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Change Defines NASCAR Canadian Series in 2016

North of the Border NASCAR will have a radically different look this season.

First and foremost, the Canadian Series has a new name as Pinty’s Delicious Foods has taken over for Canadian Tire. There will be a new champion too, as defending titleholder Scott Steckly will only run a partial schedule due to a lack of funding.

In his place will be the next generation of Canadian superstars like Gary Klutt, Patrick Dussault and Alex Labbe. And while Steckly won’t be in the mix for his fifth championship, there will be a few familiar faces hoping to capitalize with Jason Hathaway, Andrew Ranger and LP Dumoulin all returning for another full-time effort.

The schedule will maintain a familiar look too, with one major exception — the Pinty’s Series return to the Honda Indy Toronto alongside the Verizon IndyCar Series. It remains one half short tracks and one half road courses — producing some of the best action in all of NASCAR.

So while the series has received a slight makeover, two-time champion Andrew Ranger says to expect the same dynamic for 12 races over the next five months.

“This is a great place to race,” Ranger told Short Track Scene on Thursday night. “It has some really nice road courses and some exciting ovals. It’s an affordable place to race compared to K&N and it’s got a lot of good personalities.”

The schedule reads like a must-visit list of Canadian circuits with two visits to the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, including one paired with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on Labor Day Weekend. Other stops include Autodrome Chaudiere, Sunset Speedway, Circuit ICAR, Edmonton International, Auto Clearing Speedway, Three Rivers, St-Eustache and the championship race at Kawartha Speedway on Sept. 17.

The diversity of the schedule and roster was one of the inviting factors for Pinty’s to come on board.

“We’re thrilled to expand our support of NASCAR racing in Canada,” says Tony Spiteri, senior vice president of marketing, research & development for Pinty’s. “As part of our activation this summer, plan for us to surprise fans with some interesting people and maybe some cross-promotions leveraging brands like Mopar and others.”

Hathaway, the 2015 championship runner-up, says he already seen an increase in activation from Pinty’s and believes the company has had an fast impact on NASCAR in Canada.

“Pinty’s doesn’t exactly mean more money for the racers, but we’re seeing a lot of commercial activity from them,” Hathaway told Short Track Scene. “There has an increase in TV commercials and social media stuff. They’re promoting our younger drivers and pushing what we do at the track. It’s the start of something special.”

But at the end of the day, the Pinty’s Series will be defined by its racing product — something that hasn’t been a problem, dating back to its history as the CASCAR Series. Hathaway, Dumoulin and DJ Kennington will enter as the championship favorites and one-offs like Kaz Grala, Alex Tagliani and Steckly will keep the weekly dynamic fresh and exciting.

It’s a new day for the NASCAR Canadian Series but the core of the tour is remains the same.


5/22    Canadian Tire Motorsport Park    Bowmanville, Ont.
6/11    Autodrome Chaudiere    Valle-Jonction, Que.
6/18    Sunset Speedway    Innisfil, Ont.
7/3    Circuit ICAR    Mirabel, Que.
7/16    Exhibition Place    Toronto, Ont.
7/23    Edmonton International Raceway    Wetaskiwin, Alta.
7/27    Auto Clearing Motor Speedway    Saskatoon, Sask.
8/14    Circuit de Trois-Rivieres    Trois-Rivieres, Que.
8/20    Riverside International Speedway    Antigonish, N.S.
9/4    Canadian Tire Motorsport Park    Bowmanville, Ont.
9/10    Autodrome St-Eustache    St-Eustache, Que.
9/17    Kawartha Speedway    Fraserville, Ont

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 also has extensive experience covering NASCAR, IndyCar and Dirt Sprint Cars.

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