Jason Bowles, the one lone non-Canadian driver in the 33 car field, won the Keystone Light Pole Award with a lap of 1 minute, 16.260 seconds to break Andrew Ranger’s track record.
“It was a good lap,” he said. “When we first went out, there was a little bit of speedy dry on the track, so it was a little bit tricky to get through that section on the second lap. But the car’s pretty good. It’s good to have Fuel Doctor on board this week and get the pole for them, our first one of the year. My guys have brought me a great car. I think it’s going to be a great race. Andrew and Scott will be tough tomorrow. We’re going to go out and I think we’re ready.”
The pole marks the first NASCAR Canadian Tire Series pole for the driver from Ontario, California. Bowles has been a successful road course racer as he has nine K&N Pro Series West wins on road courses.
Ranger, who set the record at 1:16.659 last year, qualified second for this weekend’s race with a fast lap of 1:16.526.
“Well, I think its been alright,” he said. “I think we have a really good car. Jason is a little bit quicker than us, but its going to be a good race tomorrow. It’s a long race, a lot of things can happen here in the streets in Toronto. But above that, I think we’ve got a really good car for tomorrow.”
The pair, Bowles and Ranger, finished 1-2 in last year’s race with Ranger coming out the winner.
Points Leader Scott Steckly, meanwhile, qualified third with a lap of 1:17.002.
“It was just another qualifying run,” he said afterwards. “Toronto isn’t one of our best tracks, that’s for sure. We put a lot of extra resources in it trying to get better here and car’s been good here so far so we’re just happy to be starting upfront.”
Kerry Micks and Don Thomson Jr. rounded out the top five. Defending series champion D.J. Kennington qualified sixth, followed by Robin Buck, Peter Klutt, J.R. Fitzpatrick and Jeff Lapcevich. Louis-Phillippe Dumoulin was the highest rookie in 11th.
After crashing during practice, John Farano, Noel Dowler and Ray Courtemanche Jr. did not attempt to qualify as they were still repairing their cars. Hugo Vannini and Kennington were also involved in wrecks, however both made a qualifying attempts with Kennington ending up 6th and Vannini in 30th. Kennington’s team continued repairs after qualifying, which could see Kennington starting at the rear as a result of unapproved changes.
Many teams experienced mechanical difficulties during practice as Micks stalled during practice, Mark Dilley made an engine change although he qualified 14th and Jason White changed a drive train before qualifying 18th. None of the above will have to drop the rear as their changes were made before qualifying and therefore don’t fall under the Canadian Tire Series Impound procedure.
The race is set for 2pm EST on Saturday, with it being shown on TSN on July 17th.