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NASCAR Pinty’s back in action in Saskatoon

Twin 125s races were won by D.J. Kennington and Alex Tagliani.
NASCAR Saskatoon
The green flag comes out at the start of the first Twin 125s NASCAR Pinty’s race in Saskatoon on July 27.

SASKATOON - For the first time in three years the NASCAR Pinty’s series was back in action in Saskatoon.

The recently renamed Sutherland Automotive Speedway hosted the Leland Industries Twin 125s on Wednesday night. The race event marked a return of the midweek Saskatoon event to the NASCAR home track calendar for the first time since 2019, after the previous two years of COVID-19 related cancellations.

While there were a number of new cars and race drivers at the track this year compared to three years ago, there were also familiar faces and it was those veterans who ended up on top of the podium at the end of the night.

Winning the first 125 race was veteran NASCAR Pinty’s Series driver D.J. Kennington, a previous two-time winner in Saskatoon. 

Kennington took the checkered flag after a green-white-checkered race to the finish line with Andrew Ranger, a 2019 Saskatoon winner who led for much of the latter part of the event. 

The first race saw some major incidents. A big cleanup ensured after lap 87, when pole-sitter Treyten Lapcevich and T.J. Rinomato were collected. The red flag came out and a lengthy delay ensued.

Then with eight laps to go came another major incident involving the cars Raphael Lessard, Donald Theetge, Brandon Watson, and Kevin Lacroix.

That brought out a lengthy caution, leading to the green-white-checkered finish and the win by Kennington by a nose over Ranger.

The second race was a much cleaner affair. Despite holding the pole for the race, Kennington’s No. 17 car faded quickly and the race turned into a dogfight between Ranger and Alex Tagliani.

Ranger held the early lead but Tagliani, in the Viagra No. 18 vehicle, soon overtook him and led for much of the latter part of the race, getting the victory. Ranger had to settle for another second place finish. 

Tagliani’s win was even more remarkable as he came off a penalty from the Edmonton event, in which he was docked 12 points for intentionally wrecking another vehicle. His car was also among those to get beat up during the early 125 race in Saskatoon, prompting repairs for the side of his car that was torn off. The repairs were good enough to get the No. 18 to Victory Lane.

Next up for the Pinty’s series is a stop at Trois-Rivières, Quebec on August.