The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series will return to the 2012 event program, scheduled for July 20-22 at Edmonton's City Centre Airport race course. Octane also announced that the Star MAZDA Championship presented by Goodyear will also be part of the weekend schedule, giving its young drivers their first chance to demonstrate their talent in Alberta's capital city.
"We are pleased to bring back a crowd favourite, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, on our 2012 Edmonton Indy program. I know the fans on site greatly appreciated the series' presence in the years preceding the 2011 hiatus," said François Dumontier, President and CEO of Octane Motorsports Events and promoter of the Edmonton Indy. "The good news is that Canada's best stock car drivers will once again have the opportunity to enter an exciting race in Edmonton, and discover our new race course."
The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series was a feature race on the Edmonton Champ Car or IndyCar weekend from 2007 to 2010. Andrew Ranger earned pole position on three occasions and won the 2009 race, while J.R. Fitzpatrick was a winner in 2007 and 2010, the year he also earned the pole. Alex Tagliani won the 2008 event.
"We, along with our partners at Canadian Tire, are pleased to be returning to the Edmonton event in 2012," said George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president, regional and touring series. "Racing on the new track configuration for the first time will provide the fans with great excitement as the top stock-car racing talent in the country tackles this new challenge."
At the 2012 Edmonton Indy, the NASCAR Canadian Tire drivers will challenge the 3.631 kilometres (2.256 miles) 13-turn course, each day of the event. The race will be held on Sunday. Among Canadian stock-car stars expected to be seen on track, are 2008 and 2011 Series champion Scott Steckly, 2010 champion, and 2011 runner-up D.J. Kennington, Kerry Micks, Fitzpatrick and others. Western Canadian drivers such as BC natives Jason White, James Van Domselaar and Trevor Seibert, Lethbridge's Nathan Weenk, Calgary's Jarrad Whissell and St. Albert's Carl and Daryl Harr, may also enter the race. We add to this list one excited young man, 18-year old Noel Dowler, from Sherwood Park, Alberta who as a rookie, entered ten of the twelve series races last summer.
"I am excited for sure. I have been racing karts in my hometown, but being on track at the Edmonton Indy in the number 5 EMCO Dodge, will be quite something", said Noel, whose father Kevin is the car owner and a former stock-car racer. "I am a student at NAIT main campus in Edmonton and every day, parking my car on the multi-level lot, I have a look at the new race course. It is quite technical, I will have plenty of time to check it out and study it before next summer arrives," added the driver who completed his Canadian Tire Series rookie season in 15th place.