Claims 16th Career NASCAR Canadian Tire Series win, 4th at Trois-Rivieres
Andrew Ranger (pictured) extended his domination of Circuit de Trois-Rivieres with his fourth win in six races there Sunday in the JuliaWine.com 100. It was the Rangers' 16th career win in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 and his 13th on a road course.
Ranger –behind the wheel of the No. 27 Dodge/GC Motorsports Dodge – took the lead from J.R. Fitzpatrick in Turn 3 on Lap 10 of the 42-lap event around the 1.53-mile, 10-turn course and cruised to a win by 2.096 seconds over Louis-Philippe Dumoulin.
Afternoon rains postponed the initial start of the race by nearly two hours and the race began under a green-yellow flag with teams on rain tires on which they remained for the duration of the event. Fitzpatrick took the lead on Lap 1 from Dumoulin, who earned his first career pole during Saturday's qualifying.
“The race line was really difficult in going from the wet and into the dry,” stated Ranger, out of Roxton Pond, Que. “It was definitely tricky out there, but it was an awesome day for us.”
The runner-up finish for Dumoulin, a resident of Trois-Rivieres, established a new career-best finish for the 2011 Rookie of the Year. He finished fourth on two previous occasions with the most recent being in June at Circuit ICAR in Mirabel, Que.
“The WeatherTech Canada Dodge was great all weekend and we were really proud to put it on the pole (on Saturday),” Dumoulin said. “After the weather we struggled with the braking a little. (Ranger) had a nice pace out there. On that last restart I tried to make a move but couldn’t make it work under braking.”
Fitzpatrick piloted his No. 84 Equipment Express Chevrolet to a third-place finish. Despite cutting his teeth on short-track ovals is as solid a road-course racer as the series has, but the wet track added a variable that was hard to overcome for the 24-year-old out of Ayr, Ont.
“It was definitely a challenge for me. I’m an all-out, wide-open kind of guy, so me and the wet don’t mix,” said Fitzpatrick. “Staying smooth in the corners in the wet is something I continue to work on. I definitely learned a lot out there today.”
Defending race champion Robin Buck finished fourth while points leader D.J. Kennington had his five-race win streak ended with a fifth-place finish.
Jean-Francois Dumoulin was sixth, followed by Scott Steckly, Ron Beauchamp Jr., Jeff Lapcevich and Isabelle Tremblay to complete the top 10.
Ranger won at Trois-Rivieres each year from 2008 to 2010, and finished second in 2007 and 2011.
“I always enjoy coming here. The town gets so excited and all of the people are so friendly,” said Ranger. “Thanks to them for staying through the weather today.”
In the championship point standings, Kennington saw his lead shrink a little to 37 points over Ranger with Steckly 43 points back in third.
The Julia Wine 100 will air on TSN2 on Saturday, Aug. 11, at 9:30 p.m. ET, and on RDS2 on Wednesday, Sept. 5 at 10 p.m.
The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series will return to the track with the NAPA Autopro 100 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal on Saturday, Aug. 18.