March 10, 2012
Ontario on Truck trackNASCAR set to return to road courses
By Dean McNulty, QMI Agency
NASCAR is expected to announce soon that the Camping World Truck Series will return to road-course racing in the 2013 season and that is great news for Canada’s Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
A source close to Camping World loop told the Toronto Sun that negotiations are all but complete to add a race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., for next season.
That same source also said NASCAR would most certainly add a second road course so that it would make economic sense for the truck teams.
“Teams would have to construct purpose built trucks for Road America so to keep those costs in line a second race just makes sense.”
The NASCAR Sprint Cup series races on permanent road courses twice a season — at Infineon Raceway in California and Watkins Glen, N.Y. and the Nationwide Series runs three times, at the Glen, Road America and at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
A truck race at CTMS — formerly Mosport — would be a prefect fit for the track’s new owners.
Ron Fellows — and his partners Alan Boughton and Carlo Fidani — have been actively pursuing a top NASCAR touring series race.
“I was on the phone June 1 (the day the group announced it had purchased the legendary Ontario track) with NASCAR officials telling them we wanted a race,” Fellows said in a phone interview from Toronto.
“And we are continuing to seek a race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.”
The 750-acre facility, 80 km east of Toronto, has been undergoing extensive renovations to bring it up to the standards needed to hold not only a top NASCAR race but other forms of motorsports as well.
Fellows said he thinks the Camping World series trucks would be terrific addition to the track.
“We are confident the quality of work we have done and continue to do will help us entice more racing sanctioning bodies to consider our facility,” he said.
Fellows is certainly no stranger to the truck series. Two of his six NASCAR wins gave come in the truck series, the last of which was in 1999 at Watkins Glen, the last time the series raced on a road course.
He said that the trucks have become one of NASCAR’s most competitive series and interest in it in Canada is up this year with J.R. Fitzpatrick, of Cambridge, Ont., competing full time this season in the No. 60 Turn One Racing Chevrolet Silverado.
“The trucks are a blast to drive and a blast to watch race,” Fellows said.
It will be at least mid to late summer before NASCAR bosses release their 2013 schedules but it is now a good bet that there will be two truck races turning left and right next season.
Fellows said that the addition of Canadian Tire — a major NASCAR partner — as the name sponsor at CTMS will boost the track chances at getting the nod for a race.
“Our association with Canadian Tire in this instance certainly could pay dividends,” Fellows said.