SASKATOON, Saskatchewan — The NASCAR Pinty’s Series began it’s annual Western Swing with a trip to Wyant Group Raceway in Saskatoon Wednesday.
With heavy rains in the forecast, the fans knew they would be in for show.
L.P. Dumoulin and Andrew Ranger came to Saskatoon with one goal in mind: win. Doing so in completely different fashions, both drivers tasted victory in the Velocity Prairie Thunder Twins 125s.
One breaking an eight race winless streak, while the other took command of the Pinty’s Series points standings.
The first 125 lap feature saw the drivers not just racing each other, but the wrath of Mother Nature. With the the looming threat of rain on the horizon, every position mattered. Kevin Lacroix came out of the gate surging, leading the first 83 laps the No. 74 car was on rails, that is until LP Dumoulin got to his back bumper.
Dumoulin’s No. 47 WeatherTech Canada/ Bellemare Dodge used the bumper to get past Lacroix, pulling out to a a few car lengths leads before the rains hit. On Lap 166 a massive storm swept through Saskatoon, bring thunder and lightning with it. In the end, NASCAR officially declared Dumoulin the victor of race one. This marked Dumoulin’s eighth win and second at Saskatoon.
“It’s really really a great moment for the WeatherTech/Bellemare car, we were leading there with I think nine laps remaining” Dumoulin said. “The car was fast, we had to get through a couple cars in traffic but still every time we were just by ourselves the digging some laps, we felt like were in a very good position to win it.”
Kevin Lacroix finished second, with Ranger completing the podium. Alex Labbe and Jason Hathaway rounded out the top five.
Brett Taylor and Donald Theetge were sixth and seventh. Jamie Krzysik, Marc-Antoine Camirand and Mark Dilley were the rest of the top ten.
Following the torrential downpour, race two got underway under the lights. With the Saskatoon race fans packing the grand stands, NASCAR was committed to giving them a show. By virtue of the quickest lap time in race one, Andrew Ranger was on pole for race two.
Ranger’s speed showed early dominating the early stages of the race, but it would end up being a two horse battle for the win. Ranger’s teammate D.J Kennington stayed locked to the back bumper of Ranger for most of the night.
In the end, nobody could catch Ranger who would go on to score his 26th series win.
“Oh it was an awesome race, with my teammate D.J. Kennington, to have a nice battle together” Ranger said. “I want to thank all of my crew, the Mopar guys did a great job, they’ve been working very hard. We finished third in the first race and first on the second race. So it’s fantastic, I’m very happy about my team and we’re going to Edmonton on Saturday.”
Kennington would settle for second despite leading 20 laps. With a standout performance, Brett Taylor can now call himself a NASCAR podium finisher. Taylor brought his EHR Team Orange No.46 home third, his best career finish.
LP Dumoulin and Kevin Lacroix rounded out the top five.
Race One: L.P. Dumoulin, Kevin Lacroix, Andrew Ranger, Alex Labbe, Jason Hathaway, Brett Taylor, Donald Theetge, Jamie Krzysik, Marc-Antoine Camirand, Mark Dilley, Alex Tagliani, Luc Haukaas, Anthony Simone, Jason White, Brandon White, D.J. Kennington, Julia Landauer, T.J. Rinomato, Shantel Kalika.
Race Two: Andrew Ranger, D.J. Kennington, Brett Taylor, L.P. Dumoulin, Kevin Lacroix, Alex Tagliani, Donald Theetge, Jamie Krzysik, Marc-Antoine Camirand, Alex Labbe, Mark Dilley, Julia Landauer, Brandon White, Anthony Simone, Luc Haukaas, Jason White, Jason Hathaway, T.J. Rinomato, Shantel Kalika.