Canada’s Barrie Speedway sold/closed, NASCAR race events moved to nearby Sunset Speedway

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While the sun has likely set on Canada’s Barrie Speedway, it’s suddenly rising on nearby Sunset Speedway.

Barrie Speedway, which has hosted racing events for 45 years, was sold two weeks ago and its new owners do not plan to continue holding races there.

As a result, just a few weeks after releasing its 2015 racing schedule, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series announced Thursday that the previously scheduled Sept. 12 race at Barrie Speedway will be held June 20 at nearby Sunset Speedway.

The event will be called the Leland Industries 300 Presented by Johnsonville. In making the date and track switch, the series will maintain its previously announced 11-race season schedule.

“We are pleased to welcome Sunset Speedway to the NASCAR family,” George Silbermann, NASCAR’s vice president for regional and touring series, said in a media release. “Sunset is a fantastic facility with great competition and it will anchor NASCAR racing in Ontario.”

Sunset Speedway, which has operated since 1968, is a .333-mile high-banked oval located in Innisfil, Ontario, less than an hour from downtown Toronto.

The 2015 Canadian Tire Series season opens May 17 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

With Barrie’s demise, Sunset will also be added to NASCAR’s weekly Whelen All-American Series Program, according to InsideTrackNews.com.

The first weekly event will be held May 2, and will host several race classes including Late Models, super stocks, mini stocks and mighty minis, according to NASCAR and track officials.

“It is a very exciting year for me and the whole Sunset team,” said Mark Dilley, Sunset Speedway’s general manager. “Our goal has always been to host NASCAR, and that day has finally come.

“… It is a great opportunity for all of the fans, competitors and staff at Sunset, and I am proud to be a part of it.”

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Bryan Sellers aims to be first Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY Champion

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Bryan Sellers will leave the familiar confines of his Paul Miller Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and head into the unknown in 2019.

At the age of 36, Sellers has 25 years of competitive racing behind him and is turning his attention to the battery-powered Jaguar I-PACE sedan that he will driver for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing – something he describes as “the way of the future.”

Racing for Ohio native Bobby Rahal, it is a connection that brings him home to his roots. Sellers was born in Centerville, Ohio. 

“I’m very proud to be a part of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing,” Sellers said in a press release. “I grew up in Ohio watching Bobby (Rahal) win races and build an incredible racing program and it will be nice to finally get to see it from the inside.”

Sellers’ electric-powered Jaguar won’t have the same horsepower as the V10 Lamborghini that he steered to victory in the 2018 IMSA Weather Tech Sports Car championship with co-driver Madison Snow and Katherine Legge.

At his heart, Sellers is a  racer chasing a championship and it’s not the horsepower but the potential for close competition that drives him. Next year, he has an opportunity to win the first ever Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY Championship.

In 2016, Jaguar joined the Formula E series. Now they are looking to make history with the world’s first all-electric production-based international race series that will compete at 10 venues next year in support of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

The series’ 10 venues will be international, racing on tracks in Saudi Arabia, Morocco, China, Italy, Mexico, France, Monaco, Germany and the USA, which will showcase electric cars on the streets of Brooklyn, New York, in July.

“Electric cars are clearly the way of the future and to be involved with the first electric production car racing series is very important to me,” Sellers said. “I’m very thankful to everyone at RLL and Jaguar for giving me this opportunity.”

Sellers raced fulltime in the American LeMans Series from 2005 through 2013 – amassing four victories and two other podium finishes. In 30 career races in the Grand-Am Series, he added three more visits to the podium.

But it was last year that was clearly the highlight for Sellers. For the second time in his career, he scored multiple wins in a series (Sellers had two wins in ALMS in 2011), but he stood on the podium eight times in addition to winning the championship.

Joining Sellers in the I-PACE eTROPHY Championship Jaguar next year will be Legge, who was one of his co-drivers in 2018.

“Experience, maturity and pace are very important qualities that I was looking for when we chose our driver lineup,” said Rahal, the former IndyCar Champion and Indy 500 winner.

The series will kickoff with the Formula E season-opener in Riyadh on December 15, 2018. They will not run in conjunction with the next two Formula E rounds and will rejoin for most of the remainder of the 2019 season.