Alex Tagliani rebounds with a second-place finish at Delaware Speedway


 Alex Tagliani of Lachenaie, Québec scored a strong second-place finish in Saturday night's Fast Eddie/CHOKO 250 presented by Havoline held at Delaware Speedway located west of London, Ontario. Alex Labbé won the second round of the NASCAR Pinty's Series held on the semi-banked half-mile track, while third place went to local favourite DJ Kennington. It was a seesaw battle for the lead between three Québec drivers throughout the 250-lap race. Each led twice with race winner Labbé heading the field for 61 laps, Tagliani led 56 in his #18 EpiPen Lowe's St-Hubert Spectra Premium car, while Kevin Lacroix dominated with a race high 126 laps led. The Saint-Eustache driver however finished fifth behind L.P. Dumoulin.

"This is a good result and an excellent performance by the EpiPen Lowe's St-Hubert crew during the pit stops. But at the end of the event Labbé's car was running on four new tires while we only had two," Tagliani said after the race. "Nevertheless, I have nothing but praises on the car's performance. We were able to fight for the lead throughout the race and lead some laps, which gave us a bonus point. This was a quality second-place finish team effort."

Starting on the inside of row three on the grid, Tagliani tangled with teammate Donald Theetge early in the race.

"I'm sincerely sorry about this unfortunate incident with Donald on lap one. Car number 5 pushed me below the apron in the middle of turns 3 and 4 and my car became really loose coming out. I was off the groove and after the 5 car had moved in front of me, I used all the track while I was sliding up.  I took for granted that no one else was coming around higher than me. Totally my fault. I misunderstood my spotter's instructions. Everything happened in a split second. I would have never risked my car and his, but I misjudged the situation. It really makes me sad because my mistake might have cost him and Team 22 the race. It's unfortunate, as we could have had two cars on the podium. I have been in his shoes before and I know how frustrating it is when you race with passion and for the love of the sport and something like this happens. That's why our second place is not as pleasurable as usual," Tagliani concluded.

Eighteen drivers started the race on this short track and 11 saw the chequered flag, with only five on the lead lap. The race was under caution five times for 36 laps.

In the driver standings, Tagliani moves up from 18th to seventh with 70 points, only 19 behind championship leader Lacroix. Race winner Labbé is now second with 86 points, followed by Ranger with 81.

In 47 NASCAR Pinty's Series starts, Tagliani has five wins, seven poles, 18 top-fives and 29 top-ten finishes.

Pre-race highlights
Early on Saturday afternoon during the only practice session, Tagliani was the quickest Quebec driver, in sixth place behind leader DJ Kennington. He then posted the fifth fastest time of the qualifying session, only 1.156-seconds behind polesitter Andrew Ranger. The Roxton Pond, Quebec driver was followed by Kevin Lacroix, Steve Mathews of New Liskeard, Ontario and Alex Labbé.

TV coverage of the Fast Eddie/CHOKO 250 presented by Havoline will be aired on TSN on Saturday, June 10 at 3:30 p.m. EDT. The CRS Express 300, Round 3 of the 2017 NASCAR Pinty's Series, will be held Saturday June 17 at Autodrome Chaudière in Vallée-Jonction, Québec.

PHOTO: Car 18 at Delaware Speedway
Alex Tagliani of Lachenaie, Québec scored a strong second-place finish in Saturday night's Fast Eddie/CHOKO 250 presented by Havoline held at Delaware Speedway located west of London, Ontario.


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