Lapcevich Scores Historic NASCAR Win in Saskatoon
Grimsby teen shatters record as youngest victor in series history
July 28th, 2016, GRIMSBY, ON – Cayden Lapcevich won the Velocity Prairie Thunder 250 NASCAR Pinty’s Series (NPS) race in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Wednesday night. The 16-year-old Grimsby native showed poise and patience recapturing the lead with just two laps remaining.
The crowd erupted with enthusiasm as Lapcevich climbed from his winning race car acknowledging his record-breaking performance. The youngest winner in series history prior to Wednesday’s event was 19-years-old, and that record stood since 2007.
“This is a dream come true for me,” said an emotional Lapcevich in victory lane. “I’ve waited my whole life to do this. I came up short a couple times this year, but this was worth the wait.”
After turning the fastest lap in practice for the event Lapcevich disappointed himself with a ninth place qualifying effort. He wasted little time carving through the talented NASCAR field, and by the midpoint of the race he challenged for the lead.
The hotly contested race produced eight lead changes among four different drivers. The last lead change came on a restart with five laps to go.
Former champion Louis-Phillipe Dumoulin powered to the lead in the outside lane forcing Lapcevich to dig deep and battle back.
“I knew I had a better car, but it took a couple laps to get going after a restart,” recalled Lapcevich. “I was a little worried when Dumoulin went by, but I was able to get him back. This feels so good.”
Cayden’s father and racing veteran Jeff Lapcevich joined the celebration in victory lane, but he was preoccupied with a phone call to his wife and Cayden’s mother Sherri.
Sherri was home in Grimsby, Ontario, with Cayden’s three siblings. Only Jeff and Cayden and a couple of crew members made the long trip west. It was a last-minute decision to go, and with no major sponsor they are competing race-to-race on a minimal budget.
Lapcevich’s family-owned Fastline Motorsports has never participated in the western swing of the NPS. They made the decision to go after Cayden’s eighth place result in the Pinty’s Grand Prix of Toronto left him just 13 points out of the lead in NPS championship standings.
With two races in just four days Cayden finished third in Edmonton, and he followed that up with his record-breaking win in Saskatoon. He now sits one point behind championship standings leader Andrew Ranger with five races remaining.
“The kid is good,” said his proud father. “He’s only 16, but he races like a veteran. I’m just really proud of him.”
Fastline Motorsports brought just a couple of crew members west, and long-time crewman Don Higenall actually flew home for a wedding on the day of the Saskatoon race. The crew assembled for the victory lane photograph was almost entirely comprised of local Saskatchewan racers who volunteered to help the small team.
“We didn’t meet most of the crew until we got to Saskatchewan,” said Jeff. “I appreciate their help, and it’s pretty awesome to see what we could do with limited resources.”
Fastline Motorsports continues to seek marketing partners to complete the 2016 NPS. A championship would also put Cayden Lapcevich’s name into the NASCAR record books. The youngest champion in the history of the series was Andrew Ranger in 2007. The Roxton Pond, Quebec, native earned the title at just 20 years old.
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