Trucks Back North of the Border

Trucks

Last season marked the NCWTS’ inaugural visit to Canada – its first road course event since 2000. (Photo: Getty Images)

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The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is back on a road course this weekend, looking to follow up last year's action-packed race north of the border.

The inaugural Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park had everything from a first-time winner to contact - both on and off the track.

ThorSport Racing drivers Johnny Sauter and Matt Crafton lead the standings, respectively, heading into Sunday's race.  Sauter finished 28th last year while Crafton came home 10th.

"We had trouble with our fuel cable on Lap 2 of the race and fought that the rest of the day," Sauter said.  "I didn’t have an opportunity to race a whole lot.  From what I saw, it got pretty crazy.  But that’s a cool racetrack, I do remember the crowd and the whole atmosphere was awesome.  It's a very fast track.  I still don’t think I’m the greatest road racer, but I’ve had some decent days on road courses so if we unload pretty decent, then I think we’ll be in good shape."

Darrell Wallace Jr., who finished fourth in the inaugural race, has scored more points (318) than any other driver in the last eight races this season that includes wins at Gateway Motorsports Park and Eldora Speedway.

"The race at Canada is definitely high on my list," Wallace said.  "Last year was a lot of fun and I can’t wait to get back there.  Last season, Eldora and Canada were two tracks where I had the most fun racing because they were both so different from what we normally run.  We have momentum on our side following some strong runs the last few weeks."

Canada will be well-represented in the Chevrolet Silverado 250 as native drivers Alex Tagliani, Ray Courtemanche Jr., Cameron Hayley and Andrew Ranger make their Truck Series debuts on their home soil.

Each of the four will attempt to become the first Canadian driver to win a NASCAR national series event since Ron Fellows was victorious in 2008 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.  Fellows, who also happens to co-own CTMP, boasts the only two victories from a Canadian driver in NCWTS action – his last coming in 1999 in the Bully Hill Vineyards 150 at Watkins Glen International.  With a checkered flag, one of the Canadians can join Fellows (six wins) and Cup Series race winner Earl Ross as the third native driver to place first in a NASCAR national series event.

Each competitor brings plenty of NASCAR experience to his first race.  Calgary native and former "NASCAR Next" member Hayley ranks second in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East driver standings and will be driving the No. 32 Chevrolet for Turner Scott Motorsports.

"It’s always been a dream of mine to run in one of NASCAR’s top three series and I can’t believe I’m finally getting the chance to live that dream," Hayley said.  "Having my first Truck Series start in a place I consider 'home' is everything I could’ve ever hoped for."

Montreal resident Tagliani, who has two NASCAR Nationwide Series starts this season, will be driving the No. 19 Ford for Brad Keselowski Racing as the team looks for back-to-back wins following Keselowski's triumph at Bristol Motor Speedway.

"It's an honor to represent Brad Keselowski Racing," Tagliani said.  "I know just from meeting the crew and spending time with everybody there, it feels like a family.  And with the recent win at Bristol, it feels like I'm carrying a lot of momentum.  The track is big enough to make moves ... going down into Turn 1, through the last corner, Turn 8 and after the long straightaway, and Turn 3.  There are opportunities to make passes."

Courtemanche, also from Montreal, is a familiar name in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series with five starts on the circuit this year, including the season opener in Bowmanville, at the site of Sunday's race.  The 27-year-old Ranger, who calls Quebec home, has the most NASCAR national series experience among the four with 17 Nationwide appearances and one Sprint Cup start.  In 2014, he’s been racing a full NASCAR Canadian Tire Series schedule and sits third in the point standings.

Last season marked the Truck Series' inaugural visit to Canada and its first road-course event since 2000.

Motor Racing Network - "The Voice of NASCAR" - will have live coverage of the Camping World Truck Series, presented by Keystone Light, on Sunday at 1 p.m. (ET) with live streaming at MRN.com.

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Mar. 31, 2017 10:30 AM ET

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