Cindric sets CTMP track record for first career pole

By Steven Ellis

September 2, 2017

BOWMANVILLE, Ont.—A fierce battle in the last seconds of qualifying saw Brad Keselowski Racing driver Austin Cindric finish with the pole heading into Sunday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

Justin Haley was fastest in the opening round of qualifying for the Chevrolet Silverado 250, nudging Austin Cindric by just 0.184 seconds with a track record time of 79.107. Alex Tagliani was the lone Canadian to advance to the second round, just beating Todd Gilliland for the final transfer spot.

Haley continued his strong day with a pole sitting run, leading the final round up until the very final seconds. On the final lap of qualifying, Cindric managed to break the track record again, beating Haley by 0.218 with a 78.602 second lap.

“It was definitely a race for the pole,” Cindric said.

Cindric had previously led the day’s opening practice, with the Brad Keselowski Racing driver trying to improve on a run last year that saw him battling in the top three late in the race.

Cindric is no stranger to road course racing despite this just being his second start at the track, with the teenager racing in a variety of sportscar races, including the iconic 12 Hours of Bathurst earlier this year. This is first career pole in his rookie NASCAR Truck Series season.

In the second practice, Christopher Bell finished on top despite stopping on the Andretti Straightaway during the session. Bell had previously entered the NASCAR Pinty’s Series race at CTMP earlier in the season, falling out of the race due to mechanical issues early.

Both Cindric and Haley are on the bubble looking into the final playoff spot, with Cindric sitting 55 points out of 8th in 11 and Haley coming up one position behind with a 105-point deficit.

Of the four Canadian drivers in the field, Alex Tagliani qualified his No. 02 Spectra Premium Chevrolet the highest with a 12th place starting spot. The two-time pole winner was close to winning the race back in 2015 until a gear issue on the final lap resulted in Tagliani falling out of the lead.

The Chevy Silverado 250 is set to begin at 2:30 p.m. Eastern, just hours after four drivers in the field complete the morning Total Quartz 200 in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series.

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