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Alex Tagliani Out-Battles Ranger for Victory in Toronto

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TORONTO, Ontario — Last season, Alex Tagliani led all the regulation laps in the Pinty’s Grand Prix, but lost out on the victory to Andrew Ranger in overtime.

This time around, though, it was Alex Tagliani coming out on top at the end of the 35-lap event.

“It’s amazing,” he told POPULAR SPEED. “I just love this place. I mean, this track has been good to us and I’m very thankful for the team, the hard work they are doing. Having a win here is very important. When you can score good points in a championship like this that’s so tight, it’s very important.

“Hopefully we are able to continue on this particular run and continue our climb towards a championship.”

Starting on pole, Tagliani grabbed the early advantage and appeared ready to cruise away from the field. However, Ranger used a restart on Lap 15 to get by for the top spot. Tagliani wasn’t about to denied, putting the No. 18 RONA/EpiPen/St-Hubert/Spectra Premium Chevrolet back out front two laps later.

Tagliani then led the rest of the way, despite significant contact to the rear of his Chevrolet from Ranger on a restart with three laps to go.

“I think the contact was pretty much as far as he was going to bring it,” Tagliani commented. “I think Andrew was driving like a driver with a championship to protect and a championship lead to take this weekend. I think that’s how he was driving and when you have a lot to lose and want to score points, you drive in a way to where his driving was as aggressive as he could do it. It also brought in a good finish, scored good points. So I think overall, he was fair with me.”

The victory continues Tagliani’s solid start of the season. After finishing outside of the top-10 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, Tagliani has now scored three consecutive top-fives to sit fourth in the standings. He will hope to gain some ground in the double header event at Wyant Group Raceway, a track that he has yet to win at in the series despite three top-five’s and six top-10’s in seven races.  

“I think it’s an interesting format because you can’t get in trouble in the first race as second race is worth a lot of points, and there’s no time,” he said. “If you break your car, you’re done. So during the race, it’s walking on eggs the first race to make sure you come out with the most points over the two races as that’s very important. Getting our car right is going to very important to make sure our short oval program is better.”

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

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Ashley McCubbin

Currently the Executive Editor for Popular Speed, Ashley McCubbin also runs Short Track Musings, while handling media relations for OSCAAR. Currently living in Bradford, Ontario, she spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area taking photos.