Cayden Lapcevich Scores First Cateer Late Model Victory
“I just went for it and got the holes. I’m not here for points – I’m here for wins, and this is an awesome feeling right now.”
After pulling one of the best race winning passes of the season, Cayden Lapcevich was able to celebrate his first career late model feature victory on Friday night.
Following a solid opening night feature, Thayne Hallyburton started pole for the second feature. Paul Maltese started second, followed by Ryan Kimball, Chris Morrow, Cayden Lapcevich, Lane Zardo, Gord Shepherd, Taylor Holdaway, Britney Gresel, Travis Hallyburton, Ernie Fumerton, Danny Benedict, Jordan Latimer, Mike Wilkinson, Mike Bentley, Nick Goetz, Tom Walters and Al Inglis. Goetz was supposed to start in the top-10, but made a pit stop during pace laps – which moves you to the rear.
Thayne Hallyburton got the early jump to put the No. 14 Ritter Sport Late Model out front ahead of Maltese and Morrow. Lapcevich then got alongside Morrow for third on Lap 2, completing the pass two laps later, while Kimball rounded out the top-five. Lapcevich kept the strong momentum rolling, getting alongside Maltese for second at Lap 5, and completing the pass a lap later. Morrow then got alongside Maltese for third at Lap 7, completing the pass at Lap 11.
Maltese continued to fade, falling back to seventh by Lap 15. Meanwhile, the battle to watch would be Kimball and Holdaway for fourth at Lap 14, with Holdaway getting the spot three laps later. Travis Hallyburton then got alongside Kimball for fifth, while Shepherd and Bentley battled for seventh.
At the front of the field, Lapcevich tracked down Thayne Hallyburton for the lead, passing him at Lap 21 to put the No. 76 Springer Meats, Troy Cove Marine, Cathcart Trucking, Ace Services and Epic Racewear Late Model out front. Hallyburton now ran second ahead of Holdaway as Morrow and Travis Hallyburton battled for fourth.
Hallyburton got the spot at Lap 23, just before the caution flew for debris on the frontstretch. Under the caution, both Latimer and Benedict headed down pit road. With 12 laps to go, Lapcevich led Thayne Hallyburton, Holdaway, Travis Hallyburton, Morrow, Kimball, Bentley, Shepherd, Gresel, Zardo, Goetz, Maltese, Inglis, Fumerton, Wilkinson, Benedict and Latimer.
Lapcevich got a good restart to maintain the lead while Holdaway and Thayne Hallyburton battled for second, Holdaway got the spot on Lap 26, with Travis Hallyburton getting alongside Thayne for third.
Behind them, Kimball ran fifth as Shepherd and Morrow battled for sixth. Shepherd got the spot on Lap 28, with Gresel getting alongside Morrow for seventh. Bentley was then able to get by them both, getting alongside Shepherd for sixth at Lap 30. Bentley then got by Shepherd for the sixth spot with four laps to go, while Morrow continued to run eighth.
Meanwhile, Travis was able to clear Thayne for third just before the caution flew at Lap 33 for an incident in turn four involving Zardo and inglis. With three laps to go, Lapcevich led Holdaway, Travis Hallyburton, Thayne Hallyburton, Kimball, Bentley, Shepherd, Morrow, Goetz, Gresel, Fumerton, Maltese, Benedict, Latimer, Zardo, Inglis and Wilkinson.
The restart saw an impressive battle for the lead, with Taylor Holdaway putting the No. 41 Bay Auto and Truck Parts, Holdaway Automotive, Image Factor Motorsports Design and Photography, KartSTART presented by Toyota, Yamaha Motor Canada, Wix Filters, Castrol Canada, Sunshine Super Wash, and Stefko Racing Engines Late Model out front through turns three and four.
The lead wouldn’t last long for Holdaway, though, as Cayden Lapcevich pulled the crossover down the frontstretch, getting underneath Holdaway for the lead and retaking it.
While the battle for the lead was going on, Kimball began to go up in smoke with a blown motor, leaving fluid on the track. When the leaders hit turn two on the final lap, they’d hit the oil, causing contact to ensue resulting in a flat tire for Lapcevich and front-end damage for Holdaway. The caution was flown.
The cause of the caution was deemed to be Kimball’s blown motor leaving oil on the track on Lap 34. Track rules are once the white flag comes out, the next flag ends the race – whether yellow or checkered.
As a result, Cayden Lapcevich picked up the win ahead of Taylor Holdaway and Travis Hallyburton.
“I was slipping through turn one and my spotter came over the radio and said there might be fluid down on the track and I’m like, ‘I think I hit it’,” Lapcevich said. “I slid up and got into Taylor, popped a right rear and then (Travis) Hallyburton came in and we were banging a lot there. A whole lotta fun. It’s a pleasure to race with a great late model field.”
Lapcevich added his confidence is as high as ever right now as to get a victory in the late model division with the stacked field Sunset Speedway offers is awesome.