NASCAR Pinty's News & Notes: Sunset
Tagliani Returns to Track He Dominated in Win Last Year
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR Pinty's Series will return to Sunset Speedway for the second consecutive year this Saturday for the Leland Industries 300 presented by Dickies and Alex Tagliani hopes this year's race is a repeat of last year's dominating performance.
Tagliani took the lead on Lap 108 and never looked back on the way to his second career series win. He also made series history by becoming the first driver the 10 seasons of the series to lap the entire field during a race with the win.
The Lachenaie, Quebec, native scored his lone other series win on the road course in Edmonton in 2008.
Tagliani passed teenager Cayden Lapcevich during a long green-flag stretch on the .333-mile oval that enabled him to drive away from the field for his first career oval track win. The popular racing veteran was making his 27th career start in the series. He had previously scored a win at Wisconsin's Road America in the open-wheel CHAMP Car Series.
He'll have plenty of competition if he hopes to compete.
Jason Hathaway picked up a pair of wins on ovals last year and ran second to Tagliani at Sunset. And Cayden Lapcevich finished third at his home track as a 16-year-old after leading more than 40 laps. Rookie Josh Collins will make his first career start in the NPS this Saturday at Sunset and will be joined by fellow Jostens Rookie of the Year contender Kevin Lacroix.
RACE: Leland Industries 300 pres. by Dickies
PLACE: Sunset Speedway, Innisfil, Ont.
DATE: Saturday, June 18
TIME: 6:30 p.m. ET
TELECAST: TSN2 – June 25 at Noon. ET; RDS2 – July 9 at 10:30 p.m.
TRACK LAYOUT: .333-mile asphalt oval
2015 POLESITTER: Gary Klutt
2015 RACE WINNER: Alex Tagliani
EVENT SCHEDULE: Practice 11:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Final Practice 12:30-1 p.m., Qualifying 3 p.m., Driver Autograph Session 4:20 p.m.
TRACK CONTACT: Spencer Lewis, 416-856-3730, email@example.com
TRACK TWITTER: @Sunset_Speedway
EVENT TWITTER HASHTAG: #Leland300
NASCAR CONTACT: Tim Southers, 386-235-3634,firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @Tsouth1968
The Race: The Leland Industries 300 presented by Dickies will be the second of 12 events on the NASCAR Pinty's Series schedule, and the second consecutive season for the NPS to visit Sunset Speedway.
The Procedure: The maximum starting field is 24 cars, including provisionals. The first 21 cars will have secured starting positions through two-lap time trials while the remaining three spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race is scheduled for 300 laps (100 miles) and is an impound race with two change tires allowed.
The Track: Sunset Speedway opened in 1968 as a quarter-mile oval. The track was resurfaced and expanded to .333-miles in 2009.
Leland 300 presented by Dickies Notes:
Klutt Will Try and Make It Two-For-Two: NASCAR Next driver Gary Klutt was able to capture the pole for the Leland Industries 300 presented by Dickies for the second consecutive season. Klutt, who picked up his first career win last year in the season opener at CTMP, started from the pole and finished sixth at Sunset last season.
Home Track Advantage: Track manager and NPS competitor Mark Dilley may have more local knowledge than any driver in the field, but he's not the only one with experience there. Jostens Rookie of the Year candidate Lapcevich has also competed at the Ontario oval in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and won the track's super stock division title in 2014.
Clean Race Helped Tagliani Lap FIeld: Tagliani set a blistering pace last year at Sunset, and was also assisted by a relatively clean race on the short track. The race was slowed on Lap 9 for a two car accident and the race went back to green flag conditions on Lap 20. By the time the third caution flag waved on Lap 288 for a multi-car spin, Tagliani had put the rest of the field a lap down.
Home Tracks: Shepherd Enjoys Early Season Lead at Sunset
Although was unseated last year as Ontario's NASCAR Whelen All-American Series provincial champion Gord Shepherd is off to a good start this season in his attempt to win his second provincial title in three years. Shepherd has yet to visit Victory Lane this season, however, the veteran has used four top-five finishes to enjoy an eight-point lead over Jason Hathaway in the standings (128-120). Last year's Ontario champion and third-place finisher in the overall NWAAS championship standings – Taylor Holdaway – sits third with a pair of wins and 102 points as of the June 5 standings.
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