Track familiarity a bonus

CRASH CAMERON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:25 AM ET

By Saturday afternoon, Alex Tagliani will have done something only his teammate Andrew Ranger has.

The two Montrealers will be the only two drivers who have raced Edmonton's City Centre Airport (a.k.a. Rexall Speedway) in both an open-wheel car and in a stock car.

Ranger did it last year with the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series after having rides as a teenager in ChampCar. Tagliani first stuck his head into a stock car last year and has made the full schedule of the Canadian Tire Series his main focus this year after several years open-wheel racing. He raced in all three of the ChampCar Grand Prix races (now the Rexall Edmonton Indy).

He hopes his familiarity with the track gives him an edge. In many ways, racing is racing but the two styles of cars have their obvious differences.

"It's hot in the (stock) cars," Tagliani laughed yesterday. "It's really hot! But as long as you are physically fit you can cope with the heat."

He echoes what drivers have said about the circuit the past three years.

"It's a really fun track. Everybody loves it because it's the one track where you can say you have the best of all worlds for a race course.

"You have a little bit of airport-type running," he said, meaning stretches where the drivers can open it up. "You have a little bit of road-course on the infield (meaning fast lefts and rights), and it's a little bit of a street race because you have walls.

"It's a challenging track."


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