Buck wins the Grand Prix ICAR of Mirabel
Almost everyone was expecting Alex Tagliani to be there at the finish to accept the winner's trophy as he had led 24 of the first 27 laps of a race scheduled with 30. The Lachenaie, Quebec driver, who had started from the pole, was aware of the progress of his teammate Andrew Ranger but he did not expect to see him in his rear mirrors on lap 26 of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series inaugural Series visit to the Grand Prix ICAR of Mirabel on Sunday. Two laps later, Ranger, who failed as a Champ Car/IndyCar driver, made contact with Tagliani while battling for the lead in Turn 11 of the 15-turn 3.401-kilometer road course sending Tag into the guard rail and to the back of the pack.
Andrew Ranger, a two-time series champion and winner of 12 Canadian Tire Series events including nine on road courses, flew in from Chicago just in time for the start of the race. The Roxton Pond, Quebec, driver finished fifth in the ARCA race on Saturday night after starting from 15th on the grid. Starting from the back of the field at Mirabel, Ranger passed eight drivers on the first lap and four more on the next one. Slowly pushing his way towards the front, Ranger was ready for his big move on lap 28. He led the last six laps, crossing the finish line first, but series officials assessed Ranger a pass-through penalty for aggressive driving, a penalty he ignored. The penalty pushed him back to 21st overall.
Round 2 of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series at ICAR was won by Robin Buck, a veteran road racer from Campbellville, Ontario who was the beneficiary of the skirmish between Tagliani and Ranger. Buck, who was in third place when the incident occurred, was a privileged witness of the incident said he knew something was going to happen between the two drivers, but he also thought that it was a racing accident, something NASCAR officials did not believe. "Tag got a bit sideways and Andrew hit him." In his mind, the best racing occurred between Tagliani and JR Fitzpatrick who exchanged the lead four times without an incident. "They put on quite a show," he remarked.
Scott Steckly of Milverton, Ontario finished second to extend his points total to 360, 30 more than Don Thompson Jr. who finished third at Mirabel.
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The noon hour Castrol Canadian Touring Car Championship was won by Bob Attrell of Brampton, Ontario who finished ahead Nick Wittmer of Montréal. Attrell led all the way. He was never really challenged by Wittmer even though the field was regrouped following a full course yellow near the end of the race. Montrealer Philip Fayer finished third in the Super Class. In the Touring class, it was again a one-two finish for Octane Motorsport drivers Michel Sallenbach of Roxton Pond, Quebec and Alain Lauzière of Vaudreuil, Quebec. Tom Kwok of Markham, Ontario finished third in class.
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