By Mathieu Fortin – Cornwall Motor Speedway / 360nitro.tv columnist
Flashback to 1987. I have no idea why but I ended up playing hockey. I always liked hockey but let’s say I was far from a good player. I spent basically the whole year playing left wing without getting a goal. And on a road game late in this 1987 season, on a Saturday afternoon, I was on the ice near the net when one of my teammates on a team of Embrun, placed farther than me, took a shot which stopped just in front of me. So well placed even I couldn’t miss pushing it safely in the net for my first ever goal. 35 years later, I still remember it like it was yesterday. I also remember who took the initial shot: His name was Pascal Dupuis. We lost touch a few years later, then saw each other again when we both went to the same high school in Casselman, only to lose touch again for many years after that.
It wasn’t until 2020 that I heard his name again. By this time, my friend Ray Lavergne had introduced me to dirt racing that took place at his track in Cornwall, and one day I saw on its website that the track received a generous donation from Next Level Home Improvement and its owner Pascal Dupuis. I thought it must be the same Pascal Dupuis I once knew, and it ended up being him. He now had his own business which was gaining ground nonstop, a trend that continues to this day.
As I am now a columnist for Cornwall Speedway’s website as well as 360 Nitro, I liked the idea of talking with Pascal to find out more about his business, Next Level Home Improvement, as well as his racing involvement. We always talk about drivers but without sponsorship money, few of them could race.
I just started my phone conversation with Pascal about Next Level Home Improvement, and I quickly realized what is the most important thing in his eyes: The community it serves. He tells me that his business always tries it’s best to help families in the community, adding that some people can’t always afford everything, or sometimes they fall victim to fraud and need help. Those are just two examples of the many times where Next Level will help people in need. Of course it’s impossible for them to help everyone, but they do their best to help as many people as they can.
Pascal then explains to me how his business grew over the years (it has a territory which includes Cornwall, Eastern Ontario, and the eastern part of Ottawa) and that this gives him the advantage of choosing amongst a bigger pool of employees in order for the business tonnage the best ones in the field. And since Next Level Home Improvement feels like a family for its staff, they all want to stay there, which gives them the best workers to represent them with customers. When they get hired for a contract, their goal is always to bring customers to the next level and give them the best service possible, whether the renovations are for doors, windows, kitchen, bathroom, decks or more… On its website, you can find comments from many satisfied customers, praising the company’s generosity, professionalism, it’s listening capacity as well as it’s unparalleled customer service. Similar comments are written via its section on Better Business Bureau’s web site, where the many reports made by its customers give them a cumulative rating of 100%. And as important is the fact that Next Level Home Improvement is Baeumler Approved. This is a reference of quality in the construction industry,and only businesses who answer to some select criterias of quality and customer satisfaction can be approved.
But now I want to know how Pascal ended up involved in racing. He tells me he was 4 years old when he started attending Cornwall Speedway races, going along with his father, Bob, a well known Ford & Mercury car dealer in Eastern Ontario in the 80s. Bob was helping racecar driver Guy Brisson, brother of the late Stéphane “Crow” Brisson.
5 years ago, well known driver Steve Morris, who is a really good friend of Pascal, made him rediscover his passion for racing by offering him to become a member of his TAS Racing crew. Pascal then quickly followed in his father’s footsteps and began lending a hand to drivers of small family operations similar to the team Guy Brisson used to drive for. For 2022, the logo of Next Level Home Improvement will be on 8 cars from small family operations who will race in Cornwall and driven by Corey Wheeler, Ryan Stabler, Shane Pecore, Tyler Givogue, Adam Rozon, Fire Swamp, Marc Lalonde and Roch Aubin.
Next Level Home Improvement will also debut it’s new go-kart driver development team, with their drivers in Jr3, Pascal’s 14 year-old son, Sylvain Dupuis, as well as Adam Rozon’s 12 year old daughter, Maïlie Rozon. In open class, their driver will be Nicolas Ranger, and in the Demon class, Shawn Bolton will be the one to have Next Level’s
But Pascal’s impact doesn’t end with drivers, as he is a major sponsor of Cornwall Speedway, most famously as title sponsor of Next Level Home Improvement Sportsman Series. Martin Bélanger, the track’s commercial director, has well resumed the impact of Pascal’s implication: “The impact of Pascal Dupuis and Next Level Home Improvement in terms of sponsorship is major. Thanks to his financial contribution we are able to have some series with good point funds, allowing us to attract drivers from everywhere.”
In conclusion, Pascal and Next Level Home Improvement are a good example of a small business who, by its generosity, help the racing world successfully survive. If you are on its territory, why not contact him when the time comes for your next renovations project? In addition to a high quality work, you will have the satisfaction to know that part of the money that you paid them will probably be reinvested in racing!