The first race of the 2016 NASCAR Pinty’s Series season was this past Sunday, and Team 3 Red definitely hit the ground running. Driver Jason Hathaway gave an amazing performance in Bowmanville at the Clarington 200, clawing his way to the top of the pack multiple times after each set-back, and would have taken home a win barring a bit of a nudge that made him spin-out with two laps to go.
Coming off his best season ever, Hathaway placed second overall for the 2015 season, just narrowly missing first by a few points. A slew of victories last season had Hathaway and his team feeling optimistic heading into the new season. Hathaway’s driving career has been on a steady incline since his Pinty’s series debut in 2007. By 2010, Hathaway had reached a career high of 7th place overall in points, with a grand total of 38 Pinty Series races under his belt, 23 top-ten finishes (10 of which he attained that very season) and 6 top-five finishes. He now sits at 68 top-ten finishes and 32 top-five finishes, with his statistics going up every year. He has won 8 Pinty Series races over the course of his career, and we should expect more in 2016. His skill and popularity have grown exponentially within a handful of years, and he was voted Most Popular Driver in 2015 by fans across the country.
Going in to Sunday night’s race at the Bowmanville Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Hathaway was starting in the 6th position. With some quick maneuvering, he slingshot himself into the lead position, and managed to hold on to it for most of the race. After a pit-stop, he dropped to the 9th position and amazingly managed to claw his way back to the top once again. Hathaway led a career-high of 31 laps total throughout the night. But with just a few laps remaining, Hathaway was nudged off track from behind, with Alex Labbe dragged along. First place went to Andrew Ranger, with a number of cars sneaking in to fill the gap after him, while Hathaway and Labbe jumped back into the thick of things too late to regain their hard-fought places. Hathaway finished the race in 9th place. Still, his stellar performance throughout the bulk of the race should speak volumes about his potential for the 2016 season; despite an unfortunate finishing place, Hathaway definitely deserves some kudos.
You can check out Jason’s full Pinty Series stats here and view his NASCAR Home Tracks video here. You can catch all the Pinty’s Series racing action all summer long on TSN; be sure to cheer Jason on! Here’s the full race schedule for the 2016 season.