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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Marvin Musquin’s Indy win may have come too late

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Marvin Musquin answered one question at Indianapolis last week, but the biggest one may well plague him for the next six weeks.

Musquin has won a battle, but can he win the war?

After standing on the podium in eight of the first 10 races, Musquin finally showed the field he was capable of winning in Indy when he grabbed the holeshot and led every lap on the way to Victory Lane. He was never seriously challenged and it was the Musquin that Supercross fans expected to see all season.

It was a long time coming. Musquin must have felt like victory was just around the corner after finishing second in the overall standings in Anaheim II’s Triple Crown race. He was third in the first Main that night and second in the last two Mains.

As it turned out, that single race defined his season until last week. Musquin stood on the podium all night, but he finished two spots behind Cooper Webb in the first Main and was one spot back in the second. It was only as time ran out that he was able to beat Webb by a single spot in the third Main. If Musquin had won either of the first two Mains, he would have had the overall victory – denying Webb his first career win in the process.

Webb’s Anaheim win revitalized the rider and gave him the confidence to rattle off four more wins in the next seven races.

Meanwhile, Musquin scored podium finishes in the next seven races, making him almost perfect. In another season, a record like that would have been enough to give him a comfortable points lead. In 2019, he sit 14 markers out of first, which is the points’ equivalent of the difference between first and 11th in one race. In other words, Webb cannot lose the points lead at Seattle unless he finishes outside the top 10 while his teammate wins.

Looking at the numbers another way the scenario is not quite as hopeless. Musquin needs to shave only 2.3 points off Webb’s lead each week to win the championship. Three points separate first and second. Five points differentiates first from third, which is where Webb finished in Indianapolis. Webb is vulnerable as his 10th-place finish at Glendale and an eighth at San Diego attest.

Those bobbles came early and Webb seems to have forgotten how to make a mistake.

A third-place is Webb’s worst finish in the last six weeks and since Anaheim II when Musquin started his impressive string of podium finishes, Webb has recorded an average finish of 2.2. That came with a worst finish of eighth on an extremely muddy and heavy track in San Diego. Musquin has a worst finish of only sixth, but his average of 2.8 still lags behind Webb.

Worse still, since Anaheim II Musquin has finished behind Webb in every race except for the outlier of San Diego.

It is no longer a question of keeping pressure on Webb. Musquin cannot expect his teammate to make a mistake; he has to find a way to pass him on the track. If Webb adds only two points to his lead at Seattle, Musquin’s fate would no longer be in his hands. He would need to gain 3.2 points per race. With that scenario, Webb could finish one spot behind Musquin every week and still win the championship.