Kevin Lacroix swept both the Pro•Line 150 and Choko 150, rounds 4 and 5 on the 2024 NASCAR Canada Series season. Initially set to take place on Saturday and Sunday, the schedule was condensed into a one-day show due to a wet forecast for Sunday and Monday, the planned rain date. It was the first time since 2019 that the series has raced on the ⅓ mile high-banked track. 

Fans were treated to an amazing 450 laps of feature action with the East Coast International Pro Stock Tour sharing Saturday’s stage with NASCAR Canada. Danny Chisholm, one of two drivers scheduled to compete in all 450 laps, won the RJ Poirier 150 – redemption after wrecking in the first NASCAR 150. It was Danny Chisholm’s first win on the pro stock series and especially emotional as his is fielded by Nova Racing, whose owner Donald Chisholm (no relation to Danny) also owns the track. Josh Collins was the other driver doing the triple. More on the RJ Poirier 150 here.

The day kicked off with a combined Practice and Qualifying session during which the #47 WeatherTech/Omnifab Dodge of L.P. Dumoulin set the fastest lap with a time of 14.637 seconds. However, Kevin Lacroix claimed the E3 Sparks Plug Pole Award in his #74 Valvoline/NAPA Racing Dodge with a time of 14.547s, edging out Jason Hathaway in the #3 ASSA ABLOY/ Leland Industries Chevrolet. 

Alex Labbé, in his #36 Malois Transport/Lussier Chevrolet/VR Victoriaville Chevrolet, secured pole position for the Choko 150, as he was the fastest driver in the previous race. Kevin Lacroix started alongside him, with Jason Hathaway and L.P. Dumoulin completing the second row. 

Kevin Lacroix wins the Pro Line 150 (Ken MacIsaac photo)

Pro•Line 150

It was an eventful 150-lap race, and Kevin Lacroix won after leading most of it. Though Jason Hathaway looked like he could have overtaken the Québec-driver for the win, he ultimately had to settle for second place. Alex Guénette, in the #39 Casino Grand Royal Wôlinak/DLGL Chevrolet, started from the back of the field and made his way up to complete the podium. 

Young driver Thomas Nepveu secured a career-best, commanding his #24 Richelieu/ Home Hardware/ Cromwell Ford to fourth place, fending off series veteran Alex Labbé in the #36 Malois Transport/Lussier Chevrolet/VR Victoriaville Chevrolet. 

Donald Theetge, driving the #80 Groupe Theetge/Vulcain Chevrolet, went from starting 10th to third place. Unfortunately, he could not secure a spot on the podium because of a mechanical issue that forced him to retire. 

There was a lot of action between Paillé Racing teammates Andrew Ranger in the #27 Chevrolet and Marc-Antoine Camirand in the #96 Chevrolet. The two drivers exchanged positions frequently in the Top 10, often rubbing wheels. Toward the end of the race, Camirand spun out while Ranger was called back into pit lane due to extensive damage to the body of his car.

Local hero and rookie driver Danny Chisolm, in the #19 Jani-King Canada/Shoreline Trading Post Chevrolet, had a promising start however, a mechanical problem sent him into the wall, ending his race prematurely and preventing him from competing in the second event of the evening. 

“I’m so happy to have claimed the win!” stated Kevin Lacroix after the first race. “We finally got it done today. It’s the first win of the season, but not the last.”

“It was a good race’, said Jason Hathaway. “We have a great car. It’s been a lot of fun with Kevin battling out there. He and I have had some through the years. It’s always good to put on a show for the fans.”

“It was an awesome race,” Alex Guénette said. “We started last and made our way up to third. I had a solid battle with Thomas Nepveu for third place. The team did not quit, and I didn’t either. We fought the whole way. I’m grateful to be out here, and hopefully, we’ll get another solid finish in the next race.”

Kevin Lacroix in Victory Lane for Choko 150

Choko 150

Kevin Lacroix went on to win the second race of the evening, with the rest of the podium being a copy/paste of the previous as Hathaway clinched second place and Guénette, the third place. 

It was a dramatic start to the second race of the evening. Alex Labbé, who was set to take the green flag from pole position, was sent to the back of the field on the formation lap after having made some modifications to his car in-between races, which wasn’t allowed at the time. It promoted Jason Hathaway to the first row. 

The first portion of the race went smoothly. There was a big showdown for second place as Hathaway tried to fend off Theetge and Dumoulin. It was an intense but close battle until the first caution was brought out after 102 laps. This was what Alex Labbé was hoping for, as he was making up ground quickly and efficiently through the field and up to 7th place. 

A caution flag was then brought out because of Andrew Ranger. On the restart, a ‘big one’ occurred when Jason Hathway ran wide and squeezed Theetge in the outside wall, causing Marc-Antoine Camirand to hit the #80 car. There was a multi-car pile-up, with the #0 GSR/Ohsweken Speedway/Chantarellie Chevrolet of Glenn Styres, the #64 Leland Industries/NTN Chevrolet of Mark Dilley and the #23 Auto Direct USA/Wing’N’It Resaturants Chevrolet of Brandon McFarlane involved. 

Once the NASCAR Canada safety crew cleared the track, Hathaway overtook Lacroix on the restart. As the race continued, not even a piece of paper could have fit between the two cars. With less than ten laps to go, they went side-by-side for a few laps. Eventually, Lacroix wins the battle and crosses the finish line in first place. 

L.P. Dumoulin was at the door of the podium, fighting hard with Guénette and keeping D.J. Kennington at bay in fifth place. All of these drivers could have hoped for a spot on the podium. 

“Today was a great day for both points and the team,” said two-time winner Kevin Lacroix. “We’ll try to keep the momentum going. It’s fantastic!”

“We fought our way back to another third-place finish,” said Guénette. “I’m thrilled! I was hoping to get closer and have a shot at the win. The 22 Team and I are learning to work together, and I look forward to future successes.”

Jason Hathaway ended the race day on a positive note, celebrating the track.“I wish we could race at Riverside 13 times a season,” he said. “Congratulations to Kevin, and congratulations to my team. They’ve been working hard to get me comfortable in the car and with my setup. I’m pretty proud of everyone. I got the family here, with my kids waving the green flag.”

After several paved ovals, the series travels back to Ontario to compete on the only dirt track on the calendar: Ohsweken Speedway on Thursday, July 11th.