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NASCAR Pinty's Series

Perilous Turn 1, Lap 1 on everyone’s mind before NASCAR Pinty’s Toronto

To finish first, you must first finish …

Matthew Manor | NASCAR

For the NASCAR Pinty’s Series at Exhibition Place, Turn 1 is going to require guts — or at least a lot of patience.

Alex Tagliani will lead the field to green at 5:15 ET on Saturday and will most likely escape that first corner with the lead intact. Meanwhile, M.A. Camirand will line up beside him with a very important decision to make.

STARTING LINEUP: Alex Tagliani on pole at Exhibition Place

Does he try to press the issue and force his way down in front of third-place Gary Klutt or hold off until a gap forms to allow him to settle in position?

“It’s going to be tight,” Camirand told Short Track Scene after qualifying. “I would maybe sacrifice one spot to get down to the inside to make it clean. It’s going to be a tight race as it always is here.”

Defending series champion L.P. Dumoulin is also starting on the outside, second row behind Camirand and will face a similar dilemma.

“You can’t give up too many spots because it’s challenging to pass here, especially if you fall too far back,” he said. “But if you aren’t clear, it could be a problem, and then we will have wished we had given up a few more spots.

“I think everyone understands this, respects where we qualified and it will be okay for Saturday, but we’ll see.”

READ MORE: Toronto will affect the Pinty’s championship picture

Even the always aggressive Kevin Lacroix, who will also start on the outside of row four, doesn’t expect to press the matter on the first corner and first lap. He hopes the field will start to spread out a little by time his row crosses the start-finish line headed towards Turn 1.

“We don’t have a shot to win,” the points leader said. “Maybe a podium but the win is not a possibility. We start too far back. So we have to not throw anything else away on the first lap. We have to manage.”

The Pinty’s Grand Prix of Toronto begins at 5:15 ET on the Streets of Toronto. The race will air on FansChoice.TV in the United States and the TSN app in Canada.  

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Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He is also the associate motorsports editor of Autoweek Magazine and its website, which allows him to cover the highest levels of the sport.

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