Due to a constant rain fall throughout the day, practice for the Budweiser 300 at Autodrome Chaudière for the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series was rained out on Friday. With this year’s event being the inaugural event, teams were supposed to be allowed an additional day of practice before the weekend activities.
Initial impressions from drivers of the track have high-hopes for a competitive race with side-by-side racing throughout the race for all 300 laps. Jason White shared that the track reminds him of a “fishbowl” with some of the characteristics that drivers are used to with Saskatoon and Antogonish.
Coming into the weekend, D.J. Kennington and Scott Steckly are widely considered the favourites due to their amount of experience and multiple championships in the series that should lead to having an upper-hand in figuring out the oval. However, they will have to watch for J.R. Fitzpatrick, Jason Hathaway, Steve Mathews and others as it could be anyone’s race with the lack of practice.
“I’m excited to be going to Chaudiere”, Hathaway commented per team press release. “There are few things better in this sport than the feeling of walking into a speedway you’ve never seen before.
“Every team in that pit area is going to have to be on their A-Game because our practice sessions are almost going to be a race within a race, with everyone trying to figure out the quick way around before the team in the next pit stall does.”
For others, it marks their first time running an oval in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series.
Alex Tagliani has multiple laps behind the wheel of stock cars in the Nationwide Series and NCAT – but all on road courses. This weekend’s race marks his oval stock car debut.
On the flip side, five-time NASCAR Whelen All-Ameican Series Edmonton International Raceway Track Champion Erica Thiering will be making her Canadian Tire Series debut this weekend.
For all 17 drivers entered into this weekend’s event, they will get to make their first laps on the quarter-mile tomorrow after before qualifying at 4:15 p.m. EST for the 8 p.m. EST.