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by Tim Beissmann

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Lingerie model turned racer Maryeve Dufault will become the first Canadian women to take part in a NASCAR Nationwide Series race when she hits her home track at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in this weekend’s NAPA Auto Parts 200.

The 29-year-old, who has made cameo appearances on The Price is Right and a film called Fast Girl, has been racing in the ARCA Series this year. After 12 starts, Dufault sits 13th in the championship with one top 10 finish to her name.

She will slide into the cockpit of the No. 81 Dodge Challenger R/T for MacDonald Motorsports, which has been piloted this year by Blake Koch.

Dufault’s racing career began in motocross as a teenager before she advanced to go-karts and open-wheel cars and making the move to stock cars in 2010. Last year she made two appearances in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, with the highlight a 26th-place finish in Montreal.

Although female drivers are in the minority in motorsport, Dufault will not be the only women on the grid this weekend.

She will be racing against Danica Patrick, perhaps the most famous female driver in the world. Patrick is driving part-time in the Nationwide series this year and is expected to sign on for a full-time drive in 2012.