Hello from Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for Day 2 of wheels.ca's almost-blanket coverage of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series weekend, with support from the Canadian Tire Series stock cars and the Canadian Touring Car Championship.
For the up-to-the-minute live blog, with contributions from Wheels writers Stephanie Wallcraft and Gary Grant, as well as me, please click here. And Wheels contributor Matthew Strader is keeping an online diary all weekend of young Quebec racer Alex Guenette, who is racing in both the trucks series and the stock cars. You can read what Guenette is up to by clicking here.
Defending NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion James Buescher shocked just about everybody here this afternoon by winning the pole for tomorrow's Chevrolet Silverado 250.
Buescher, who had not shown any particular speed during practice most of Friday and again today went around the 2.459-miles Canadian Motorsport Park circuit in one minute, 21.074 seconds for a speed of 109.189 miles an hour.
Ryan Blaney will start second. His time of 81.091 seconds was just a tick slower than Buescher's. Mike Skeen, the sports car driver who dominated the time charts most of Friday, will start third after turning in a lap of 1:21:158.
Canadian Alex Guenette, who is also racing in the Canadian Tire Series event Sunday (he qualified 16th for that race) qualified 14th for the truck race. Other Canadians: Martin Roy, 21st, and Derek White, 26th.
"We got pretty comfortable yesterday in practice and then we made some changes today," he said. "I went out and practiced in the Canadian Tire Series car and got back in the truck and all the grip it had compared to the car made me stop complaining about my truck. The lap we turned then was the fastest since we got here.
"I'm a little bit puzzled that I was able to get the pole here. My track record on road courses isn't bad but I wouldn't say I'm a roads course ringer. I'm proud of my guys and all the people on this Turner Scott Motorsports crew."
I asked him how much the stock car had helped him get his speed up in the truck.
"The gearing is pretty similar, your shift points are pretty similar for most of the race track and from that aspect things translate. When I get out of the car and into the truck, you can hustle a lot more. The brakes are better, the handling is better and there's more grip. Getting out of the car and into the truck makes me fell like I have all the grip in the world and makes me want to hustle the truck more than if I was just driving the truck. It helps me find my limits."
This was Buescher's fifth career pole and second of 2013. It will be his eighth top ten start this year. He's been on a roll for a few weeks now.
The Canadian Tire stock cars will go to the poll Sunday at 11 a.m. The trucks race will start at 2 p.m.
Jeff Lapcevich won the pole position for the Canadian Tire Series race Sunday morning, the first pole in his Canadian Tire Series career. Andrew Ranger will start second, with L.P. Dumoulin third. J.R. Fitzpatrick will go off fourth with Jason Hathaway fifth, Scott Steckly sixth and Gary Klutt seventh.Martin Roy will go off eighth, with Peter Klutt ninth and Kerry Micks tenth.
The highest truck driver was Chad Hackenbracht, who will start 13th.
Lapcevich was thriled with his run. "It was a real good run, I was happy with it," he said. We made some good adjustments in practice and we struggled with the way the car turned and the way it was driving off but we corrected that. It's real racy and a fun car to drive.:
Asked if having four truck series drivers in the field and that the biggest crowd in 50 years is on hand had put any added pressure on him, Lapcevich laughed and said: "I know it sounds like a cliche, butg nobody puts as much pressure on me as myself. We want to win pretty bad. I drove my first road race here in 1987 so it would be great to win. As far as the crowd, I don't think I've ever seen it this busy."
In the Canadian Touring Car Championship race held this afternoon, Jonatan Rashleigh was the overall winner, driving a Super Touring Hyundai Genesis Coupe. Damon Sharpe was the winner of Touring Class in a Honda Civic Si and Karl Wittmer won the B-Spec race in a Honda Fit.
Scott Dixon won the pole for the IZOD IndyCar Series race in Baltimore. Will Power, who won last week's race at Sonoma, Calif., will start second. James Hinchcliffe of Oakville will go off 11th in the Sunday afternoon contest.
Kyle Larson will replace Juan Pablo Montoya in the Target Chip Ganassi NASCAR Sprint Cup racing team in 2014, it was announced this week. Larson is a midget and sprint car racer who won one of tghe NASCAR development series in 2012. He's been in the Nationwide Series this season, when he's not racing sprint cars like Tony Stewart. Any bets on whether the Chipster will let him continue doing that?
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won the pole for Sunday night's Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Carl Edwards will go off second, with Juan Pablo Montoya third, Denny Hamlin fourth and Jeff Gordon fifth.
Rain washed out the Labour Day program at Ohsweken Speedway on the Six Nations Reserve near Brantford.
Pat Lavery has won the pole for the Budweiser Classic 200 for supermodifieds at Oswego Speedway Sunday. Indy 500 veteran Davey Hamilton will start outside on the front row. And sprint car driver Jessica Zemken will become the first woman in the 57-year-history of the supermodified Classic to start the race.
Here are some quick practice times for the Canadian Tire stock cars, the trucks and the T'ouring Cars recorded earlier today.
Here is the Wheels headquarters at Old Mosport
Afternoon trucks: Chase Elliott led the session, with Mike Skeen second and German Quiroga third. Not all trucks went out, as crews either were working to try to find more speed in anticipation of the upcoming qualifying or else were resting on their laurels and didn't want to take a chance of an accident.
Miguel Paludo, James Buescher and Max Papis were positions four through six with Ty Dillon, Joey Coulter and Jeb Burton six thrfough nine. Ross Chastain was in tenth.
Elliott, by the way, set a time of one minute, 21.045 secondsd - 109.228 miles an hour.
The NASCAR trucks will qualify in groups of five - and there are six groups in total. First out will see Canadian Derek White joust it out with Jennifer Joe Cobb, Carl Long, Chris Lafferty and Norm Benning. They were the slowest in practice. The last group, which features the fastest drivers, will see Chase Elliott, Mike Skeen, Germain Quiroga, Ryan Blaney and Alex Guenette shoot for the pole.
L.P. Dumoulin was fastest in Canadian Tire Series morning practice with a time of 1:24:210 (about three seconds slower than the trucks), which translates into a speeedd of 105.123 miles an hour. Two-time Canadian Tire champion Scott Steckly was second fastest and a surprising Alex Guenette finish third fastest (to go with his fourth fastest practice time in the trucks).
Andrew Ranger was fourth, F.R. Fitzpatrick was fifth, D.J. Kennington, the defending champion, was sixth with Gary Klutt, Jason Hathaway, Peter Klutt and Jeff Lapcevich rounding out the top ten.
Ty Dillon was the fastest of the NASCAR truck racers who are using the Canadian Tire series to practice. He was 15th fastest. Chad Hackenbracht was 21st fastest, James Buescher was 22nd and Jeb Burton was 23rd.
A big surprise was 15-year-old Matthew Scannell, who has never raced on a road course before and is entering his first NASCAR race. He set 31st fastest time out of the 36 out on the speedway.
Young Chase Elliott was fastest in Saturday morning practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice with a time of one minute, 21.063 seconds (109.204 miles an hour). Mike Skeen, who was fastest in both sessions Friday, was second fastest this morning at one minute, 21.414 seconds. Ryan Blaney, continuing his impressive performance in the trucks on a road course, was third quickest at 1:21:681.
In a major surprise, young Canadian Alex Guenette was fourth fastest followed by Miguel Paludo and Ty Dillon. Max Papis, Darrell Wallace Jr., Chad Hackenbracht and German Quiroga were the rest of the top ten.
In Touring Cars, Bob Attrell led all qualifyers with a time of 1:28:779 in a Super Touring Hyundai Genesis Coupe. In the Touring Class, Damon Sharpe led the way in a Honda Civic with a time of 1:1:34:254. Karl Wittmer was the tlop B-Spec driver in a Honda Fit at 1:37:379.
Not much has been said about the crowd. The 2.549=mile circuit is completely surrounded - in some cases on both sides - by campers, motorhomes and tents as thousands have descended on Old Mosport. It is noon Saturday and it is easy to suggest that more people are here now than were on site for the American Le Mans Series on race day. If the weather holds, Sunday could see a record crowd.
Matthew Scannell (left), his father Howie Scannell Jr. and team owner Jim Bray smile for the camera on Saturday morning - or try to. Matthew is the third generation Scannell to go into automobile racing, with his grandfather, Howie Scannell, being one of the original late model and supermodified racers in the Toronto area. Howie Jr. has raced Bray cars in CASCAR and NASCAR for years. Matthew will attempt to make his first start in a NASCAR race on Sunday and it will be his first road race. "But that's okay," says his father. "He raced go-karts for eight years so he won't have any trouble." Jim Bray, of course, was the second Canadian to make the field for the Datona 500 back in the 1960s and remains active in the sport as a car owner.