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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR Pinty’s Series returns to Autodrome Chaudière for the fourth consecutive year and no one is probably looking forward to the CRS Express 300 more than Alex Labbé.
Labbé is coming off of his second career NASCAR Pinty’s Series victory two weeks ago at Delaware Speedway and he’s also the defending winner of this event last season in Vallee-Jonction, Quebec.
He staged an epic battle with eventual series champion Cayden Lapcevich en route to scoring his first career series win in last year’s memorable finish.
Labbé led a race-high 150 laps in last year’s race after he and Lapcevich raced side-by-side for the final 21 laps of the race exchanging the lead nine times before he made his final pass on Lap 298 and held on for his first career series win.
The St. Albert, Quebec, native won there in his 19th career start in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series and said it’s a race he’ll never forget.
“That a special night for sure at Chaudiere and one I won’t soon forget,” said Labbé. “It’s a track where you can race in both grooves and Cayden and I raced each other hard and clean and put on a show for the fans. I respect Cayden and he respected me and we raced side-by-side hard and to get a win against him meant a lot.”
Although he didn’t score the win against Labbé, the race was also important for Lapcevich. Last season, his family owned team was only planning on competing part-time, but after his strong showing at Autodrome Chaudière and leaving the track with the points lead his family decided to keep racing in what would become a championship season.
Quebec native Kevin Lacroix, who won the season-opener at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last month, remains atop the points standings by a three-point margin over Labbé after leading the most laps at Delaware Speedway and finishing fifth.
|RACE:||CRS Express 300|
|PLACE:||Autodrome Chaudière, Vallee-Jonction, Que.|
|DATE:||Saturday, June 17|
|TIME:||8 p.m. ET|
|TELECAST:||TSN – June 25 at 1:30 p.m. ET; RDS – July 9 at 2:30 p.m.|
|TRACK LAYOUT:||.25-mile asphalt oval|
|2016 POLESITTER:||Alex Labbé|
|2016 RACE WINNER:||Alex Labbé|
|EVENT SCHEDULE:||Practice 1:30-2:30 p.m., Qualifying 4:15 p.m., Driver Autograph Session 6:45 p.m.|
|TRACK CONTACT:||André Poulin, 418-806-5201, firstname.lastname@example.org|
|EVENT TWITTER HASHTAG:||#CRSExpress300|
|NASCAR CONTACT:||Jason Christley, 386-310-6094, email@example.com|
The Race: The CRS Express 300 will be the third of 13 events on the NASCAR Pinty’s schedule, and the first of two consecutive races in the province of Quebec. The province will host a total of four series events this season.
The Procedure: The maximum starting field is 24 cars, including provisionals. The first 21 cars will have secured starting positions through two-lap time trials while the remaining three spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race is scheduled for 300 laps (75 miles) and will have a five-minute midway break at or near the conclusion of Lap 150.
The Track: Autodrome Chaudière held its inaugural Pinty’s Series event in 2014. The quarter-mile, high-banked oval opened in 1992 with a dirt racing surface and was paved for the first time in 2005.
CRS Express 300 Notes:
Homecoming for Labbé: Alex Labbé has won the pole for this event the past two seasons and has led a total of 259 laps over the past two seasons. He’s from Victoriaville, Quebec, which is about 1.5 hours away making Autodrome Chaudière his home track.
Quebec drivers making immediate impact in standings: Entering the CRS Express 300, Quebec drivers are showing their strength in the early-season points standings. All the drivers in the top five entering this Saturday’s race hail from the province of Quebec. Alex Labbé leads Kevin Lacroix with Andrew Ranger third and brothers L.P. Dumoulin and J.F. Dumoulin rounding out the top five.
Solid debut for Williams at Delaware: Former NASCAR Drive for Diversity combine participant Armani Williams had a respectable NASCAR Pinty’s Series debut two weeks ago at Delaware Speedway. He finished 11th and will participate in his second race of the season with veteran Joey McColm as his crew chief and two-time series champion D.J. Kennington as his driving coach.