J. WALLY NESBITT
Special to The Standard
By now, most race fans have seen the last lap battle for the win in the Chevrolet Silverado 250, a victory ultimately awarded to second generation driver John Hunter Nemechek.
For those who have yet to see the tape, imagine an ending so outrageous that it would have ended on the ‘Days Of Thunder’ cutting room floor.
Entering the final corner on the last lap, second place runner Nemechek gave race leader Cole Custer several ‘legitimate nudges’, designed to bump him off-line. When Custer refused to concede the turn, Nemechek drove wide, carrying Custer’s No. 00 Chevrolet into the outside wall. Locked together side-by-side, and with both drivers hard on the throttle, the two cars rode the concrete for 150 metres, with the nose of Nemechek’s No. 8 Chevy crossing the starter’s stand mere inches in front of Custer’s crushed mount.
A minor wrestling match between the two drivers brought the front straight fans to their feet, but it was hardly a scrap worthy of a Hockey Night in Canada highlight reel.
Damaged machinery was also a result for a pair of Canadian competitors.
Camping World Truck Series regular Cameron Hayley was a victim of an overly ambitious Turn 5 pass, from ThorSport teammate Rico Abreu, the resulting mêlée also collecting, the No. 51 JEGS Toyota of 2015 Pinty’s Series Rookie of the Year, Gary Klutt.
Ultimately, Hayley was credited with a ninth place finish, two positions in front of Klutt. Late entry, DJ Kennington (No. 49 NPP/ Castrol Edge Chevrolet), avoided much of the mayhem, to earn a 14th place result.
Supporting the fourth annual Chevrolet Silverado 250 was Round 10, on the NASCAR Pinty’s Series calendar.
In a contest, with definite championship implications, series rookie Kevin Lacroix edged former series champion LP Dumoulin by a mere 0.507 seconds, to secure his second victory of the year. Just 0.201 seconds further back in third spot, was 2016 point leader Cayden Lapcevich. This podium result for 16-year-old Lapcevich, coupled with a non-finish for 2009 champion, and current points runner-up, Andrew Ranger, provides the rookie with a 30 point advantage as the campaign prepares for the final two races of the year, on the ovals of St-Eustache and Kawartha.
In the two race season finale for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada, Vancouverite Scott Hargrove and series rookie Zacharie Robichon shared in the race victories, but it was Toronto’s Daniel Morad who claimed the 2016 championship, his conservative second and fifth place finishes providing sufficient points to guarantee the title for the driver of the No. 17 Porsche Centre Oakville/ Alegra Motorsports car.
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