Canadian Tire Series News & Notes -- Montreal Racing Is The Second Career For Brisebois Second careers in the workplace are not uncommon at all and former National Hockey League defenseman Patrice Brisebois is ready to making stock-car...

NASCAR Canadian Tire Series News & Notes -- Montreal

Racing Is The Second Career For Brisebois

Second careers in the workplace are not uncommon at all and former National Hockey League defenseman Patrice Brisebois is ready to making stock-car racing his.

After skating his way through 18 NHL seasons with the Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche, Brisebois walked away from the game he played since he could walk after the 2008-09 season in Montreal and has turned his attention to a new passion -- stock-car racing.

"I really haven't missed hockey at all," said the 39-year-old Brisebois. "That chapter of my life is over and it's time to do something else and I would like that to be racing. I really have a passion for it."

He got his first taste of a fast car when he bought a Porsche 911 just after winning the 1992-93 Stanley Cup with his hometown Canadiens.

"I really liked the speed and power, so I started racing in the Ferrari Challenge, but that was just amateur stuff compared to (the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series)," he said. "At the time, it wasn't a priority. It was just something that I wanted to do."

Now, with hockey in his rearview mirror, he wants to give NASCAR racing a whole-hearted try.

"I love it. I want to learn more," he said.

Having just competed in three road-course events over the last two seasons, Brisebois is anxious to try his luck on an oval track.

"I'd love to try an oval. To be honest, I want to get into a position to race a full (Canadian Tire Series) season," he stated. "I've got a lot to learn, though, to catch up with the rest of these guys."

Despite racing being new and hockey being old hat for the former Stanley Cup champion, the nerves and anxiety just prior to the engines firing or the drop of the puck are the same.

"I don't get any more nervous before a race. I always get butterflies, but it's not really a fear thing," he said. "It's more like I'm just ready to go."

To date, all of his Canadian Tire Series experience has come in his native Quebec which is just as special to him as spending 16 of his 18 NHL seasons in Montreal.

"Montreal is home and competing here is special," he said. "For the people of Quebec, winter is hockey time and summer is racing time. We're passionate about both."

Brisebois keeps both his expectations and the fanfare around his participation in the sport in check, as well.

"At this point, if I finish the race with the car intact and get better, then the race is a success," he said. "I want those expectations to change."

***

Fast Facts

The Race: NAPA AUTOPRO 100
The Place: Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, Que.

The Date: Sunday, Aug. 29
The Time: 11:45 a.m. ET

The Distance: 23 laps / 62.137 miles
Race Purse: $80,248 CAD

TV Schedule: TSN and RDS (Live) 11:30 a.m. ET

2009 Winner: JR Fitzpatrick
2009 Polesitter: Alex Tagliani

Schedule:
Saturday: Practice: 7:45 - 8:45 a.m.; Qualifying: 1 p.m.

***

Dufault Puts The Drive In Driven

There are not too many things on wheels that Maryeve Dufault hasn't driven and now she can add a NASCAR race car to the list.

The native of Sorel, Que., and current resident of Redondo Beach, Calif., started racing motorcycles at the age of four and moved on to competing in the open-wheel and sports car classifications, but her racing career took a detour after she entered a Hawaiian Tropic contest on a whim.

As it turned out she won the local contest and moved on to the international phase of the competition. She ended up winning a modeling contract and has done work on several television shows, movies and some print work.

Now, as a developmental driver with the FAZZT Race Team under the tutelage of Alex Tagliani, she has gotten the opportunity to race in a pair of NASCAR Canadian Tire Series events -- Trois-Rivieres and Montreal -- along with balancing the other half of her busy career.

She finished 19th in her series debut on Aug. 15 in the GP3R 100 and gained valuable experience for the NAPA AUTOPRO 100 on Aug. 29.

***

Montreal News & Notes

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

The Procedure: The starting field is 34 cars, including provisionals. The first 29 cars will qualify through NASCAR Road Race (group) qualifying. The remaining five spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 23 laps covering 100 kilometers (62.137 miles).

The Track: The 2.709-mile, 14-turn temporary road course is located in Parc Jean-Drapeau on Île Notre-Dame, a man-made island on the St. Lawrence River. The track was originally named Île Notre-Dame Circuit, but was renamed in 1982 following the death of legendary Canadian racer Gilles Villeneuve.

The Records: The one-lap qualifying record for the Canadian Tire Series is 106.664 seconds (91.465 mph) set by Kerry Micks on Aug. 1, 2008. The race record is held by Andrew Ranger at 54 minutes, 57 seconds set Aug. 2, 2008 for an average speed of 68.058 mph.

Last Year: Ranger was going for the series sweep on road course having won the three previous road events, but the day would belong to JR Fitzpatrick, who withstood challenges from both Ranger and Micks, to pick up his first triumph in Montreal. Native Quebecer Alex Tagliani started on the pole but suffered mechanical problems 11 laps into the event.

Record Field: The series record for the largest field was set at last year's Montreal event with 34 cars. Once again, this year, 34 cars are expected to be on hand for the NAPA AUTOPRO 100.

Local Flavor: Just as was the case two weekends ago in Trois-Rivieres, the entry list is peppered with Quebec drivers. Ten drivers native to Quebec will be on hand. Joining former race winner Ranger will be Patrice Brisebois, Marc-Andre Cliche, Maryeve Dufault, L.P. Dumoulin, J.F. Dumoulin, Michel Pilon, Dexter Stacey, Isabelle Tremblay and Derek White.

Double Duty: Three drivers -- Fitzpatrick, DJ Kennington and Ranger -- are expected to compete in both the Canadian Tire Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series events.

***

NCATS Notebook: Dickies 200 Wrap-Up

Streak Ender: With his victory in the Dickies 200 at Mosport Speedway, Don Thomson Jr. (No. 4 Home Hardware Chevrolet) ended a 10-race winless streak. It was his first win since taking the checkers at Barrie Speedway last Sept. 12.

Still Tight: With a runner-up finish at Mosport Speedway, JR Fitzpatrick (No. 84 Schick Hydro Chevrolet) was able to add to the one-point lead in the point standings he took into the race. He now leads DJ Kennington (No. 17 Castrol Edge Dodge), who finished sixth, by 16 points with just four races left on the schedule.

Time To Heat Up: In each of the last two Canadian Tire Series seasons, Ron Beauchamp Jr. (No. 60 Mopar/Mobil 1 Dodge) has finished the year with a string of top-10 finishes. With a fourth-place showing at Mosport, history may repeat itself.

Mobil 1 Command Performance Driver of the Race: Thomson collected $1,500 from Mobil 1 as the Command Performance Driver of the Race Award winner. It was his first 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. Thomson earned the $1,500 prize, as well, by bouncing back from a 22nd-place finish in Trois-Rivieres.

Dodge-Mopar Fast Five: This program rewards the top five finishing Dodges in the race eligible for the award. In the Dickies 200, fourth-place finisher Beauchamp was the top-finishing Dodge and earned $2,000. Pete Shepherd III (No. 7 National Exhaust Dodge) placed second among the Dodges with his fifth-place finish and earned $1,500. Kennington grabbed the third spot and $1,000. The performance of Mark Dilley (No. 9 PartSource/Dickies Dodge) ranked him fourth among the Dodge entrants and netted $750. Joey McColm (No. 50 Canada Windows & Doors Dodge) finished 10th 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 Steven Mathews (No. 15 Mathews Motorsports Ford). He started from the 21st position and finished 13th, 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. Thomson collected the highest total of MAHLE points at Mosport Speedway to earn the bonus.

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. McColm earned this award en route to his finish in the 10th position.

In Case You Missed It: Coverage from Mosport Speedway and the Dickies 200 will air on TSN and TSN HD on Saturday, Aug. 28 at 11 a.m. ET.

***

Up Next: Barrie

The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 next heads to the cozy confines of the .333-mile tri-oval of Barrie (Ont.) Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 11 for the Wild Wing 300 presented by DriveWise.

After the big weekend in Montreal, series teams get a well-deserved weekend off to prepare for what is always one of the most entertaining races of the year.

DJ Kennington once compared the racing at Barrie to be like, "Flying a jet fighter in a gymnasium."

A year ago, Don Thomson Jr. took the checkered flag following in the footsteps of previous series winners at the bullring -- Kennington and Scott Steckly. Thomson edged Barrie-native Mark Dilley by just .180 seconds.

Anthony Simone earned his first series career pole award in last year's race.

-source: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR Canada
Drivers Alex Tagliani , Gilles Villeneuve , Mark Dilley , Ron Beauchamp Jr. , Kerry Micks , Don Thomson Jr. , Scott Steckly , Andrew Ranger , Patrice Brisebois , Pete Shepherd , Anthony Simone , Dexter Stacey , Maryeve Dufault , Joey McColm
Teams FAZZT Race Team