Scott Steckly of Milverton, Ont., became the first three-time NASCAR Canadian Tire Series champion today when he won the Pinty's 250 at Kawartha Speedway near Peterborough.
Pete Shepherd III of Brampton was second and Jeff Lapcevich of Grimsby finished third.
Steckly went into the race trailing defending champion D.J. Kennington of St. Thomas by five points. There was an eight-point swing on the day.
Steckly won and gained a bonus point for leading the most laps and finished the season with 473 points; Kennington wound up fourth and tallied 471 points on the season.
The national championship came down to a difference of two points.
Here is the live blog I kept going during the race.
After Saturday's final race of the 2013 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series was rained out, the 26 cars and drivers re-assembled this afternoon at Kawartha Speedway near Peterborough.
Before the race got going, fans went out on the 3/8-mile paved oval to talk to the drivers and to get autographs. Three - Steckly, Kennington and Jason Hathaway are in the running for the national championship. Others are racing for their sponsors, their future and for fun.
Steckly appeared to jump the start but NASCAR let it go and he led the first lap with Kennington up to second and Hathaway up to eighth from the 11th starting position. The driver to watch, though, is Pete Shepherd III of Brampton. A part-time driver, he is always dangerous on an oval - he won two races earlier this season - and was quickly up to sixth from ninth on the grid.
There's been an accident in Turn One: Jason Hankewich, Alex Guenette and Joey McColm tangled and McColm is now officially one lap down. The top five at 31 laps: Steckly, Kennington, J.R. Fitzpatrick, Graham and Shepherd.
After 50 laps, the top three in the championship race are running in the top five. Steckly leads, with Kennington second, Shepherd third, Fitzpatrick fourth and Hathaway fifth.
Jason Hankewich, a Saskatchewan driver, has brought out the second yellow of the day and that has scrambled the order. Some cars have pitted and others haven't. The rules of this series are that two pit stops must be made in any race - one for fuel and one for tires. So J.R. Fitzpatrick is in the lead but didn't stop so so will have to go to the pits at some point. Steckly and Kennington have both made their two stops.
J.R. Fitzpatrick appears to have lost a cylinder or has a flat tire or something because the third yellow of the day is out after the Cambridge driver slowed dramatically. Hathaway is in the lead, with Steckly ninth and Kennington 11th. Approximately 90 laps have been run.
Another yellow. James White of Kamloops tangled with a gaggle of cars in Turn One. Once again, the order of running has been scrambled. One thing is clear - Hathaway continues to lead the race. Kennington is up to ninth and Steckly is tenth.
Hugo Vannini has spun on Lap 146 and has brought out another yellow. The leaderboard has Hathaway in front (he was leading by a wide margin when the yellow came out), Graham was second and Mark Dilley was third. Jeff Lapcevich was on a tear and was just outside the top three. Lapcevich came from somewhere in the teens when he mounted his charge. With the yellow, of course, comes pit stops. On the restart, with a few laps less than 100 to go in the Pinty's 250, Graham, Lapcevich and Noel Dowler are the top three. Kennington is sixth, Steckly is eighth.
With about 50 laps to go, Pete Shepherd has got a big lead, with Hathaway second, Steckly third, Kennington fourth and Lapcevich fifth.
Jason Hathaway spins! He is now a lap down. He was running second at the time. He had a chance at the championship but that is now out the window. Lap 218 of 250.
With Hathaway out, if Steckly wins and gets a point for leading the most laps, he would have 473 points. If Kennington finishes second, and with a point for leading a lap, he would wind up with 473 points. They would be tied. But Pete Shepherd is leading and nobody has been able to do the math about those other guys finishing second and third.
Another yellow - the seventh. Jason White spins in turn two. At the last restart, Shepherd went high and was out of shape and Steckly got past him to take the lead. It is now Steckly, Shepherd, Kennington. The Lucky Dog (or free pass as NASCAR Canada calls it) goes to Jason Hathaway and he is now back on the lead lap.
There will be a green-white checkers finish. Trevor Monaghan spun in Turn Four with two laps to go. We have Steckly, Shepherd, Lapcevich, Kennington and Martin Roy.
Steckly wins the Pinty's 250 and with it the national championship. Pete Shepherd III is second and Jeff Lapcevich finished third. Steckly becomes the first three-time NASCAR Canadian Tire Series champion.
Here are the final results:NASCAR CANADIAN TIRE SERIES presented by MOBIL 1-Pinty's 250 Results
At Kawartha Speedway
Lap length: 0.375 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (1) Scott Steckly, Milverton, Ont., Dodge, 256 laps, 49.791 mph.
2. (9) Pete Shepherd III, Brampton, Ont., Dodge, 256.
3. (13) Jeff Lapcevich, Grimsby, Ont., Dodge, 256.
4. (3) D.J. Kennington, St. Thomas, Ont., Dodge, 256.
5. (16) Martin Roy, Napierville, Que., Dodge, 256.
6. (8) Noel Dowler, Sherwood Park, Alta., Dodge, 256.
7. (4) Donald Chisholm, Antigonish, N.S., Dodge, 256.
8. (15) Mark Dilley, Barrie, Ont., Ford, 256.
9. (7) Ron Beauchamp, Jr., Windsor, Ont., Dodge, 256.
10. (22) Ryley Seibert, Williams Lake, B.C., Dodge, 256.
11. (11) Jason Hathaway, Dutton, Ont., Dodge, 256.
12. (17) Jason White, Sun Peaks, B.C., Dodge, 256.
13. (2) Brad Graham, Glencoe, Ont., Dodge, 256.
14. (25) Daniel Bois, Bracebridge, Ont, Dodge, 255.
15. (14) James White, Kamloops. BC, Dodge, 255.
16. (12) Joey McColm, Ajax, Ont., Dodge, 255.
17. (20) Alex Guenette, Terrebonne, Que., Dodge, 254.
18. (21) Howie Scannell Jr., Milton, Ont., Dodge, 254.
19. (18) Hugo Vannini, Repentigny, Que., Ford, 253.
20. (19) Derek White, Kahnawake, Que., Chevrolet, 253.
21. (10) L.P. Dumoulin, Trois-Rivieres, Que., Dodge, 252.
22. (24) Ray Courtemanche Jr., Montreal, Que., Dodge, 251.
23. (23) Trevor Monaghan, Hamilton, Ont., Dodge, 249.
24. (26) Jason Hankewich, Kindersley, SK, Dodge, 236.
25. (5) J.R. Fitzpatrick, Ayr, Ont., Chevrolet, 167, electrical.
26. (6) Larry Jackson, Oakville, Ont., Dodge, 162, oil leak.
Time of Race: 1 hour 55 minutes 41 seconds
Margin of Victory: .580 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: S. Steckly (75.817 mph, 17.806 seconds)
Caution Flags: 8 for 69 laps.
Lead Changes: 7 among 7 drivers.
Lap Leaders: S. Steckly 1-81; D. Kennington 82; J. Fitzpatrick 83-94; J. Hathaway 95-149; B. Graham 150-156; J. Lapcevich 157-165; P. Shepherd III 166-224; S. Steckly 225-256.
Final Standings: 1. S. Steckly, 473; 2. D.J. Kennington, 471; 3. J. Hathaway, 442; 4. M. Roy, 429; 5. L. Dumoulin, 418; 6. J.R. Fitzpatrick, 411; 7. N. Dowler, 378; 8. J. White, 375; 9. R. Beauchamp, Jr., 373; 10. A. Guenette, 368.