NASCAR Canada heads to Jukasa looking for short track star

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NASCAR Canada heads to Jukasa looking for short track star

Postby Bryce Turner » Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:19 pm

As the NASCAR Pinty’s Series returns to Jukasa Motor Speedway on Saturday night, the question remains as to who will be the next short track star.

Four drivers were dominant on short tracks from 2015 to 2017, with Scott Steckly, Jason Hathaway, Cayden Lapcevich and Alex Labbe combining to win 18 of 22 oval events.

Steckly stepped away from driving after 2015, Hathaway from full-time competition after 2016. Lapcevich did not return this year, while 2017 champion Labbe moved up to the Xfinity Series for this season.

With those four drivers not in the field, it will be interesting to see who steps up to fill that void.

There are only two active drivers who won on an oval since 2015. Alex Tagliani won at Sunset Speedway in both 2015 and 2016, as well as Edmonton International Raceway in 2016. While Andrew Ranger visited victory lane at Autodrome St-Eustache in 2015.

Tagliani and Ranger are back full-time this year and could contend for the win.

Another driver to watch is Donald Theetge. Running the oval events last year for 22 Racing, Theetge finished runner-up three times, including the series’ return to Jukasa in the season finale. Theetge led a race-high 134 laps in that event, and was ahead on the final lap when Lapcevich pulled a bump-and-run for the win.

Running full-time for 22 Racing this year, Theetge will be one to watch for in the season’s first short track appearance.

L.P. Dumoulin snapped a long winless streak in the season opener at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. He’ll look to make it two-for-two when the green flag flies for the Rankin Construction 200 at around 8 p.m. local time Saturday night.

Tune in to CANrace at http://www.facebook.com/canracetv and on Twitter @CANraceNASCAR for coverage. There will also be a recap on Motorsports Monday, during the 9 a.m. hour of Morning Mixtape, Monday on CJRU 1280 AM in Toronto and http://www.cjru.ca.

The race airs Saturday, June 23rd at 1:30 p.m. on TSN 2.
Bryce Turner is chief NASCAR correspondent for carnuts.ca.
Bryce Turner
 
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