Treyten Lapcevich, who entered the day with two wins in the opening two races of the 2023 NASCAR Pinty’s Series season, dominated Saturday’s Bud Light 300 at Autodrome Chaudiere. However, while Lapcevich dominated, defending NASCAR Pinty’s Series champion Marc-Antoine Camirand, and Lapcevich’s now budding rival, came out on top.
In a spirited battle for the win over the last five laps, which was set up by a late-race restart thanks to a spin by Thomas Nepveu in Turn 1 with roughly 11 laps to go, Camirand executed some textbook short track moves to snag the lead away from Lapcevich.
“On that last restart, I was surprised that [Lapcevich] got the outside groove,” Camirand said after the race. “My car was really good on the bottom. I am really proud to get my first win of the 2023 season.”
As Lapcevich fought back with under five laps to go, Camirand would apply just enough contact to stall out the run for Lapcevich. The 44-year-old took the 19-year-old to school in the closing laps on Saturday evening.
🟩Back green with 5 to go🟩
— NASCAR Pinty's Series (@NASCARPintys) June 10, 2023
While Camirand did have a couple of rubs on the track with Lapcevich in the closing laps, Camirand says that he and Lapcevich are nowhere near even after Lapcevich booted Camirand out of the lead on the last lap at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
“No, actually. I passed him clean. So, I still have one shot on him,” Camirand chuckled. “Maybe later in the season.”
For Camirand, he was just proud of his team for fighting back. They had to swap to a backup car prior to qualifying, and after recording the 11th-place starting spot, the team would get to working on the car to dial it in during the race.
Camirand kept the team alive as they reached the halfway break, and then the team was able to make the proper adjustments to get the car where it needed to be.
“The first part of the race, the car was really, really tight. So, at the break, we did some adjustments and the car was really strong after and I was catching up to the leader,” Camirand said.
With the victory, his sixth over the course of his 75-race NASCAR Pinty’s Series career, Camirand remains runner-up to Lapcevich in the series point standings. Both drivers have finished inside the top five in all three races to start the season.
Lapcevich has yet to finish outside the top two this season, and he was as close as it gets to starting the 2023 campaign off with three-consecutive wins. This will without a doubt be an intense battle throughout the entire course of the season between both of these drivers.
And Camirand has already started playing mental games with Lapcevich by publicly warning that he still owes Lapcevich a payback shot at some point in the season.
Payback pending, or not, with his 273 laps led on Saturday, Lapcevich has now led an incredible 521 laps out of a possible 601 this season. It’s been a truly dominant season so far. But even with how dominant he’s been, Lapcevich only carries a nine-point lead over Camirand into the next race, which will take place at Eastbound Speedway in Newfoundland.
Camirand won the inaugural Pinty’s event at that facility a season ago.
Behind the one-two power punch of Camirand and Lapcevich at the front of the field on Saturday was Raphael Lessard, who finished third in relief of Dexter Stacey. Stacey started the race, but made way for Lessard at the mid-way point of the event due to an arm injury.
Kevin Lacroix came home in fourth and L.P. Dumoulin rounded out the top-five finishers.
In addition to the thrilling finish between two of the best drivers in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series today, there were a lot of scary moments in Saturday’s race.
Three cars in total burst into flames throughout the 300-lap contest.
Glen Styers was the first to experience his car combusting, as his No. 0 machine stopped running on Lap 122. Andrew Ranger joined Styers on Lap 132. And Donald Theetge, who actually led this race at one point, fell out when his car burst into flames on Lap 190.
Another wild accident happened between J.P. Bergeron and Wallace Stacey on Lap 214. The two drivers got together a couple of times, and the second time they did, it ended with Stacey launching over the hood of Bergeron’s car.
NASCAR Pinty’s Series Bud Light 300 Race Results
|Pos||No.||Driver||Sponsor / Manufacturer||Laps||Diff|
|1||96||Marc-Antoine Camirand||GM PaillŽ/Chevrolet Canada Chevrolet||300|
|2||20||Treyten Lapcevich||FBM/Delta Bingo/Leading Edge Chevrolet||300||0.369|
|3||92||Dexter Stacey||Recap Chevrolet||300||0.613|
|4||74||Kevin Lacroix||NAPA Sythentic Motor Oil/Valvoline Dodge||300||1.088|
|5||47||L.P. Dumoulin||WeatherTech/Bellemare Dodge||300||1.964|
|6||17||D.J. Kennington||Castrol Edge/Spark Power/CIM Metals Dodge||300||2.278|
|7||18||Alex Tagliani||St. HuberVNTN/Qwick Wick/Genatec Chevrolet||300||4.999|
|8||9||Brandon Watson||Leland/GMS/RGC/Shear Metal Products Chevrolet||300||12.647|
|9||84||Larry Jackson||E3/O'Neil Electric/eBay Motors/Wonder Dodge||299||1 Lap|
|10||3||Alex Guenette||GM PaillŽ/ASSA ABLOY Chevrolet||299||1 Lap|
|11||87||Sam Fellows||AER Manufacting/GM PaillŽ Chevrolet||298||2 Laps|
|12||98||Malcolm Strachan||Curb Records/CF Realty/DarkhorseTrailers Chevrolet||296||4 Laps|
|13||1||J.P. Bergeron||Prolon Controls/Rousseau Metals Ford||294||6 Laps|
|14||24||Thomas Nepveu *||Evirum/Home Hardware Ford||287||13 Laps|
|15||23||Brandon McFarlane *||Oceanex/Miller Lite/Make-A-Wish Chevrolet||284||16 Laps|
|16||12||Mathieu Kingsbury||Duroking/Albert Viau/Galarneau Dodge||257||43 Laps|
|17||66||Wallace Stacey||K-Fibre Optic Chevrolet||209||91 Laps|
|18||56||Josh Collins *||Wing 'N' It/Auto Direct USNMake-A-Wish Chevrolet||201||99 Laps|
|19||80||Donald Theetge||Groupe Theetge/XPN Chevrolet||190||110 Laps|
|20||27||Andrew Ranger||GM PaillŽ/Chevrolet Canada Chevrolet||132||168 Laps|
|21||0||Glenn Styres||GSR/Ohsweken Sp¾dway/Chantarellie/WMI Chevrolet||122||178 Laps|