Lacroix to compete as NASCAR Pinty’s Series point leader
Kevin Lacroix has finished second and first in the opening two races of the 2018 NASCAR Pinty’s Series season and will race this weekend at Autodrome Chaudière as the points leader.
An authentic road racer who started his career as an open-wheel competitor, Kevin Lacroix from St-Eustache, Québec won his maiden oval race on June 16th at Jukasa Motor Speedway in Ontario, scoring his ninth career win.
The driver of the No. 74 Bumper to Bumper Dodge, who finished second to Alex Labbe in last year’s championship standings, is ready to fight as hard as ever on Autodrome Chaudière’s quarter mile oval for the Bumper to Bumper 300.
Motorsport.com talked to Lacroix just a few days before the race. We asked him if a road racer like him was happy to have won his first oval race in the Canadian NASCAR series.
“Yes, it was good to win,” said Lacroix. By leading the most laps last year, I proved I could be competitive on the ovals. That first win is the toughest to get. It took a big load from my shoulders, and I think it may put pressure on my rivals now that they know that I can win on any types of tracks.”
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Lacroix drove a car that was built specifically for the ovals.
“That car was brand new last year, but Don Thompson [the chassis builder] was not totally happy with certain things,” Lacroix explained. “He [Thompson] was not perfectly satisfied with some details. The front end suspension geometry was not perfect, and last winter he redid the entire front end of the car. And that’s the car I drove to victory at Jukasa.”
We asked Lacroix is overall performance on an oval was dictated by the car set-up or by the experience and driving technique of the competitor.
“Well, it’s a mix of both, I think,” he replied. “The car set-up is really important; that’s a fact. But there’s also a bit of luck involved. In practice, we only do 10 laps and it’s very difficult to predict how the handling of the car will evolve during the race. The feeling of the car over just 10 laps is quite different from what’s going to happen in a 300-lap race.
"Experience is also important for saving the tires, saving the brakes, etc. Last year, I was the quickest in Antigonish until I cooked the front brakes, and overheated the tires at the end of the race. I learned from that.”
What’s his objective for this week-end race at Autodrome Chaudière?
“Chaudière is a very small and short oval. Anything can happen such as contacts and accidents. It’s a busy track. Last year, Chaudière was our worst race of the season. He encountered a lot of problems. It was tough. But we practiced there three weeks ago and things went really well and the car was fast. If I can’t win the race, I’ll be satisfied with the podium finish,” Lacroix said.
NASCAR Pinty’s Series point standings (2/12, top 5 drivers)
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