Once again, for the second straight year in a row, a NASCAR race will run in the rain. The Nationwide Series is in Montreal, Canada running on a road course. The Montreal event has proven to be a pretty competitive and exciting race to watch. Canada’s own drivers normally do well and, in fact, one of them, Ron Fellows, won the race last year. This year, he along with fellow countryman Jacques Villeneuve, are participating again.
Qualifying for the event was held in the rain and Marcos Ambrose took the pole.
Running events in the rain is relatively new to NASCAR. Back in the nineties, they ran qualifying for one of the exhibition events in Japan was in the rain, but until last year, no race had run in the rain. While the cars are prepared to run in wet conditions at all of the road course events, none actually did so until this event last year, however, conditions had deteriorated so much that, with 28 laps to go, NASCAR called the event and gave the win to Ron Fellows.
In order to run the cars in the rain, the teams have to install windshield wipers, rain tires, lights in the rear of the car and some kind of defroster mechanism inside the car for visibility. What normally happens, prior to the event weekend, the wiper mechanism (minus the wiper itself) are installed, the lights installed and connected in the rear of the car, at the top of the back window usually, and the duct work or blowers for the defroster are installed. IF NASCAR deems the conditions warrant it, they will bring out a caution, bring the cars down pit road and have the rain gear installed. The field is frozen, meaning when the cars go back on the track, they maintain position-provided they are back in line at the end of the time limit. The teams have a five minute limit to get everything done. If they do so, the go back in the same order they came in under. However, if they are late, they go to the rear of the field, something you do not want to do on a road course.
Ambrose led 60 laps in the event, but after a late race caution bunched the field and allowed Carl Edwards to close the gap, Ambrose made one mistake on the last turn of the track and allowed Edwards to pass him. Edwards won the event, but Ambrose proved his road racing prowess once again. Canadian Andy Ranger finished third in his first NASCAR event.