The NASCAR Nationwide series arrives in Montréal this weekend for the NAPA Auto Parts 200. This is the fourth visit for the Nationwide series at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
This year’s race will feature a few Sprint Cup regulars, a few road course aces and several Canadian drivers, including Ron Fellows, Andrew Ranger, Patrick Carpentier and Jacques Villeneuve.
While I’ll be happy to see any of our Canadian drivers win, I’ll be cheering for Villeneuve, who will be driving the #32 Dollar General car for Braun Racing. I’ve been a JV fan since his CART racing days in the mid-90s and I’d really like to see him do well in his home town on the course named for his father.
My hope is that a win in Montréal will finally open the doors for him to secure a full-time ride in either the Nationwide or Sprint Cup series for next year. JV proved that he can race on oval tracks when he won the Indy 500 and CART championship back in 1995; so I have no doubt that given the right team and a good car, JV will be able to challenge for the win every weekend.
To be honest, I’d rather see him racing in NASCAR next year than starting his own Formula 1 team. I don’t really want to see JV run at the back of the pack race after race; it’s just not fitting of the championship calibre driver that he is. Still, if the FIA does grant JV and his partners a new F1 team, and we should know that answer soon, I’ll still support him.
In the meantime, good luck to our Canadian drivers this weekend! Enjoy the race!