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NASCAR Pinty's Serie Lucas Oil 250 at Autodrome St-Eustache
Alex Labbé dominates early, then his luck turns at the end!
St-Eustache, QC, September 11, 2016 – With the quickest time of the first practice session, Alex Labbé found himself starting from pole position after qualifying was cancelled because of rain showers. Alex then dominated the first third of the Lucas Oil 250 aboard his Can-Am/Kappa/Cyclops Gear/Lou's Barbeque No 32 Ford, before the lead pack caught up with him around lap 100.
Alex' race turned into a constant battle from that point on, with more than 20 changes in position for the St-Albert driver amongst the eight lead drivers. Bad luck struck again when he was pushed off the track at the start of the last lap in the race, dropping from 4th to 9th at the end and leaving him and the team extremely frustrated.
According to Alex, the day promised a lot. "We had corrected a few small issues at the start of the first practice session, and then recorded the quickest time. The car was fast over a few laps, but also on a longer run, which is the ideal situation to be in for a long race like this one. When we found out we were on pole, the whole team was convinced that the race would turn out great for us."
From the start, Labbé could stay in front while still conserving his tires, to allow for a first tire change mid-race , and a second change late in the race for a strong finish. Unfortunately, the rain stopped the race on the 75th lap, forcing the team to change tires earlier than planned and leaving them with a very long mid-race relay before the planned second stop.
The restart of the race launched an incredible fight with at least seven quick cars involved, and Alex changing positions at least eight times during the middle part of the race. That battle was not easy on the car: « We were rubbing bodies and hitting wheels pretty hard, which started to put my suspension out of ideal adjustment and slow me down, especially coming out of corners. By the end there, we were hitting each other pretty hard!" This tossing around ended when Alex was pushed off the track at the start of the last lap, dropping from 4th to 9th at the finish.
The great news is that the car was so good right from the start, as Alex said: "We were really right on the money from the start and things looked great for a top finish. Incidents and a little bad luck then ruined things for us, but the whole Jacombs Motorsport team and I are convinced that we will be great at Kawartha next Saturday night."