For the second consecutive year, Uxbridge driver Jason Hathaway claimed the checkered flag on the quarter-mile Autodrome Chaudiere oval, earning his sixth career victory in the 100th race for the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. Hathaway is just one of three drivers to make every NCATS start, this accomplishment shared by DJ Kennington and Scott Steckly.
“It was cool to win the 100th race,” expressed Hathaway. “There was a bit of pressure for me coming from the win last year and going back for the 100th of the series.”
Qualifying in 13th position, Hathaway guided his #3 E.H.R./ Choko Motorsports Chevrolet up to seventh place before the mandated halfway break. Returning to action in a car that he was informed “was enough to get us the win,” Hathaway soon found himself engaged in a battle with race leader Scott Steckly. On a late race restart, Hathaway used the outside lane to work his way past the former series champion.
Explained Hathaway, “(Scott) was getting tight, so I wanted to run him hard for a five or six laps. I stuck it on the outside for as long as I could, the car was working well there, and I was able to get a nose past him.”
With 30 laps remaining in the 300 lap contest, Steckly's #22 Dodge began trailing a cloud of smoke, forcing him to slow, allowing Hathaway a clear track at the front of the 18 car field. Although pressured by pole sitter Alex Labbe (#36 Dodge), Hathaway “ran like a scared chicken” and took the checkers .307 seconds in front of the Quebec driver.
DJ Kennington, Andrew Ranger and Alex Tagliani completed the top five finishers.
With his victory, Hathaway moves into a tie with series rookie Gary Klutt atop the Canadian Tire Series point standings, with Kennington two points further back in third spot.
The next appearance for the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series will be on Saturday, June 20 when the series will make its debut at Sunset Speedway.