After heavy rain storms, the second running of the Canadian Short Track Nationals was delayed from Sunday until Monday. While it was Georgia’s own Bubba Pollard walking away with the $75,000 (CAD), there were plenty of other storylines coming out of the event at Jukasa Motor Speedway.
Lady Luck Not on Lessard’s Side
Teenage Canadian phenom Raphael Lessard, only one week removed from his Gander Outdoors Truck Series start at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, was looking for redemption at Jukasa.
One year ago, Lessard blew a tire after having a dominant run in the KBR Development No. 20. This year, the racing gods were back for seconds.
Lessard blew a tire once again, destroying his Late Model and ending his day early for the second year in a row.
“We came back to the pits and we put two left side tires, brand new,” Lessard said. “We came back 10 laps later for fuel and the left rear was flat.
“We changed it and then went back out,” he added. “And it was very tight and then getting worse and we just had the right front tire go flat getting going in turn one and I hit the fence.”
Theetge’s Strong Run Derailed
NASCAR Pinty’s Series regular and fellow Quebec racer Donald Theetge was strong in his showing. The Boischatel, Quebec driver led some laps and came home with the car in one piece despite a mechanical issue that derailed his shot at a better finish.
“I was shifting to on a restart and there was a clutch issue,” Theetge said. “But we had a good car and my spotter told me that they were faster than the leader. We did the second fastest lap in the on the feature tonight. Bad luck again, but at least that car was a rocket.”
Theetge will have a short turnaround for his next race, heading to Autodrome Saint-Eustache this weekend for the Lucas Oil 250 for the NASCAR Pinty’s Series.
Virginia Racer Impresses in Rare Late Model Start
Colin Garrett, a competitor on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series circuit, turned heads in a rare Pro Late Model start. The Virginia racer finished an impressive fourth in his first career start at Jukasa.
Having not driven a Pro Late Model in nearly half a year, Garrett put on a strong showing at Jukasa in his first ever attempt at the track.
“It was actually first time up here,” Garrett said. “The thing is I haven’t been in one of these since May so it took a little bit of getting used to. We realized we're pretty good car and we knew we could probably make the race and we qualified top 16.
“We gambled on the last restart and was able to take the lead,” he added. “We got regulated to a fifth-place finish [fourth after technical inspection] but you know, still good overall.”
Garrett will look to return strong in 2020 for another attempt at the Canadian Short Track Nationals.
Ramstrom Charges to the Front
Following late heat race heroics, Derek Ramstrom was determined to do well in the 250-lap main event. The driver of the No. 35 was the biggest mover of the race. After starting 34th, the West Boylston, Massachusetts driver finished seventh. Ramstrom passed a total of 27 cars to get to his final finishing position.
-Story by Alex Gallacher, Speed51.com Canadian Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com