Daniel Morad came to Toronto expecting to run only his normal Porsche GT3 Cup Canada Series, but a call from his Alegra Motorsports team owner Carlos de Quesada gave Morad the opportunity to make his NASCAR Pinty’s Series debut.
“It happened Friday morning at 7 a.m., so it was a bit last minute,” Morad told OnPitRoad.com before the race on Saturday. “I’m having a lot of fun. It’s been going really well so far.”
Morad explained that his Alegra Motorsports team owner elected to put him in the car due to an injury. He said that de Quesada had been going back and forth on whether or not he would practice. De Quesada initially thought he’d be okay to race, but called an audible at the last minute.
“Carlos (de Quesada) was supposed to run the car, but he had a little bit of a back ache,” he said. “He had been nursing a lower back injury. He asked me in the morning since the car was already entered if I wanted to race, and obviously my natural instinct is yes.
“I was just thankful for this opportunity. I race for his Porsche Cup team, and he said he’s having fun watching me in this.”
Although Morad had to run back and forth between his Porsche and Pinty’s car throughout the weekend, he said the extra track time has been helpful, though it has its challenges.
“I’ve been getting my workouts in between, and getting my sprints,” laughed Morad. “Changing suits – one to the other, and making sponsors happy, but it’s been great for the track time. It’s also difficult at the same time because running the Porsche has completely different reference and brake points.”
Morad ran up front during most of the race on Saturday, and even found himself leading in front of Andrew Ranger and eventual winner Alex Tagliani for a few laps before being passed by Tagliani.
Late in the race on a green-white-checkered restart, Morad restarted on the second row in third, but his No. 06 Dodge immediately fell back. It was reported at the track that he spun the tires on the restart, but Morad said that wasn’t the case.
“The tires didn’t go away, but I’m not sure if I got pushed off from behind because I clipped the wall in turn five, and the whole car just moved over,” Morad told OnPitRoad.com after the race. “I got some pretty big damage, so I was just trying to keep it on track. The pace was okay. I was running third, and after the caution Kerry Micks got into the back of me on the restart – just lifted me off the ground. My rear bumper just landed on the top of his hood, so I fell back to seventh. It was unfortunate, and it sucked, but I had a great first experience.”
Though he’s not sure if he’ll be back in the Pinty’s Series, Morad thought of the race as a fun learning experience, and a great opportunity to showcase his talent driving something different.
“To lead the race for a little bit was a nice feeling in my hometown,” he said. “I think I’ll be back – I hope, but we’ll see.”