WALLY NESBITT Special to The Standard
Calling it a personal ‘long time goal’, Uxbridge resident, Jason Hathaway made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut, at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, over the Labour Day weekend.
Coming off of back-to-back wins, in the APC Late Model series, on September 3rd, Hathaway joined fellow Canadian drivers, Alex Tagliani, DJ Kennington and Gary Klutt, in the 32 truck field, for the 64 lap Chevrolet Silverado 250.
“It’s taken a long time to get in one of these (trucks),” stated Hathaway. “We decided last year, when they were here, that we’d look for a truck ride for this race. It’s hard to find a team with an extra truck, but we were able to hook up with Bolen Motorsports to get into their ride.”
The late breaking arrangement meant that Hathaway only had a seat-fitting session prior to the event, and was not introduced to his No. 66 Kubota/ Choko/ Williamson Uxbridge Silverado until the CTMP pits opened on Saturday.
Said Hathaway, following his inaugural practice session, “It’s a decent piece, the truck is probably a little better than me right now. But we’ve made gains every time we got in it. This is actually Bolen’s short track truck, not a true road course truck.”
He continued, “This is a lot different that my Pinty’s series car, more horsepower, better brakes, but the radial tires are really something to get used to, the truck tends to roll over a lot more.”
Starting the 250-kilometre race from the outside of the 11th row, Hathaway picked up positions and comfortably ran in mid-pack. During the end-of-second-stage yellow flag period, he found himself circulating in sixth place, due to a strategy call. However, once the running order was sorted out, following pit stops, Hathaway maintained a safe pace, and ultimately took the checkered flag in a respectable 15th place; one position in arrears of fellow Pinty’s Series competitor DJ Kennington.
“It was a pretty steep learning curve, just trying to figure out how the truck felt and how to adapt my driving to what it would give me. This thing is fast; you really get to where you’re going in a hurry! Overall, the experience was a lot of fun,” said Hathaway in a post-race interview.
Guaranteeing himself a photo-op result, the powerplant in Hathaway’s ride exploded, just as he crossed the finish line, a massive oil cloud trailing behind the No. 66 Chevrolet, as it passed beneath the starter’s stand.
“They said the motor would last the whole race. It did, but not a foot further!”
The 2017 edition of the Chevrolet Silverado 250 was won by 19-year-old Austin Cindric, following a last lap, turn five, Dump’N’Run, on race leader Kaz Grala. Of the Canadian drivers: Kennington finished in 14th spot; Alex Tagliani bounced back from a pit road incident, to take the checkers in 19th place, one lap down to the leaders; while Gary Klutt saw his day end with ten laps remaining, due to a suspension failure on his No. 49 Chevy.
In other local NASCAR news, Kevin Lacroix led 40 of 51 laps, to capture the win over Alex Tagliani and Andrew Ranger, in the Total Quartz 200, the 11th race of 13, on the 2017 NASCAR Pinty’s Series tour. It was Lacroix’s fourth win of the season, and leaves the driver of the No. 74 Dodge just 26 points behind leader Alex Labbe, with races remaining on the ovals of Autodrome St-Eustache and Jukasa.
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