Joey HanssenJoey Hanssen driver of the #40 Prime Champ Dodge continues to demonstrate his racing skills and quick adaptability to stock cars in his rookie season of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. At round number eleven this past Saturday night at Barrie Speedway the 18 year old once again showed he is a quick learner and achieved his best career series finish to date.

After completing only a few practice laps at the tight 1/3 mile oval Hanssen was quick to proclaim his like for the challenging circuit. “I like this track, it’s challenging that’s fun for me” he stated. Though he would only qualify his Prime Champ Dodge in the nineteenth position Hanssen would later see that as a positive. “Qualifying wasn’t as quick as I’d hoped, I was a little bit uncomfortable in the car” stated the driver. “But I think it was a good thing to start at the back and watch everything” he added.

When the 300 lap main event began there was plenty of action to see with the first of eight caution periods coming on lap two. Hanssen knew the key to a good finish in the Prime Champ Dodge was to stay out of trouble, something that is easier said than done at a track like Barrie Speedway. “Right away people were hitting the wall and driving into each other and trying to move cars out of the way. I just followed everybody and until about 100 laps to go then I started to get a little more aggressive.

Hanssen’s cautious approach would serve him well as he continued to gain positions throughout the race. In the late stages Hanssen was one of only eight cars on the lead lap and showing tremendous poise for a young racer making his first trip to Barrie Speedway. As the checkered flag waved ending the competition the Prime Champ Dodge would cross the finish line in eighth position. It would be the best finishing position of the rookie drivers’ season, and his fourth top- ten finish in eleven races.

Showing maturing and racing smarts Hanssen not only finished the battle at Barrie in the top-ten, he also had a race car with barely a mark on it. “I’m really happy with how well things went” smiled the driver afterwards. “It’s the best finish of the year and we have only a little bit of body damage on one corner, so we don’t have too much work to do before the next race at Riverside. I’m really looking forward to that track” he added.

After eleven events Joey Hanssen continues to lead the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series rookie of the year standings by over 100 points.

The 2009 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series moves to Riverside Speedway near Antigonish, Nova Scotia for round number twelve this coming Saturday, September 19th. 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.

Photo by Todd Lewis