Innisfil (Ontario), May 14, 2023 – Last Saturday marked the kickoff of the 2023 NASCAR Pinty’s season at Sunset Speedway. It was also Thomas Nepveu’s first-ever race in the Canadian stock car series.
Thomas was behind the wheel of the #24 Evirum | Home Hardware Nepveu machine prepared by Jacombs Racing, taking on the 1/3 mile oval track on Saturday night in front of hundreds of fans who came to cheer on their favourite drivers.
He was immediately at ease while driving his Ford in his first laps of the practice session, setting the 14th fastest time. In the qualifying session, where the drivers had the opportunity to set the fastest time across two flying laps, he achieved a respectable 12th place finish.
“I’m satisfied with my first stock car qualifying on an oval track,” he said. “I learned a lot about the car, but also about the series. Sunset Speedway is a notoriously challenging oval, so I’m happy to have been able to set that time.”
As he started the NTN Ultimate Bearing Experience 250 from the 6th row on the outside line, Thomas followed the pack, fighting with the competitors around him and swapping positions with them.
The 250-lap event was punctuated by a 5-minute break on the 125th lap, allowing the team to make some adjustments to the car. While they were able to proceed with the first part of the race without any major problems, a different story unfolded in the second half.
In the second portion of the race, Thomas was sent spinning after some contact with a competitor. During the caution, the car suffered an electrical problem, forcing the team to return to the paddocks for a repair. This was detrimental to Thomas’ progress, who returned to the track 37 laps down.
“In the first half of the race I lacked some speed, but during the break the team made adjustments. I am very happy with the progress we made despite the electrical problem. I learned a lot from this first event, and I’m already looking forward to getting back on track this weekend at CTMP.”