Cole Powell finished off the NASCAR Pinty’s Series western swing on Saturday night at Edmonton International Raceway with a solid fourth-place finish at the Luxxur 300. That finish, along with his win earlier in the week at Wyant Group Raceway near Saskatoon, sees the #3 Copps Buildall / Kubota entry sitting second in points after leading the championship earlier this week for the first time this season.
“It was a tricky track. Getting the perfect line down was difficult,” said Powell. “In the first half hour of practice I couldn’t get it where I needed it to be. The track had a patch they had done that morning and there were cones up to keep us off the patch. That was difficult having never been there.”
During qualifying, the safety cones protecting the patch were pulled away. Powell was the fifth car out for qualifying.
“We were the fifth car out and ran though it… and that didn’t work out,” said Powell. “So we qualified eleventh.”
As the race got underway Powell cruised to seventh place but found the car handling extremely loose. After a long green flag run he even found himself a lap down to the leaders. After battling with the #22 of Antoine Camirand to make sure he was in the free pass position when the caution came out, Powell found he was able to hold that free pass position in time for the competition caution around the halfway point.
“That was the turning point. When we went out for the second half I was on the lead lap starting sixth,” said Powell. “It went way better. The guys did great adjustment at the halfway.”
Now on the lead lap but at the tail end of the field, Powell still had to drive his way through nearly the entire pack before he could battle with the leaders. A late-race caution allowed him to tighten up with the leaders where he eventually made it as high as second place.
“That late race caution let us make some moves and get up to second,” he explained. “But we got shuffled back to fourth as we were bumping and banging with the leaders for position. It was nothing dirty, just good hard racing. Once we were in fourth I couldn’t catch Tagliani (#18) to finish on the podium.”
“The guys did a great job on the western swing making good adjustments and hanging in there,” Powell added. “We got good finishes and never finished outside the top five. That’s pretty cool. Next, when we head into Trois-Rivières, that’s a different ballgame again. We’re sitting second points just four points behind. We’ll look for a half decent finish there and then get back on the ovals and hopefully get back up in points.”
Powell also expressed a special thanks to Copps Buildall and Kubota Canada for their support this season. The next race is the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières in Quebec on Sunday, August 12.
1 47 L.P. Dumoulin
2 74 Kevin Lacroix
3 18 Alex Tagliani
4 3 Cole Powell
5 17 D.J. Kennington
6 22 Marc-Antoine Camirand
7 5 Noel Dowler
8 1 Larry Jackson
9 46 Brett Taylor *
10 2 Mark Dilley
11 34 Jamie Krzysik *
12 27 Andrew Ranger
13 19 Adam Martin
14 43 Shantel Kalika *
15 24 Donald Theetge
16 28 Joey McColm
17 4 Kerry Micks