NASCAR Pinty’s Series News & Notes: ICAR

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Kevin Lacroix made just his second career NASCAR Pinty’s Series start in this event last season but quickly made sure everyone in the field knew who he was right away.

Lacroix started fourth and quickly moved past Andrew Ranger on Lap 2 and never looked back in the Ecko Unlimited 100 to score his first NASCAR Pinty’s Series win. The Saint-Eustache, Que, native also made history winning the first caution-free race in the history of the series.

Lacroix went on to also score a win at Grand Prix Trois-Rivieres last August to become the first rookie competitor in the history of the series to score two wins in a season.

If not for an experienced Alex Tagliani at Sunset Speedway and a side-by-side duel with Alex Labbe last weekend at Chaudiere, Cayden Lapcevich might share that distinction with Lacroix this season. Lapcevich has finished second in those two events and will try put a rookie driver in Victory Lane for the second year in a row at ICAR.

Lacroix has scored two top-10 finishes so far this season and a win at ICAR could help offset his disappointing finish at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park when mechanical issues ended his day early.

Another driver looking forward to competing this Sunday at ICAR has to be Andrew Ranger. Ranger has won three of the five races held at Circuit ICAR and finished second last year to Lacroix.

RACE: Ecko Unlimited 100
PLACE: Circuit ICAR, Mirabel, Que.
DATE: Sunday, July 3
TIME: 2:40 p.m. ET
TELECAST: TSN 1/3/4 – Saturday, July 9, 5 p.m. ET; RDS – TBD
TRACK LAYOUT: 2.113-mile, 14-turn airport road course
2015 POLESITTER/2015 RACE WINNER: Alex Tagliani/Kevin Lacroix
EVENT SCHEDULE: Saturday – Practice 11:20 -11:50 a.m., Final Practice Noon -12:30 p.m., Qualifying 3:25 p.m.; Sunday – Driver Autograph Session 1:10 p.m.
TRACK CONTACT: Elie Arseneau, 514-955-4227, or Brianca Roy
NASCAR CONTACT: Tim Southers, 386-235-3634,; Twitter: @tsouth1968


Fast Facts:
The Race:
The Ecko Unlimited 100 is the fourth event of the 2016 season for the NASCAR Pinty’s Series and the second of five road course events on the schedule. This is the series’ sixth all-time visit to Circuit ICAR.

The Procedure: The starting field is 30 cars, including provisionals. The first 25 cars will qualify through NASCAR Road Race (group) qualifying. The remaining five spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 30 laps covering 63.37 miles (102 kilometers).

The Track: Circuit ICAR is located northwest of Montreal, Quebec, on the grounds of Montreal-Mirabel Airport, which has been closed to commercial flights since 2004. The complex has over three kilometers of road circuits with multiple configurations, a quarter-mile drag strip, skid pad, drift park, autocross track and a one-kilometer karting track designed by Jacques Villeneuve.

The Pole Winners: Alex Tagliani was the inaugural event’s pole winner in 2011. Andrew Ranger, who has earned the pole the last two years, set the track record in 2013 at 95.938 seconds (79.289 mph).

The Race Winners: The first ICAR event saw Robin Buck take the checkered flag and Ranger was victorious in the three subsequent races in Mirabel before Kevin Lacroix captured the win last season.

ECKO Unlimited 100 Notes:
Challenging Schedule Ahead:
Following a long offseason, and just three events since the season began in mid-May, the NASCAR Pinty’s Series schedule will kick into high gear this week. Starting with the Ecko Unlimited 100, the Canadian Tire Series will contest four event in the month of July. Following Circuit ICAR, the series returns to Toronto on July 16. Just six days later the annual western swing will take the series to Alberta on July 23 at Edmonton International Raceway and to Wyant Group Raceway (formerly known as Auto Clearing Motor Speedway) in Saskatoon on July 27.

Second of Five Road Course Races: ICAR will play host to the second of five road-course events for the Pinty’s Series in 2016. The season opened at Ontario’s Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on May 22, and the series will return there on Sept. 4. The third of five road course races will be contested at Toronto Exhibition Place on July 16 before the series returns Quebec for the annual stop at Trois-Rivieres on Aug. 14.

Tagliani Looks to Maintain Momentum: After missing the season-opener at CTMP due to his commitments to run the Indianapolis 500, Alex Tagliani is making it known he’ll be a driver to contend with this season. After scoring his second consecutive win at Sunset Speedway on June 18, the Lachenaie, Que., native finished third at Chaudiere to climb to 10th-place in the season standings. Tagliani finished third at ICAR last season.