UXBRIDGE: This season, Uxbridge’s Jason Hathaway returned to the NASCAR Pinty’s Series full-time with the goal of parking the locally-based No.3 Kubota Canada/Choko Chevrolet in victory lane.
The veteran driver made good on his goal in dramatic fashion under the lights at Riverside International Speedway in Nova Scotia on Saturday, August 17th, winning the Bumper to Bumper 300 in overtime.
For the third year in a row at the high-banked 1/3rd mile oval, Kevin Lacroix had the car to beat. He dominated the race, leading 195 laps and appearing all but untouchable. Despite the sizeable lead, Hathaway and D.J Kennington were able to close the gap as the finish drew near.
A pair of late race cautions set up a thrilling pair of restarts. Hathaway’s No.3 Chevrolet was bumped by Lacroix once the green flag dropped for the two-lap overtime shootout. The very next lap, Hathaway repaid the favour in the exact same corner. The contact sent Lacroix up the track and into the side of Andrew Ranger.
Hathaway would hold off the field and score his 10th career win on the Pinty’s Series, and his first since the 2016 season finale at Kawartha Speedway.
“That was really crazy. I wasn’t even sure we were going to get the lead, Kevin was really good,” an elated Hathaway said following the race. “It was a battle, Lacroix got into the back of me in turn three and four and I paid him back in one and two. I was expecting it and I’m sure he was expecting it too. It’s a good way to get a win,” continued Hathaway. “Ed Hakonson’s 70th birthday; car owner and father-in-law, so I gotta keep him happy.”
D.J Kennington led 20 laps and managed to sneak through the last lap wreck for a runner-up finish. The two-time champion had two prior wins at Riverside and was in position for a third until losing the lead to Hathaway on Lap 289. The No.17 Castrol Edge team would celebrate their second podium in five races.
The last lap fracas enabled Alex Tagliani to score a surprise podium finish, in third. The Rona/EpiPen team found themselves stuck in the pack during the final restart. The contact between Lacroix and Hathaway enabled Tagliani to sneak through and bring his relatively clean No.18 home for his third podium of the season.
Local fans can catch all of the action from the Bumper to Bumper 300 this weekend, as the race will air on TSN on Saturday, August 24th, at 1:30 p.m.
The NASCAR Pinty’s Series will be back in the area on Sunday, August 25th, for the TOTAL Quartz 200 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.