Motorsports are one of the most popular sports around the world. There are so many varieties from the likes of Formula 1 and MotoGP, but the most popular motorsport in North America is NASCAR. Whilst many love the carnage it unleashes, many believe it to be boring with cars just forced to drive round in the same rings over and over again. But each to their own.
The thing about NASCAR though is it may look incredibly simple, but it’s a much more grueling sport than people think. Whilst it may not be full of sharp turns and takes less skill to compete, it is still incredibly demanding as it really does play on the endurance of drivers. They have to make sure they can remain focused for long periods of time, which isn’t easy when you are just going round in circles.
One thing people may not be aware of though when it comes to NASCAR, is there is also a spinoff of it in Canada, known as the Pinty’s Series.
A little Pinty’s history
The NASCAR Pinty’s Series (NPS) is a continuation from the old CASCAR Super Series that was founded in 1981, and takes place for the most part, as mentioned, in Canada. However, there is always one race that takes part in the United States as well.
The old CASCAR series was eventually bought out by NASCAR in September 2006. As a result, its appeal and growth of the sport has been continuing on an upward trend with the investment that came from its new owners.
The 2022 season will be the 16th season of the NPS, and is set to be one of the most hotly contested seasons yet. So let’s take a quick look at the upcoming season.
The 2022 season
The 2022 season of the Pinty’s series will see the reigning champion, Louis-Philippe Dumoulin, return in his No.47 Dodge owned by Marc-André Bergeron. He is a three-time champion with his latest victory, but he has never been able to successfully defend his title in a season following on from a winning campaign. Could this be his first time?
Not if Jean-Philippe Bergeron has anything to say about it, who joins Jacombs Racing in 2022, driving their No.1 car. On joining the NASCAR Pinty’s Series, Martin D’Anjou, CEO of Festidrag development and agent of Bergeron, had this to say:
“Bergeron is ready for another step in his career. He has demonstrated his unquestionable talent and demonstrated seriousness and great discipline. We have considered several avenues for the future and everything guides us towards the NASCAR Pinty’s 2022 series.”
Whilst the winner of the series is not guaranteed, what is, is this is going to be one hell of a racing season. Check out the scheduled races below:
2022 NASCAR Pinty’s Series schedule
The season opener will take place at the Sunset Speedway in Innisfil, Ontario on Saturday 14th May, 2022. It’s the third consecutive year that this track has opened the NPS, and is one of a number of familiar tracks that fans will recognise. Although there will be a new debut this season, with the long-awaited debut of the on dirt race at Ohsweken Speedway which takes place on Tuesday 16th August, before the season finishes at Delaware Speedway on Sunday 25th September.
In total, with the new on dirt track, there will be five short tracks, two road courses and two street courses.
Season opener predictions
As mentioned, the NPS series opener once again takes place at Sunset Speedway. It’s a race that reigning champion Dumoulin finished ranked 6th last season, just going to show that winning the first race of the season isn’t detrimental to a title challenge. But it’s always good to get off on a good footing for the new season.
What’s interesting this year though, is there could be a number of new sponsors on the cars and at tracks, as sports betting will be legal in Ontario from April 4th this year. It also means fans of the Pinty’s Series will be able to back their favored drivers and teams in regards to not only their finishes per race, but also for their overall season finish.
We personally think it could be an incredibly close opening race, with last season’s winner one of the favorites at 4/1 odds to win the first race in an effort to defend his title. But as mentioned, with new faces entering the fray, there are some unknown elements this season as to whether they could cause an upset. New boy Jean-Philippe Bergeron for example, has been given odds of 15/1 to win the opening race, but having never seen him in this series before, they could be odds the sportsbooks regret giving him.
But as well as fresh new faces, there will also be old ones returning for this race. Former racer Bryan Cathcart is one such old face who will be returning, as he comes out of retirement to join Bray Autosports for the new 2022 season, stating: “I’ve known Jim forever, he is such a fixture and supporter of NASCAR, and we get along so well. I want to get back into the series and strengthen his team as well.”
Cathcart is a very experienced racer, last taking part in the 2016 series. And being from Ontario himself, will know this track very well. Which is why he has some good odds at 9/1 to win the opening race. But, again, those odds are probably inflated a little by the fact he has been out of the game for so long. But you never really lose the skill it takes to compete in NASCAR.
It is going to be tough though to dethrone the reigning champ though, and he finished last season well. So we fully expect him to take the Win at the 2022 season opener at Sunset Speedway.
Additional season highlights
Following the announcements by NASCAR of the 2022 Pinty’s Series schedule, here are some highlights they have identified:
- The fan-favorite Honda Indy Toronto street course race on Friday, July 15th.
- There will be two Pinty’s Series races at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP), including the traditional Victoria Day weekend race on Sunday, May 22nd. The second visit will be the season’s penultimate race on Sunday, Sept 4th.
- The 52nd annual Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières (GP3R) will be run on Sunday, Aug. 7th.