Joey HanssenPrime Champ Dodge driver Joey Hanssen heard from several sources that round number six of the NASCAR Canadian Tire series on the airport runways during the Edmonton Indy weekend would be to his liking as it was a flat track similar to the Go-Karts tracks he was used to racing on.  A career best series starting spot and finishing position proved to be very much to his liking.

As a rookie driver in the series Hanssen tried to make the best use of his time to quickly get the Prime Champ Dodge acquainted with a new track.  “Everybody told me I would like the track.  We had a good car and it seemed to get better every time I went out.  We picked up two seconds in practice and I was happy with that” said the driver.

Hanssen would continue to improve during qualifying for the 100km feature event.  “Qualifying was a great job, we were second in our group, we wound up twelfth but it was our best qualifying of the year so I was really happy” stated the driver.

Not content to stay in the twelfth starting spot Hanssen looked to move the Prime Champ Dodge toward the front and had good battles going with both the #21 and #18 cars.  “It was really fun in the beginning battling with those guys and I think I was a little bit faster at the beginning of the race” smiled the rookie driver.  “In the middle section I was waiting for the car to tighten up a bit but then the full course caution came out, which was good because I got to close up on the #9 car” he added.

The competition throughout the field kept Hanssen busy looking for opportunities to keep the Prime Champ Dodge moving to the head of the field.  “On the first re-start I left a little too much space and a lapped car got ahead of us so I had to fight to stay there but would lose contact with the #9” said Hanssen.

A late race caution and restart would give Hanssen another chance to improve his position.  “I got hit from behind and almost spun out but then would have a really nice fight with the #95 car.  We went into the corner and he was outside, I was on the inside.  We both locked up and I came out ahead and that’s what it’s all about” he grinned.

Hanssen would cross the finish line and finish a career best ninth, his second top-ten finish of the season.  “I’m happy with the race, finishing ninth, another top-ten and the learning process is really going a lot faster now.  We don’t have a single scratch on the car, I just talked to our sponsors at Prime Champ and they’re happy too” he stated.

The 2009 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series season wraps up with a midweek race at Auto Clearing Speedway in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan this coming Wednesday July 29th This years schedule will consist of thirteen races on ovals, road courses and temporary street circuits from coast to coast in Canada.  All thirteen races will be seen on TSN.  By clicking the link here you can cast your vote for Joey Hanssen as the NASCAR Canadian Tire series most popular driver.

Photo by Todd Lewis.