It wasn’t the first clash between Alex Labbe and Kevin Lacroix in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series, but it may go down as the most impactful.
Racing for second on the final lap in Saturday’s Visit New Hampshire 100 at Loudon, Labbe’s No. 36 Ford slid up into Lacroix’s left rear off of Turn 4, sending the championship contender hard into the inside wall.
Lacroix was unable to spin his way across the finish line, falling from second to 12th in the finishing order in the process after leading the most laps. His car stopped about 20 feet shy of finishing.
Well that sure mixes up the point race as @andrew_ranger wins the #VisitNH100 at @NHMS and will take the point lead into @JukasaMotor and next weeks #PintysFallBrawl. #TrueNorthStrongAndFast #HowDoYouPintys #MakingGreatFoodFun #GetSauced pic.twitter.com/dZXQ6cHkVU
— Pinty's (@Pintysfoods) September 21, 2019
“The fucking 74 car squeezed me down off of Turn 2, got a run out of 4, and he did the same thing and he spun himself,” Labbe said. “He was racing me like a jackass. He got the worst out of it, so I’ve got nothing really to say.”
Making matters worse for Lacroix was the fact that his biggest challenger in the title battle, Andrew Ranger, cruised on to victory. Lacroix, who entered Saturday leading by just two points over Ranger, will certainly be in a massive hole when the series heads to Jukasa next week for the 2019 finale.
To Labbe, it was simply careless of Lacroix to defend the position as he did considering the points situation.
“He’s running for points. He’s gotta think with his head, not chopping guys that are not in the points down off the corner. If I had to do the same thing, I’d do it again.”
Lacroix only said that he did not expect contact from Labbe on the last lap and commented no further.
Lacroix and Labbe have had their share of disagreements while racing each other over the years. Perhaps the most notorious fracas between the two happened at Riverside back in 2017. There, Lacroix wrecked Labbe on the cool-down lap after being spun by Labbe for the win, causing damage to both cars. Lacroix paid NASCAR a $1,000 fine for that incident.