Although Andrew Ranger of Roxton Pond, Que., didn’t clinch this season’s NASCAR Canadian Tire Series national championship at Barrie Speedway last night, he did extend his lead over second-place D.J. Kennington of St. Thomas, albeit only slightly.
In a race that was won by veteran Canadian stock car driver (and winner of five straight CASCAR championships) Don Thomson Jr. of Hamilton, Ranger finished ninth in a Wal-Mart Ford and Kennington was tenth in his Castrol Dodge.
So going into next Saturday night’s race at Riverside Speedway near New Glasgow, N.S., Ranger now leads Kennington by 138 points – as compared to 134 points going in. Ron Beauchamp Jr. of Windsor (Dodge) remains in third place – he finished 11th last night – while defending champion Scott Steckly of Milverton is still in fourth place in the standings after a third-place finish last night in his Canadian Tire Dodge.
Thomson, driving his Home Hardware Chevrolet, led 106 circuits of the 300-lap Torbram Electric 300 presented by The Source in front of a capacity crowd. He beat the Dodge driven by Mark Dilley of Barrie to the checkers by .180 seconds. Brad Graham of Glencoe, Ont., (Dodge) was fourth and Jason Hathaway of Appin, Ont., (ditto) finished fifth.
Twenty cars started the feature and there were 16 lead changes involving eight drivers. There were eight yellow flags (a total of 83 laps were run under caution) and one red flag (no one was injured).
The victory was a breakthrough, of sorts, for Thomson. Although it was his fifth NASCAR Canada win, he hadn’t visited Victory Lane since last September.
Following next weekend’s visit to Nova Scotia, the Canadian Tire series will finish its third season with a race at Kawartha Speedway near Peterborough a week later.