Kalika wraps up season by competing in Pinty’s Series finale

Photo Courtesy of Steven Ellis Shantel Kalika battles with eventual NASCAR Pinty’s Series champion Andrew Ranger during the Pinty’s Fall Brawl event at Jukasa Motor Speedway on Sept. 28.

Shantel Kalika and her family-owned Busch Racing team have just completed their longest road trip to date.

A 6,400 kilometre round trip from Prince Albert to Hagersville, Ont. and back was part of the team’s final race of the 2019 season as they competed in the Pinty’s Fall Brawl at Jukasa Motor Speedway on Sept. 28, which was also the season finale of the NASCAR Pinty’s Series.

“For our little team from Prince Albert to go out there and back is a huge accomplishment for us, especially to be part of the show on championship night for the series,” Kalika said. “To be on the frontstretch and hear the national anthem as the lights were coming was a surreal feeling for everyone.

“There’s a lot of hard work and long hours that got us to this point and I’m proud of the team and what we’ve been able to accomplish.”

Kalika, who had raced in a different car at Jukasa earlier in the season, overcame brake issues to finish in 18th place in the 200-lap event.

“Obviously the setup and everything else will be different with our own car, but it was good to know what the track was like before we got there,” Kalika said.

“It was a really stout field for the last race of the season and the 24-car field was within a tenth of a second of each other. To be among Canada’s best drivers is huge for us.”

Brett Taylor made a last lap pass on Jason Hathaway to earn his first career NASCAR Pinty’s Series win, while Andrew Ranger finished in fourth place to win his third championship and his first since 2009.

After finishing 19th in the final standings after competing in five of the 13 tour events and earning a third place result in the Pro Trucks division at the Wyant Group Raceway this season, Kalika and the rest of the Busch Racing team are already hard at work in making their plans for the 2020 season.

“We’re always working hard to try and have each year be bigger than the last,” Kalika said.

“Right now we’re getting in touch with our sponsors from this season and thanking them for their support, in addition to putting together proposals for new sponsors for next season. We’ll also be going to Saskatoon in November for the year-end banquet for Wyant Group Raceway and then we’ll head to Charlotte, N.C. later that month to attend the NASCAR banquet.”

Kalika will also be one of the guests of honour at the Saskatoon Blades Girls Rock! Night on Saturday, Dec. 7 at the SaskTel Centre.