WETASKIWIN, Alberta – Alex Tagliani might have missed the season opener, but halfway through the NASCAR Pinty’s Series 2016 season, he’s quickly becoming a contender for the championship.
Tagliani took the lead on Lap 88 and pulled away late in the caution-filled Alberta Has New Energy 300 Saturday at Edmonton International Raceway to pick up his third win of the season.
The Lachenaie, Quebec native missed the first race of the year in Bowmanville, Ontario, after competing in the Indianapolis 500 but has quickly moved up the standings to third – now just 23 points behind leader Andrew Ranger.
L.P. Dumoulin continued his recent turnaround with his best showing of the season in second, while Josten’s Rookie of the Year points leader Cayden Lapcevich rebounded from an accident to finish third.
Jamie Krzysik was fourth with Mark Dilley completing the top five.
Ranger finished sixth with Alex Labbe, Kelly Admiraal, Gary Klutt and D.J. Kennington rounding out the top 10.
Kevin Lacroix won his first E3 Spark Plugs Pole Award during qualifying and led the first four laps of the race before Dilley grabbed the lead on Lap 5.
Lapcevich exchanged the lead twice with Dilley over the next 83 laps before Tagliani got to the front and never looked back.
Kennington was running second to Tagliani late in the race before a mechanical issue forced him to the pits on Lap 294.
The race was slowed nine times by caution for 74 laps.
Lapcevich was able to trim four points off of Ranger’s lead in the standings and now sits nine points back (249-240). Tagliani’s hot streak has enabled him to help put car owner Colin Livingston in the lead in the owner’s standings by seven points over Doug Kennington (256-249).
The NASCAR Pinty’s Series continues its western swing on Wednesday visiting Wyant Group Raceway for the Velocity Prairie Thunder 250.