No one would blame Cameron Hayley for getting homesick. The 19-year-old NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver resides in Sandusky, Ohio where his ThorSport Racing team is based -- 1,891.3 miles away from his hometown of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Most of the tracks he races at are even farther away. Distance has not stopped Hayley from chasing his NASCAR dream. Although it's located on the opposite side of Canada, Hayley will have a homecoming of sorts when he performs in front of his fellow countrymen in Sunday's Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (1:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1) -- the NCWTS' only road course race of the season. "Not only is this a track I've been to before, it's also in my home country," said Hayley, who ranks sixth in the NCWTS standings on the strength of three top-five and seven top-10 finishes in 14 starts this season. "I just hope that I will have a good run for all of my Canadian fans." An alumnus of the NASCAR Next initiative highlighting the sport's top up-and-coming drivers, Hayley is still searching for his first NASCAR national series win. If he takes the checkered flag on Sunday, he would be the first Canadian to win a NASCAR national series race since Ron Fellows visited Victory Lane in Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 2008. Racing in his first full-time NCWTS season, Hayley has gained momentum lately, logging six top-10 finishes in his last eight starts, including a career-best fourth-place showing at Pocono. He made his series debut at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last season, finishing 11th and believes his prior experience there will help him on Sunday. "We've done really well at tracks that I've been to in the past this year, already," Hayley said. "I've been to Sonoma a couple times and that place was really difficult. You look at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and think, 'it can’t be as difficult as Sonoma ,' but it's a very fast race track, and fast race tracks are not forgiving. It takes a lot of finesse and a lot of guts to go out there and get it done. We are bringing a really good truck, so I think this will be another good race for us to go out and get a solid top five, if not a win."
RELATED: Updated Chase Grid " Driver standings We hope you enjoyed some rest and relaxation during the off week for NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series. Because starting this week things are about to get real -- real fast. With just two races remaining until the field for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is set, there are still some spots up for grabs. Ten drivers are locked into postseason berths, but that means six openings are still available -- five if you're penciling in Kyle Busch , who has four 2015 wins but is 29th in points. Of the winless drivers who'd be in the Chase if it started today ( Jamie McMurray , Ryan Newman Paul Menard , Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer ), which one is most likely to lose his spot? Conversely, of the drivers currently outside the top 16, who is most likely to win their way into the postseason party? NASCAR.com editors George Winkler and Maggie MacKenzie are here to give their opinions. Check out their take, then vote in our poll and let us know your view in the comments section below. Winkler: Hey Maggie, hopefully the pressure won't get to you like it might get to some of these drivers. These are tense times indeed. One driver I'm skeptical about making the Chase is Paul Menard . Despite his heartwarming hometown win in the NASCAR XFINITY Series at Road America , Menard has visited Victory Lane only once in his Sprint Cup Series career. Qualifying for the Chase based on points is a dangerous way to live, especially when you consider Menard is just plus-19 points from the cutoff line. Throw in the fact Menard hasn't had much success at Darlington or Richmond (one top-10 finish in 25 races combined) and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him fall out of contention. MacKenzie: George, looks like we, once again, find ourselves in a head to head debate . You're right, tense times are upon us with the Chase looming in the near future and drivers are scrambling in last chance efforts to earn a coveted Chase berth. The clock is certainly ticking and I'm starting to feel the pressure -- are you? You've got a valid point about Menard and although I do think it is likely for him to fall out of the top 16, I'm going to have to pick a different driver. I think Clint Bowyer will be losing his spot before Menard does. Bowyer currently sits in the last spot on the grid, 17 points behind Jeff Gordon in the 15th position. Bowyer's safest bet for securing a spot in the Chase would be with a win since getting points is clearly not his forte this season. Unfortunately, the odds are against the driver of the No. 15 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota as he hasn't visited Victory Lane since 2012 at Charlotte. Winkler: There's no clear choice outside of the top 16 for a driver making it into the Chase. It's going to take a special day and a pressure-packed win for any of them to get the job done. Kasey Kahne came through with the equivalent of a ninth-inning home run last year when he qualified for the Chase with a win at Atlanta in the second-to-last race of the 2014 regular season, and he could be the one to do it again. RELATED: Kahne proves bubble driver can make Chase Even though there's no reason to look at his recent performances and feel confident about the pick, there are some silver linings. He finished sixth at Richmond earlier this season, and he has a driver rating of 104.00 in the past five years at Darlington. MacKenzie: Ah, I like where you are going with this one, George. Although I don't think any driver outside of the grid has a great chance of entering the top 16, I, too, think Kahne could go for the repeat and get himself a last-minute win. And how great of a story would that make? The Hendrick Motorsports driver has been pretty vocal about how disappointing the past few races have been for him and he knows he needs a win . He has proven that he can work well under pressure after last year's Atlanta win so I say that if there is any driver who can snag a last-minute victory, it would be Kahne. MORE: Kahne knows he must win to earn Chase berth
Test your NASCAR and presidential knowledge in the quiz below All right, NASCAR fans. You may know everything there is to know about Dale Earnhardt, but how well do you know Ronald Reagan? In honor of former president Bill Clinton's 69th birthday on Aug. 19 (Happy Birthday, Bill!), we've put together a quiz below that features quotes, asking readers to choose if it was a U.S . president or NASCAR driver that uttered the memorable words. So, let's test your racing knowledge -- and patriotism -- with "Who Said It: NASCAR driver or U.S . president?" &amp;amp;lt;a href=&amp;amp;quot;//bnorman47.polldaddy.com/s/who-said-it-nascar-drivers-or- u -s-presidents&amp;amp;quot; _rte_href=&amp;amp;quot;//bnorman47 . polldaddy.com/ s /who-said-it-nascar-drivers-or-u-s-presidents&amp;amp;quot;&amp;amp;gt;View Survey&amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;gt;
Much like their fellow NASCAR drivers who are deservedly spending the season's final off-week relaxing on a beach or jet-setting to some exotic location, Landon Cassill and Josh Wise are using the rare downtime to travel and enjoy the scenic Austrian Alps. The difference, however, is that these two Sprint Cup drivers won't be sightseeing or taking leisurely day hikes. They will be experiencing one of the world's most beautiful regions while competing in the elite Ironman 70.3 World Championships at Zell am See-Kaprun outside Salzburg, Austria on Sunday. Their breathtaking views will be just that as they swim 1.2-miles in Lake Zell, bike 56 miles through the glacier-tipped Alps and then finish with a 13.1-mile run along the lakeshore and through the area's small villages in one of the world's most grueling and prestigious physical competitions. "When we looked at the schedule both of us had aspirations to qualify for the 70.3 or Kona (Ironman 140.6 in Hawaii)," explained Wise. "The Worlds happened to fall on our last off weekend and there was a qualifier on the next to last off weekend. "It looked like this is a once in a lifetime chance. It's a bucket list goal just to qualify, but to have opportunity to do Austria was super special and it just felt like it was meant to be." But not without a lot of work. Anyone who still dismisses the athletic ability of NASCAR drivers would have a losing argument when it comes to the training regimen of Cassill, 26, and Wise, 32, who have taken their dedication to fitness and competition to a new level. RELATED: Johnson: 'If you want to be fast, you've got to suffer' More often than not, these two drivers show up at the race track having already swam, biked or run for miles and hours before some of their competitors have even rolled out of bed. Their dedication and commitment means a 5 a.m. wake-up call even on race weekends and using a special "Swim Radar" app to find a public pool near the race track that's open early enough and will allow them to swim. They've done their laps everywhere from the small town YMCA to the pool at Ohio State University. They strategically place their long bike rides as well and that can be tricky -- both finding a safe route close to the track and "not getting lost," Wise joked. They did a 60-mile bike ride after qualifying at Indianapolis this summer and squeezed in a 20-miler between practices at Pocono. Last week at Bristol, the two swam a mile and a half and ran five miles before the night race. Cassill did his World Cup qualifier in Muncie, Ind. during NASCAR's Kentucky Speedway race weekend, flying to Muncie after the Friday night XFINITY race, competing in the 70.3-mile triathalon Saturday morning then returning to Kentucky Speedway for the Cup race that night. "That was a little test of endurance," Cassill said. "Saturday morning I got my qualifying slot and flew back and raced Saturday night (at Bristol). I felt pretty good." Both Cassill and Wise say that competitive spirit lift is an important motivation for both. Driving for small, lower-funded Sprint Cup Series teams, they are admittedly not contending for wins every week. Success in the triathalons not only is a huge fitness benefit to them both, but gives them a sense of accomplishment and success. "I think a big part of the inspiration to do this has to do with obviously with the benefit of what it does for us in the car, but for us, we drive for small teams and we don't have a chance to win every race in a car and when you're doing that for 38 weeks in a row, it can get taxing," said Cassill, the 2008 XFINITY Series Rookie of the Year who now drives the No. 40 Hillman-Smith Chevrolet in the Cup Series and the No. 01 JD Motorsports Chevy in the XFINITY Series. "This is something for us, we can control and it really just helps that confidence in the garage just to know what we're capable of with our bodies and pushing ourselves to the limit. To me, it's a confidence builder." Wise, who scored a career-best 10th at Talladega in May driving the No. 98 Ford, agreed. "It's an amazing competitive outlet," he said. "There's not a lot of things that you can do that you have so much control over. It goes back to the alarm clock. Are you going to get up and get the swim in and the running before you go to work? It's your choice. With the sport we're in, people don't realize all the external factors there are that you can't control ." "When our cars aren't driving right or we're communicating with our crew in the midst of battling with someone, I feel the mental gain from the type of work we do off the track even beyond the physical. "I'm far beyond physically where I need to be, but mentally I can still continue to push myself, my body and my brain to dig deeper. When you can overcome every cell in your body shutting you down and you have to mentally force your legs to pick up and move in a run, there is a mental strength that comes from that. "I feel there's a real specificity to what we do that applies to our type of racing." The benefits go beyond just them personally. "My team has so much confidence in me that although they may not see me during the week, they don't have a doubt in their mind that I'm still working; that I’m trying to make myself the fittest race car driver, the best race car driver I can be, focused and prepared," Cassill said. "It's important because when teams are fighting for sponsorship, tough finishes the wheels can come off and you want to instill in your team that you're doing everything you can." Their pursuit is not only recognized by their team members but in the garage and bigger NASCAR community as well. While these two drivers don’t typically generate the same racing headlines as their good friend and frequent training partner, six-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson , they do have his great respect -- especially with this weekend's Ironman in Austria. "My hat is off to Josh and Landon," Johnson said. "They've put in the hard work. I've watched them get very serious about it. They are both faster than me (smiling) and I'm so proud of them." All three drivers are confident that this kind of extreme cross training will be more prevalent on the starting grid in coming years. It's a visibly growing group of cyclists that join Johnson, Wise and Cassill on the bike rides during race weekend downtime or meet up at a nearby public pool for some laps. " Jimmie Johnson , in my opinion, sparked that fire by winning six championships and being the fittest driver the sport has ever seen," Cassill said. "We are in some ways just copycatting what he did. Eventually, a lot of the drivers that have the skill -- and have had the success in the past -- but aren't consistently getting the success now are going to start getting pressure from their owners and sponsors that will say they're sick of getting of their butts kicked from these fit drivers, you need to do something. "I think in the next five to 10 years you're going to see a lot more of our drivers getting fitter and fitter," Cassill continued. "I think our sport is going to go through similar transition that golf saw and I compare our sport to golf because it's a skill sport. It takes a certain skill and technique to swing a golf club and it takes a certain skill and technique to drive a race car. It doesn't necessarily take athleticism to drive a race car or hit a golf ball, but athleticism enhances that skill." This weekend Cassill and Wise will be representing their sport on a world platform and just qualifying for the world championship in the midst of a busy and demanding NASCAR season is already a huge accomplishment. "There are a lot of cyclists in the garage and people that know what's going on. I had a lot of people asking me about this weekend at the Bristol race and crew members wishing me good luck," Cassill said. "Obviously a lot of text messages from my team wishing me good luck." "I'd love to set a new PR (personal record), I feel like I try to do that at every race. But just another finish would be a win. This is a very challenging event and this is a world championship event so the competition is a lot tougher than I've competed against."
RELATED: Race results from Canada " Updated series standings BOWMANVILLE, Ontario - Two weeks ago in the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course , Alex Tagliani got turned out of the lead by Regan Smith and lost his shot at a win. Today in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park , Tagliani had a chance to be the one doing the turning. Heading into Turn 5B on the final lap, Tagliani says he was in a position to push Erik Jones aside and claim victory for himself. But he didn't. Instead, Tagliani held back as Jones cruised to his second win of the season and vaulted to the top of the NCWTS point standings. "If I would have stayed where I was he would have been gone in (Turn) 5B," Tagliani said. "I don't drive that way. I just want to continue the trend." Tagliani thought he would have time to take one more clean shot at Jones through the final series of turns, but a broken third gear took that chance away. "It shredded completely," he said. "It was pretty much good all race. I felt a couple of times it was kind of scratchy on the downshift, but no sign it was going to be bad. As soon as I put third gear on the back straight, it just went. "I put it in fourth and it just kind of limped all the way back home." The 19-year-old Jones felt the pressure from veteran road course racer Tagliani down the stretch, but maintained his concentration to become the first driver to lead the entire last lap of a NCWTS race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park . "It was a blast," Jones said of the race. "It was nerve-wracking. It's a little intense when you’ve got a guy like that running you down for 15 laps." It turned out that Jones and Tagliani had shared a parade truck before the race and had a philosophical discussion about racing with respect. Tagliani told Jones he knew he was in a heated points battle and that Jones didn’t have to worry about him trying the same thing Smith had done to him at Mid-Ohio. "We had a pretty long talk about racing people the way you want to be raced," Jones said. "I’ve never been one to want to move somebody to win a race, and he hasn't, either. It's nice to see that respect, especially from a veteran like that to me. "It's not something he had to do. It means a lot to me that he did." Jones worked hard to improve his road course craft coming into this weekend. Time spent at a pair of driving schools paid off, as did a strong effort by the team to improve their truck. "We had a good truck last year, and we were able to do some improving on our Tundra to get it to where it needed to be for this year," Jones said. "I was able to improve on myself and fix some of my mistakes this year as well and get a little bit better." Matt Crafton finished in second place, which keeps him second in the point standings behind Jones, who now holds a three-point advantage. Tyler Reddick , the standings leader entering the race, placed 19th and is now third (15 points behind Jones) in the championship hunt. Ben Kennedy , Daniel Hemric , and Tagliani rounded out the top five in Sunday's race. Cole Custer mounted one of the strongest challenges to Jones in the late going, but contact between he and Tagliani took him out of the running with 11 laps to go. He ended up in 10th.
RELATED: Full lineup for Sunday's race Wheeling the No. 29 BK Racing Ford at 110.539 mph in a second-lap attempt, road course veteran Alex Tagliani earned the Keystone Light Pole Award at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Saturday's two-round qualifying session. The Quebec native and road course veteran shattered the previous track record with a 80.084-second lap around the track. This marks Tagliani's first Camping World Truck Series start of 2015 and his second consecutive pole win in this event. Tagliani's late run took the top spot away from Erik Jones , who settled for second with a fastest lap of 110.492 mph in his No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota. Reigning series champion Matt Crafton (110.113 mph), BKR's Tyler Reddick (110.002 mph) and JR Motorsports' Cole Custer (109.777 mph) rounded out the top five. Reddick led the first round, propelling his No. 19 Ford at 110.276 mph, while teammate Tagliani drafted with him. Robert Mitten brought out the red flag in the first round of qualifying when he smacked the tire wall off Turn 8, leaving his No. 53 Dodge nearly vertical. Mitten climbed out unharmed and ultimately secured a 22nd-place starting position. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is back on track Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET for the Chevrolet Silverado 250 (FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM).
RELATED: See the full weekend schedule " NBC Sports Live Extra All times ET Monday, August 31 3 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 (re-air), FOX Sports 1 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 2 a.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2 Tuesday, Sept. 1 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 2:30 p.m., Empty Cup: Quest for the 1992 NASCAR Title (re-air), FOX Sports 1 3 p.m., A Perfect Storm: The 1979 Daytona 500 (re-air), FOX Sports 1 4 p.m., Being: Stewart-Haas Racing (re-air), FOX Sports 1 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 Wednesday, Sept. 2 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 Thursday, Sept. 3 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 2:30 p.m., NASCAR K&N Pro Series East: Virginia International Raceway (tape), NBCSN 4:30 p.m., NASCAR America: The States of NASCAR (re-air), NBCSN 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 Friday, Sept. 4 6 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 7 a.m., NASCAR America (re-air), NBCSN 11 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, NBCSN 1 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series practice, NBCSN 3 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice, NBCSN 4:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, NBCSN 6:30 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 9:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice (re-air), NBCSN Saturday, Sept. 5 10 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice (re-air), NBCSN 11:30 a.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN 1 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN 1:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN 3 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Countdown to Green, NBC 3:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200, NBC Sunday, Sept. 6 1 p.m., Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge: Virginia International Raceway (tape), FOX Sports 1 5 p.m., NASCAR America Sunday, NBCSN 6 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Countdown to Green, NBCSN 7 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 , NBC 11 p.m., NASCAR Victory Lap, NBCSN Midnight, NASCAR Victory Lane, FOX Sports 1 2:30 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lane (re-air), FOX Sports 1 &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;nbsp;
Erik Jones celebrates in Victory Lane at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park after winning the Chevrolet Silverado 250 .
Alex Tagliani talks about his mechanical trouble on the last lap of the Chevrolet Silverado 250 and explains the difficulties of racing against full-time drivers who are in the middle of a championship fight.
Erik Jones holds off Alex Tagliani in the final lap at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park to win the Chevrolet Silverado 250 and capture the NCWTS points lead.