Second Straight NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Victory For Part-Time Driver
BOWMANVILLE, Ont. (June 22, 2013) – Pete Shepherd III keeps on showing up and he keeps on winning.
The Brampton, Ont., native isn’t running for the championship in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1, but that hasn’t stopped him from collection winner’s trophies. He picked up another Saturday night in the Clarington 200 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
The victory on the facility’s half-mile oval was the second straight for Shepherd, who drove the No. 7 National Exhaust/Diamond Material Handling Dodge to Victory Lane last week at Delaware Speedway. It’s Shepherd’s fifth career win in 18 starts over the last four years.
It was a particularly special win for the 26-year-old Shepherd, as it came on the final series race on the track’s oval. Canadian Tire Motorsport Park announced recently it was closing it to concentrate efforts on the world-class road course, which hosts the series twice this year.
“What an honor it is to win the last race here,” said Shepherd, who was second there in 2011 and third in 2010. “I grew up watching my grandpa, my uncle, my dad race here – my mom, even – and this is such an historic race track and I love it to death. It’s my favorite track to drive on and it’s an honor to win here.”
Scott Steckly rebounded from a slow start to the season to finish second. He had finished 21st and 24th in his two previous races.
“It’s definitely a relief to finally finish a race,” said Steckly. “We actually had good luck. We actually didn’t have a second-place car tonight. But the crew worked really hard.”
J.R. Fitzpatrick was third after leading three times for 48 laps. He gave up the lead to Shepherd on Lap 156 and fell back another spot in the closing laps. But after a pole position was sidetracked by mechanical problems just seven laps into the season opener on the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park road course, he was happy to come to the facility and pick up a podium finish.
“When you’re starting from the bottom of the scale in points, you’ve got to think points,” Fitzpatrick said. “We’re really just determined to show people we’re determined to get back up there in the championship fight. And that’s what we’re doing.”
Fitzpatrick was able to move up to sixth in points, just 12 points behind first-place DJ Kennington. Steckly is up to 14th.
“The 7 (Shepherd) is not going for a championship and the 22 (Steckly) is probably a couple races behind because of a couple part failures, so if we just keep trucking like this, we’ll be back up front pretty soon,” Fitzpatrick said.
For Shepherd, though, his limited schedule is out of necessity over desire. He hopes if he keeps winning, that will change.
“I want to run for a title here really bad,” Shepherd said. “We’ve got National Exhaust on board and they help us – they fund us for these races, but in order to do the whole deal, we really need to have that big corporate sponsor on the car. … We really want it bad.
“Whoever gets on the side of the car, they’re going to be running for championships for a long time.”
Jason Hathaway’s fourth-place finish moved him to within a point of Kennington, while Steve Mathews rallied from engine problems in practice to finish fifth.
Martin Roy, L.P. Dumoulin, Jeff Lapcevich, Hugo Vannini and Kennington completed the top 10.
Kerry Micks was the fastest in qualifying and led a race-high 86 laps, but wound up 19th as ignition issues ended his nights after 146 laps. The race featured eight lead changes between four drivers. It was slowed six times for 34 caution laps.
The Clarington 200 will air on TSN on Sunday, June 30 at 1 p.m. ET and on RDS on Friday, July 19 at 11 p.m.
The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series will return to the road course with the Jiffy Lube 100 presented by Snap-on at Circuit ICAR in Mirabel, Quebec, on Sunday, July 7.
For more information, contact:
NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications
NASCAR CANADIAN TIRE SERIES-Clarington 200 Results
At Canadian Tire Motorsports Park Oval
Lap length: 0.5 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (2) Pete Shepherd III, Brampton, Ont., Dodge, 200 laps, 61.528 mph.
2. (4) Scott Steckly, Milverton, Ont., Dodge, 200.
3. (3) J.R. Fitzpatrick, Ayr, Ont., Chevrolet, 200.
4. (13) Jason Hathaway, Dutton, Ont., Dodge, 200.
5. (5) Steven Mathews, New Liskeard, On., Ford, 200.
6. (11) Martin Roy, Napierville, Que, Dodge, 200.
7. (9) L.P. Dumoulin, Trois-Rivieres, Que, Dodge, 200.
8. (8) Jeff Lapcevich, Grimsby, Ont., Dodge, 200.
9. (15) Hugo Vannini, Repentigny, Que., Ford, 199.
10. (10) D.J. Kennington, St. Thomas, Ont., Dodge, 198.
11. (18) Jason White, Sun Peaks, B.C., Dodge, 198.
12. (17) Ryley Seibert, Williams Lake, B.C., Dodge, 198.
13. (19) Dave Connelly, Arnprior, Ont, Dodge, 197.
14. (20) Bradon White, Kahnawake, Que., Chevrolet, 196.
15. (21) Ray Courtemanche Jr., Montreal, Que, Dodge, 196.
16. (16) Noel Dowler, Sherwood Park, Alta., Dodge, 184.
17. (12) Alex Guenette, Terrebonne, Que, Dodge, 149.
18. (6) Ron Beauchamp, Jr., Windsor, Ont., Dodge, 148.
19. (1) Kerry Micks, Mt. Albert, Ont., Ford, 146, ignition.
20. (7) Larry Jackson, Oakville, Ont., Dodge, 81, suspension.
21. (14) Trevor Seibert, Williams Lake, B.C., Dodge, 30, transmission.
Time of Race: 1 hour 37 minutes 31 seconds
Margin of Victory: 3.127 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: K.Micks (82.865 mph, 21.722 seconds)
Caution Flags: 6 for 34 laps.
Lead Changes: 8 among 4 drivers.
Lap Leaders: K. Micks 1-67; J. Fitzpatrick 68; S. Mathews 69-81; J. Fitzpatrick 82-88; K. Micks 89-106; P. Shepherd 107-115; K. Micks 116; J. Fitzpatrick 117-156; P. Shepherd 157-200.
Standings: 1. D. Kennington, 115; 2. J. Hathaway, 114; 3. J. Lapcevich, 111; 4. L. Dumoulin, 110; 5. S. Mathews, 107; 6. J. Fitzpatrick, 103; 7. M. Roy, 103; 8. N. Dowler, 102; 9. H. Vannini, 102; 10. P. Shepherd, 95.