By: Farrah Kaye
Staff Writer, NNSRacing.com
Maybe it was all my time living in Michigan. Maybe it's having a Canadian as a best friend.
Whatever it is, I am so excited for Go Canada Racing to join NASCAR.
Since Patrick Carpentier left NASCAR, Canadians really haven't had anyone to root for in the top tiers of the sport. Sure, they have their own series (the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series) but now they're heading south with an all-Canadian team.
Owned by businessman Steve Meehan, the team's No. 67 Nationwide Series car will be driven by Canadian Tire Series Champion J.R. Fitzpatrick, who hails from Cambridge, Ontario. The 67 pays homage to the Confederation of Canada in the year 1867 (that's your fact of the day).
But Canadians love NASCAR. When the circuit heads to Montreal, the stands are packed. Even in Michigan, where it's common for Canadians to come to the track, they stand proud when “O, Canada!” is sung before the “Star Spangled Banner.”
This past February in Phoenix, I met a group of lovely Canadian men celebrating a “stag” party. If you were there, you know them as the Canadian Tuxedo Crew. They didn't even know NASCAR was in Canada.
Well guys, now you not only know about NASCAR in Canada, you now have a team – and a driver – to root for. (Man, I wish I could have said “roots” there, but it didn't work. Shout out to ROOTS!)
In the past few days, I've learned so much about NASCAR in Canada, like what CASCAR is (the Canadian Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, which created the CASCAR Super Series, which then became the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series). The most recent champion in that series is DJ Kennington, who ran in the Nationwide Series from 2006-2010 and this year has made one start in the K&N West series (finishing 10th).
With a large fan base (the average viewership coming from Canada is seven million per race week), I'm happy to see this new team. And I'm even happier they are not planning on start-and-parking. In fact, they are planning to grow and get to the Cup level eventually.
So bust out your red and white this weekend at Nashville, Canadian fans … Fitzpatrick will be there representing his roots. (Ah, finally, I did it! Proud of me, eh?)