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SASKATOON, Sask. - It took everything Alex Labbe had to hold off D.J. Kennington to score his second NASCAR Pinty's Series win of the season in Race No. 1 of the Velocity Prairie Thunder Twin 100s at Wyant Group Raceway on Wednesday.
Labbe was able to make the pass around Kennington on Lap 75 and then hold the two-time series champion off in overtime to pick up the win in the first doubleheader for Canada's national stock car championship.
Labbe enjoyed a one-car length lead when the fifth and final caution of the race was given to the field on Lap 97 after a single-car spin set up the sprint to the finish.
Kennington moved to the outside of Labbe on the final restart, but the Victoriaville, Quebec, driver was able to make a good run off of Turn 2 and hold off the Kennington. Labbe's No. 32 Can-Am/Kappa/Cyclops Gear/Lou's BBQ Ford crossed the line .314 seconds ahead of Kennington on the third-mile oval.
It marked Labbe's third career win and second of 2017. The 24-year-old picked up a victory at Delaware Speedway when the NASCAR Pinty's Series returned there in June. Kennington was looking for his 20th career win and first since 2013.
Cayden Lapcevich, who was involved in a caution on Lap 40, rebounded from his incident to finish third.
Donald Theetge and Gary Klutt were fourth and fifth, respectively. L.P. Dumoulin was sixth and Noel Dowler came home seventh.
Kevin Lacroix, who entered the race as the series points leader and winner of the last two series races, won his second career E3 Spark Plugs Pole Award on an oval track earlier in the day. He led the first 30 laps of the race and finished eighth. J.F. Dumoulin and Andrew Ranger completed the top 10.
Labbe used his win to carve 11 points off of Lacroix's lead to pull to within two points of the lead (259-257). LP Dumoulin is third in points -- 27 back of Lacroix, and three ahead of Lapcevich and four over Kennington.
The field featured seven Jostens Rookie of the Year Contenders with Theetge scoring the highest finish of the group.
Alex Labbe takes the checkered flag for the first of two 100-lap races at Velocity Prairie Thunder Twin 100s at Wyant Group Raceway. Matthew Murnaghan/NASCAR