Practice went well for both teams with Tagliani posting the quickest time overall during the one hour session. Bell having arrived at the track just a couple of hours earlier was getting behind the wheel of a NASCAR Pinty’s Series car for the first time and notched an impressive 7th quickest practice effort.
Next up would be qualifying for the 51 lap Can Am 200 on Sunday. Tagliani’ s #18 EpiPen/Lowes/St-Hubert #18 would settle for the second quickest time giving him a start on the front row, while Bell’s #22 would post a time that would have him starting on the outside of row five.
“I really didn’t know what to expect of these cars when I arrived here today, but I am really impressed by how well they run and handle,” said Bell on Saturday after qualifying.
Sunday dawned overcast with rain in the forecast. At race time the track was wet from a recent shower so NASCAR deemed the teams needed to switch to wet tires to start the Can Am 200. A few laps into the race during an early caution, both teams pitted and switched back to slick tires as the track continued to dry.
Tagliani restarted near the rear of the field but steadily progressed forward until he took over the lead at lap 23 where he stayed until lap 37 when the rain began again. The team decided to stay out on slick tires in an attempt to grab a top five finish but the rain continued to increase. By lap 49 with a steady downpour causing the track to be extremely slippery, Tagliani skidded off the course and hit the tire wall. With heavy damage to the #18 entry Tagliani settled for an 18th place finish.
At the mid-point of the race and running strong the #22 entry of Bell experienced a sheered input shaft in the transmission which cost them several laps in the pits to repair. Bell came back on track with 11 laps remaining and got some experience racing in the rain.
“Wow that was so much fun,” said Bell after the race. “We had a really fast car and I loved racing in the rain and would like to do it again some time.”
The team registered a 23rd place finish.
The Can Am 200 will be broadcast on TSN 3/4/5 on Saturday May 27th at 3:30 p.m.
Next up for the 22 Racing Team is the Fast Eddie Racewear 300 from Delaware Speedway in London, ON where Alex Tagliani will again be behind the wheel of the #18 EpiPen/Lowes/St-Hubert Dodge. Donald Theetge will make his 2017 season debut in the #22 entry, his first of seven races in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series in 2017.
The NASCAR Pinty’s Series is made up on 13 events across Canada from May 21st to September 16 with television coverage on TSN and RDS in Quebec. For more information please visit www.hometracks.nascar.com or follow on Twitter @NASCARHomeTrack.
About 22 Racing:
22 Racing is owned by four-time NASCAR Pinty’s Series Champion Scott Steckly and is based out of Milverton Ontario in a new (2014) 7,500 square foot race shop. They have fielded teams for drivers such as Alex Tagliani (2015 to date), Christopher Bell, Jacques Villeneuve, Chris Buescher, Jeb Burton, Kaz Grala, L.P. Dumoulin and many others. 22 Racing provides turnkey solutions for drivers looking to compete in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series. The 22 Racing Team is supported by the following sponsors: Erb Group of Companies, AW Millwrights, Sturdy Formed Concrete, Castrol, Wendell Motors, Twin City Graphics, Auto Glym, Mechanix Wear, Dickies Canada, Great Dane Glasvan, Safety Kleen, Dupli-Color & Permatex.
Follow the 22 Racing Team on Twitter @22RacingTeam & @ScottSteckly22, Facebook Fan Page 22racingteam and Instagram 22racingteam.