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NASCAR Pinty's Series

Alex Tagliani looking past health woes to 2020 Pinty’s Series season

Paul Lambert/STS

Alex Tagliani’s 2019 Pinty’s Series championship hopes essentially ended nearly three weeks ago when he revealed that he would be sitting out at least one race due to health issues. 

Tagliani was sidelined by myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle that can cause irregular heartbeats and even reduce the heart’s ability to pump blood throughout the body.

READ: Pinty’s Series season finale preview

Fortunately, the Canadian will be able to return to racing–just not in 2019.

“I feel good,” Tagliani told Short Track Scene. “It was a serious thing, but it’s not as serious anymore. I’m getting better every day. There’s no miracle. I just have to give it time and once it’s all repaired, I’m going to be back to where I was before, so that’s the really positive news.

“I tried really hard to force all the doctors to go to another MRI to see how it goes… I’m quite healthy, so it’s very fast, but they said they would love for me to be one, one-and-a-half months without straining on the heart to get it to the way it was before.”

Being the competitor that he is, Tagliani wanted back in the car as soon as possible, but soon realized the long-term benefits on staying out of the car until 2020.

READ: Kevin Lacroix and Alex Labbe tangle on last lap of Visit New Hampshire 100

“The risk versus reward is not good,” he said. “I prefer to get my body to where it needs to be. I’m lucky that I’m not going to have any secondary effect from it, so I just want to put all the chances on my side and get back to where I was before and just focus on 2020.”

Just because Tagliani can’t race doesn’t mean he’s phoned it in for 2019. He was at New Hampshire Saturday to see his replacement driver, Alex Guenette, get his first Pinty’s top-10 in five years, something rather exciting in its own right.

“This weekend, I was happy to be here,” Tagliani said. “I was watching our car from the sideline for the first time. It’s interesting that we are still working as a team to find some things we don’t have on the ovals.”

Paul Lambert is an aspiring collegiate journalist. A writer and broadcaster, Paul's excited to cover New England short track racing in 2021. Paul has also been published in the Boston Herald, Speedway Illustrated and on Autoweek.com.

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