Entering Sunday’s WeatherTech 200 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (CTMP), Marc-Antoine Camirand already had a sizeable lead in the point standings, one unlikely to be closed up within the final two races, barring a monumental mishap.
The St. Leonard d’Aston, Quebec-native definitely didn’t run into trouble in Sunday’s penultimate event of the 2022 NASCAR Pinty’s Series season, continuing his absolutely dominant season with another victory at the 2.459-mile road course.
Camirand, who started the event from the pole, held off a late-race charge from Kevin Lacroix to capture his fifth career victory in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series, and his third of the 2022 season.
In the opening stages of the 51-lap contest, it didn’t look as though Camirand had the fastest car on track, as Kevin Lacroix was able to steal the lead away from the GM Paille Racing driver on the seventh lap of the race.
Lacroix, looking for a record-breaking 12th road course victory in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series, led the remainder of the race’s first run, as some pit strategy began to develop in the back-half of the top-10.
However, during a cycle of green-flag pit stops, NASCAR Pinty’s Series rookie JP Bergeron pulled a fuel can out of his pit stall and onto the track, where it came detached from the field intake of the No. 1, drawing the first caution of the event.
With the leaders having not pitted to that point of the event, Kevin Lacroix, Marc-Antoine Camirand, and multiple other front runners were forced to pit under caution, losing them valuable track positions.
Robin McCluskey’s brilliant strategy play to only bring Marc-Antoine Camirand down pit road under yellow once – only two tires can be changed per yellow flag pit stop – and only take two tires, gave Camirand track position over Lacroix, Klutt, and other quick cars.
Andrew Ranger stayed on track under yellow, in an attempt to gain track position and potentially a victory by defending the remainder of the pack. That hope was fairly short-lived, as Camirand had caught, and passed, his teammate in a matter of 10 laps.
The fourth and final caution of the afternoon came after an accident from top-five runner Matthew Scannell, who crashed between the short chute between turns three and four, setting up a restart with seven laps to go.
Despite having two fresh tires, when the remainder of the field had four, Camirand was able to defend against Lacroix, Klutt, and the hungry back behind to cross the start-finish line in the lead.
Kevin Lacroix came home in the runner-up spot, just under a half-second behind the race’s winner, while Gary Klutt, LP Dumoulin, and Treyten Lapcevich completed the top five. Alex Tagliani, DJ Kennington, Andrew Ranger, Sam Fellows, and JP Bergeron all recorded top-10 finishes in the 51-lap event.
Heading into the NASCAR Pinty’s Series’ season-finale at Delaware Speedway, Marc-Antoine Camirand holds a 33-point advantage over Kevin Lacroix for the championship points lead, meaning a field of 29 cars or less would give Camirand the title, should he take the green.