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Jul 17, 2014 - 06:54 AM
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Tagliani Canadian Tire Series Race Report From Saskatoon
Posted by: newsla on Jul 17, 2014 - 06:50 AM
Tagliani Canadian Tire Series Race Report From Saskatoon

The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series (NCATS) presented by Mobil 1 concluded its annual western swing on Wednesday night July 16 at the Auto Clearing Motor Speedway in Saskatoon with Alex Tagliani posting his best career oval finish in this series with a fifth place in the Velocity Prairie Thunder 250, round 5 of 11 of the 2014 schedule. The previous best finish in eight oval starts for the No 18 EpiPen/Dicom Express Dodge Challenger driver was seventh at Barrie Speedway in 2008.


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The Lachenaie (Quebec) driver, who qualified sixth earlier that afternoon, kept the leaders in sight all the way through this 250-lap affair around the one third mile track where drivers sometimes ran three abreast. Only 18 drivers took the green flag with eight from Western Canada.

"The Tagliani Autopsort team did a great job fixing the car following an incident during the second practice session on Wednesday afternoon," Tagliani said. "The car was good in the race and I'm very satisfied with the results, my first top-5 finish on an oval track in this series, and my second one in the last three races (with Mirabel). We scored precious points in the Owner's Point Standings. We are now up to fifth place."

For the second time this year, both Tagliani Autosport Dodge entries took the start with Stefan Rzadzinski of Edmonton driving the No 24 Goldmark Diesel/ Christensen Developments/CanTorque Dodge to 11th overall in Saskatoon, two laps down from the leaders.

"It was a bit of a struggle today as we were trying to get the car right," Rzadzinski said. "We had a good car in the short runs but we struggled in the last long run at the end of the race. After the last tire change, the car was good again, but it was a little too late."

Race Report Louis-Philippe Dumoulin led only two of 251 laps at the Velocity Prairie Thunder 250, but the last one was the right one as the Trois-Rivières, Quebec native scored his first oval track series win, enabling him to take the lead in the driver standings. On the green-white-checkered restart, Dumoulin moved past race leader Joey McColm of Ajax, Ontario who had taken command of the race when most of the leaders, except McColm and Dumoulin, went into the pits under caution for a tire change on lap 246. Jason Hathaway of Dutton, Ontario finished second, followed by polesitter Scott Steckly of Milverton Ontario. Steckly led a race-high 153 laps. Andrew Ranger of Roxton Pond, Québec crossed the finish line in fourth place, followed by Tagliani. McColm salvaged a sixth place finish after his slide from first place. Seven caution periods slowed down the race during 46 laps, the seventh yellow coming with 10 laps to go after a stretch of 120 laps of green racing.

Following a 3.500-kilometre trek from Saskatoon to Autodrome St. Eustache, Québec, drivers and crews will catch a short break before Round 6 of the NCATS, scheduled in 10 days on July 26. Green flag for the 250-lap around the quarter mile oval is set for 8:05 p.m., with two 30-minute practice sessions in the afternoon, followed by qualifying at 4:15 p.m.

Fans can watch TV coverage of the Edmonton race on TSN on July 20th at 3 p.m. The Auto Clearing Motor Speedway race will be telecast on TSN on July 26 at 3 p.m.

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