ASHLEY ASKS……Marc-Antoine Camirand
After scoring his first career NASCAR Pinty’s Series victory last year at St. Eustache, Marc-Antoine Camirand has confirmed that he will be back full-time in 2019 with 22 Racing to chase after the championship. The Quebec native recently spoke with POPULAR SPEED about his thoughts entering the season.
POPULAR SPEED: What are your thoughts entering the season?
MARC-ANTOINE CAMIRAND: I’m happy to be back with 22 Racing and my sponsor GM Paillé. We are looking forward to trying to win the championship. We won our first race last year at St. Eustache and this year we’re looking forward to being a championship contender.
PS: For you, do you prefer racing on the ovals or the road courses?
CAMIRAND: I’m more a road course driver, coming out of go-karts and doing Formula Kart before. But my first win ever in NASCAR was on an oval. So it’s kind of a different driving style, but I do like the road courses more being a road course driver. But, I do like the ovals as well.
PS: What track are you most looking forward to?
CAMIRAND: GP3R is always special. I’m living about half an hour away from there; it’s kind of my home track. It’s always special to race there. Many friends, my sponsor is around there so it’s always special to be back there.
PS: What do you feel that you and your team need to do to make this year stronger than last year?
CAMIRAND: Well, this year is going to be a little bit different as I lost my crew chief; Randy (Steckly) is not coming back this year. So he was really good to me on the ovals due to his experience. So this year, the first couple of races with my new crew chief Warren Jones, it’s trying to get a good chemistry between me and him to try to win the championship.
I know it will be hard as I know Jason Hathaway will be back this year, and I hear Mark Dilley is back full-time, too. So the championship will be harder than ever. I know it’s going to be hard, but with the great team of 22 Racing and GM Paillé as a sponsor, I think we can do it. We just need to be consistent to be there all the races, and try to fight for the win.
PS: What did it mean to you to break through with your first series victory at St. Eustache last year?
CAMIRAND: Well, it means a lot especially like I said, being on an oval. I know I can do it on a road course as I came close a couple times last year – Toronto and Trois-Riveries. To win my first race on an oval, my confidence was pretty good after the race. We went to New Hampshire and we did good – P2 until the last lap due to running out of fuel, but my confidence was really high.
I know I can win on the ovals and the road courses. I’ve been looking for that first win for a couple years now, and I think in 2019 I know I can win some more and be there for the championship.
PS: The Pinty’s Series has so many positives right now. But what is one change you feel they can make to improve the series even more?
CAMIRAND: That’s a really good question. I know they’re working hard to improve the series and get more – maybe the thing is to get more drivers involved for the complete series. I think we have 12 guys that are running the complete championship. I know it’s tough to find the money to do the complete season, but maybe the series has to work on maybe trying to get the prize higher to run the complete season.
PS: We’ve seen drivers try different series and cars. Is there something on your bucket list?
CAMIRAND: Well, I’ve done a lot and in Canada, this is the only series with the TV deal every weekend, which is good for sponsorship. We are always looking towards possibly going into the United States, and trying to do a couple starts in the Xfinity Series. But at the same time, it’s about the money and sponsorship. I’d prefer to stay here to run in Canada in the Pinty’s Series with a good sponsor, and try to run for the win every race.
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