NASCAR announced today the 2011 schedule for the fifth season of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1, which takes the series to some of the top racing facilities throughout Canada.
The schedule features 12 dates at 12 different tracks across five provinces. The slate includes tracks and events familiar to the series, but the addition of another road-course event is new for next season.
The 2011 campaign gets underway on Saturday, May 28 at Mosport Speedway near Bowmanville, Ont. It is the first time the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series opens its season at the half-mile oval. Last season, Don Thomson Jr. earned the victory in an August race. This will be the earliest date the track has hosted Canada’s premier racing series.
The season’s second date takes the Canadian Tire Series to a new venue – Circuit ICAR located on the grounds of Montreal’s Mirabel Airport. The 1.86-mile road course is located on the former passenger terminal’s apron.
The series again will be included in many of Canada’s largest motorsports events. For the fifth consecutive year, the Canadian Tire Series will share Montreal’s legendary Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on IÎe Notre Dame with the NASCAR Nationwide Series. This year’s signature event on the schedule is slated for Saturday, Aug. 20. Additionally, a date at Toronto’s Exhibition Place is set for Saturday, July 9. It is a pairing with the IZOD IndyCar Series at the popular Honda Indy Toronto. Two-time series champion Andrew Ranger picked up wins in both of these races last season.
The annual swing through Western Canada will include stops at Motoplex Speedway in Vernon, B.C., and Auto Clearing Motor Speedway in Saskatoon, Sask. Both events resulted in standing-room-only crowds with Scott Steckly winning in British Columbia, and eventual series title winner DJ Kennington in Saskatchewan.
Another popular date is the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres in Quebec, which is on tap for Aug. 6-7. Last season, Ranger thrilled the fans of his home province with his third straight victory on the 1.53-mile temporary street course.
In what has become a tradition, the season will close and a new champion crowned at Kawartha Speedway, a .375-mile oval near Peterborough, Ont., on Saturday, Sept. 24. Last year, Pete Shepherd III picked up his first series-career win in the event, while Kennington celebrated his first series championship.
The 2011 calendar of races was revealed to many of the series’ competitors and track operators at the NASCAR Canadian Recognition VIP Reception held Wednesday evening at The Fermenting Cellar inside The Distillery in downtown Toronto. This event recognized the accomplishments of participants in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1, as well as competitors participating in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series in Canada.
Other 2011 highlights include:
- The 2011 schedule includes races on seven ovals: Auto Clearing Motor Speedway, Barrie Speedway, Delaware Speedway, Kawartha Speedway, Mosport Speedway, Motoplex Speedway and Riverside International Speedway; and five road courses: Circuit de Trois-Rivieres, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Circuit ICAR, Mosport International Raceway and the temporary street course at Toronto’s Exhibition Place.
- June 11 will be the series’ third consecutive year of competing at Delaware Speedway. Kennington has held serve at his home track by being victorious in each of the first two races there.
- On June 25-26, the series will run at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ont., at the facility’s 2.459-mile, 10-turn road course. The race is part of an eventful weekend at the 750-acre facility. Last year, JR Fitzpatrick out dueled both Ranger and Jason Bowles for his second win at the track.
- The Barrie (Ont.) Speedway date is set for Saturday, Sept. 10. Each of the past four trips to Barrie on this weekend has resulted in overflow crowds. The .333-mile tri-oval always produces one of the most exciting and action-filled events of the season. In 2010, Kennington edged Thomson by just .015 of a second.
- The trip east to the Maritime Province of Nova Scotia for a Saturday, Sept. 17 event at Riverside International Speedway is a popular stop for the competitors. Tackling the high-banked turns of the .333-mile scale version of the legendary Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway is always a thrill for both competitors and fans. Kennington collected his fifth win of the season in this event.
May 28 Mosport Speedway – Bowmanville, ON
June 5 Circuit ICAR – Mirabel, QC
June 11 Delaware Speedway – London, ON
June 26 Mosport International Raceway – Bowmanville, ON
July 9 Exhibition Place – Toronto, ON
July 23 Motoplex Speedway – Vernon, BC
July 27 Auto Clearing Motor Speedway – Saskatoon, SK
Aug. 7 Circuit de Trois-Rivieres – Trois Rivieres, QC
Aug. 20 Circuit Gilles Villeneuve – Montreal, QC
Sept. 10 Barrie Speedway – Barrie, ON
Sept. 17 Riverside International Speedway – Halifax, NS
Sept. 24 Kawartha Speedway – Fraserville, ON
tentative, subject to change