Tagliani calls out Ranger

Alex Tagliani, shown here prior to winning the pole position for the Grand Prix ICAR at Mirabel...

Alex Tagliani, shown here prior to winning the pole position for the Grand Prix ICAR at Mirabel last weekend, was leading the NASCAR Canadian Tire event until his teammate, Andrew Ranger, pushed him into a wall. (CLAUDE CORMIER/QMI Agency)

DEAN McNULTY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:06 PM ET

TORONTO - Ten days ago Alex Tagliani started the Indianapolis 500 from the pole position.

This past Sunday he was in the same position for the start of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Grand Prix ICAR race at the Mirabel airport circuit in Montreal.

But unlike Indianapolis where Tagliani developed handling and engine problems that eventually combined to put him out of the race, Sunday’s ICAR event was his to win until he was taken out by Andrew Ranger — Tagliani’s own teammate at Dave Jacombs Racing — just six laps from the finish.

Tagliani, to say the least was not a happy camper.

“What can I say about (Ranger),” he noted on his Facebook page. “It is evident that there are gentleman drivers and there are some that just have no idea what clean racing is.”

Ranger had started last on the grid after missing Saturday qualifying because he was in Chicago where he finished fifth in the ARCA Series Messina Wildlife Animal Stopper 150.

He beat and banged his way to the front until he got behind Tagliani’s No. 12 Hot Wheels Dodge. Ranger, unable to get past his teammate, bumped him into the wall on lap 27 or the 33-lap event.

Ranger was black-flagged by NASCAR officials and relegated to a 21st finish even though he crossed the finish line first.

Tagliani ended up eighth.

The race win was awarded to road course specialist Robin Buck in the No. 66 Quaker State Dodge.

“(Ranger’s) behaviour was inconceivable,” Tagliani told the French-language RDS television network. “It’s not good for our team. He didn’t earn a lot of points, in any case. He didn’t make many friends. (Ranger) should take a few deep breaths and think about his actions. He poorly represented his sponsors and he left many feeling bitter.”

Dean's rant

You don’t have to be a Kyle Busch fan to vehemently disagree with NASCAR’s punishment of Richard Childress for assaulting Busch at Kansas Speedway.

The $150,000 fine and probation for the owner of Richard Childress Motorsports was, to put it mildly, ridiculously lenient.

Had this happened on Main Street in Anytown, U.S.A., Childress would be facing serious jail time for his premeditated attack on Busch.

That Busch is not a very popular, or even likeable victim here, should not mitigate in any way the seriousness of Childress’ actions.

As someone more knowledgeable than I put it this week, it was like blaming a sexual assault victim because she wore a mini-skirt.

Busch’s door slammed RCR’s Joey Coulter’s race truck after the conclusion of the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas and Childress said it was the last straw in a string of similar incidents Busch has had with other RCR drivers.

That was his justification for grabbing Busch in a headlock and punching him several times.

The 26-year-old Busch did not retaliate against the 65-year-old Childress. If he had I could see the headlines now: “Busch Attacks Senior Citizen.”

Childress also knew Busch was on probation from NASCAR for his previous dust up with RCR’s Kevin Harvick at Darlington — Harvick, by the way, door-slammed Busch the very same way Busch did to Coulter at Kansas to spark that incident.

The end result of the affair doesn’t make Busch any more likeable, but it does make Childress a bully.

Perez hopes to race in Montreal

The Formula One Canadian Grand Prix could see the return of 21-year-old Sergio Perez to the Sauber team.

Perez was seriously injured during qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix after he hit the wall coming out of the circuit’s tunnel section.

Perez spent two days in hospital in Monte Carlo recovering from a concussion and a sprained thigh.

Yet he told a newspaper in his native Mexico City this week that he’s ready to race at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

“Everything is fine,” he told Mexico Today. “I hope I will be able to race this weekend in Montreal.

“It was quite a big shunt but it is part of the game and luckily nothing big happened. I lost consciousness in the accident but I am looking forward to the next race.

“I’m perfectly fine, just some pain — but now it is going away and I really recover quite quick. The accident? I can’t believe it was only a few days ago but I am very motivated now.”


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