NPS: Alex Labbe on Pole for Season Opening Clarington 200

Photo Credit: Ashley McCubbin

For just the third time in his career, Alex Labbe will lead the field to the green to start a NASCAR Pinty’s Series race.

Labbe won the pole driving for a new team this season. Labbe joined Go FAS Racing Canada with Dave Jacombs. The team has an association with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, Go FAS Racing normally driven by Jeffrey Earnhardt. Labbe’s pole lap was a best time of 83.182 seconds.

Joining Labbe on the front row will be a fellow French-Canadian driver in Andrew Ranger. The 20-time NASCAR Canada winner was within one corner of winning this race one year ago before being involved in a last lap crash with Scott Steckly. Gary Klutt went around Ranger and Steckly to win while Ranger finished ninth.

Alex Tagliani’s fill-in driver Pier-Luc Ouellette qualified third. Tagliani is in Indianapolis qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, so Ouellette was tabbed to drive his No. 18 Dodge at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Newly named NASCAR Next driver Gary Klutt qualified fourth. Klutt scored his first career win in this race last year, and looks to defend his race on Sunday. Despite qualifying fourth, Klutt had issues with his car, resulting in track officials ordering him off-track. Klutt’s issues continued for him as he spun his No.59 car in the grass trying to get the car to pit road. A corner marshal went out to retrieve Klutt’s car in the grass, which put out a full course yellow.

Rounding out the top-five in qualifying was 2014 series champion L.P. Dumoulin. Dumoulin swept the two races at CTMP in 2013. Dumoulin shines on the road and street courses as three of his four wins have come on them.

Jason Hathaway, D.J. Kennington, Kaz Grala, J.F. Dumoulin and Matthew Scannell closed out the top-10.

Cayden Lapcevich qualified 11th followed by Kerry Micks, Ryan Klutt, Robin Buck, Patrick Dussault, Carlos De Quesada, Kevin Poitras, Anthony Simone, Brett Taylor and David Michaud.

Simon Dion-Viens qualified 21st followed by Joey McColm who is racing in place of Josh Collins, Larry Jackson, Bryan Cathcart and Mel Shaw.

Kevin Lacroix, winner of two races last year, didn’t make it out for qualifying. Lacroix crashed his No. 74 car in the second practice session today, and Lacroix doesn’t have a backup car. His team’s working feverishly to repair the car to get it out on track. David Thorndyke’s No. 67 car also didn’t make it out for a qualifying run.

The Clarington 200 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park will start on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.


About Tyson Lautenschlager 552 Articles
A 22-year-old from Ontario, Canada, Tyson Lautenschlager is a Humber College journalism graduate. He is currently the managing editor of OnPitRoad and a chase producer at CTV News Channel in Toronto.