Alex Tagliani unveils special paint scheme, set for busy weekend at CTMP

On Thursday afternoon at the CHILL Ice House in Toronto, Alex Tagliani unveiled his new livery for this weekend’s Pinty’s Presents the Clarington 200 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. The new design comes as a result of the second annual Summer of Tag contest, in which allowed Canadian students to design what they feel Tagliani’s car and helmet should look like to raise awareness for food allergies and Anaphylaxis Canada.

Leah Johnson of Erin District High School had her design selected among the submissions to be on the car, as the judges felt the blue and orange colors matched perfect with EpiPen’s colors. The car also displays the slogan ‘Blue to the Sky, Orange in the Thigh’, which is the key catchphrase for administrating an EpiPen shot.

“It’s an awesome feeling, but I’m so happy to be apart of cause and bringing awareness to EpiPen and Anaphylaxis,” Johnson said of having her design selected. Johnson added that while she doesn’t have any food allergies herself, she is friends with people who do and is aware of the importance of awareness.

Tagliani also unveiled the helmet that he will use this weekend, displaying the winning submission by Marcus Uhrich of Archbishop O’Leary High School. The helmet will be auctioned off at Tagliani’s upcoming Tagliani Foundation Golf Classic, with the money being donated to Anaphylaxis Canada. Anaphylaxis Canada is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to helping those at risk of anaphylaxis and those who care for them. Anaphylaxis reports that approximately 2.5 million Canadians have at least one food allergy that effects them, including Tagliani who has a severe peanut allergy.

While promoting a good cause on his NASCAR Canadian Tire Series car, Alex Tagliani will be a busy driver behind the wheel this weekend as he is set to do double duty, running both the Canadian Tire Series race and Camping World Truck Series race this weekend. Tagliani will make his truck series debut driving the No. 19 Reese Ford F150 for Brad Keselowski Racing.

“I’m very honored to race for Brad Keselowski Racing and drive the Reese No. 19 truck so hopefully we can have a good weekend,” Tagliani commented on Tuesday. “Ryan Blaney and I are teaming together so definitely going to try to have a good weekend for the team.”

In trying to post a pair of solid finishes in both races – possibly a pair of wins – there is a big challenge that lies ahead in getting them both set-up accordingly for the 11-turn course, as well as the fact that the Canadian Tire Series car and the truck drive much differently from each other.

“One drives completely different than the other – the braking system, the weight is tremendously different,” Tagliani explained. “You can see just when you drive a NASCAR Canada car, it has less brakes, but the car is much lighter. The chassis are built differently so they feel tremendously different.”

Tagliani admitted that the differences do have him concerned, but he’s committed to doing well for both programs this weekend.

“I think I just have to make sure that I don’t get caught up driving the cars the same way and trying to do the same thing with one and another,” he added. “If I can put myself in the right mode and drive them how they want to be driven in both series, I think I can extract the best out of both.”

Beyond the challenges behind the wheel, there’s the challenge that lies ahead in the track as Canadian Tire Motorsports Park has 11 unique corners at different elevations throughout, ready to catch a driver off-guard.  While Tagliani hasn’t ran the track in a stockcar, he has ran the track in a sports car in the past.

“It’s very fast. Everybody knows that it’s quick,” Tagliani commented. “I think that the track is unique in itself. I think there’s a lot of fast corners, a lot of blind corners, a lot of elevation changes. Turn two is always unique and very special, but turn four is really special too. Then you have turn eight, nine and 10 that are fast. It’s tough to pinpoint one place around the track (that’s tough) because they’re all important. They all have their particulars so it’s not like a track with 12 corners and two are difficult and the rest are easy. I think Canadian Tire Motorsports Park track – everyone is tricky so I think that’s why it’s difficult to pinpoint one spot in the track.”

If anybody can do it, though, it’s Tagliani as a lot of people have faith based on the Quebec native’s previous success on the road courses throughout the years in different forms of vehicles – whether sports cars, IndyCars or the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Tagliani ran a pair of Natiownide Series this year for Team Penske in the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford, finishing second at Road America after passing 21 cars on the green-white-checkered finish, and fifth at the Mid-Ohio Sportscar road course.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

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