Jim Lapcevich wins the Mopar Parts 300. CASCAR veteran wins for first time in eight Super Series seasons. CALGARY, AB - Although he's been close on several occasions, victory lane has eluded Jim Lapcevich for the past eight CASCAR Super Series...
Jim Lapcevich wins the Mopar Parts 300.
CASCAR veteran wins for first time in eight Super Series seasons.
CALGARY, AB - Although he's been close on several occasions, victory lane has eluded Jim Lapcevich for the past eight CASCAR Super Series seasons. But the Hamilton, Ontario racer put an end to that drought on Sunday afternoon when he won the Mopar Parts 300 at Calgary's Race City Speedway.
Driving a patient race, the Raceline Radio / Fastline Motorsports Chevy driver lined up 10th in the field of 33 who took part in the 300 lap event at the high-banked, half-mile Calgary oval. Driving in the lead pack throughout most of the race, the former Super Series rookie of the year winner did a good job of preserving his tires for the late going. While running second, Lapcevich was able to take advantage of an opening in traffic that saw him pass race leader Kerry Micks with just eight laps to go.
From there, Lapcevich was able to fend off a spirited attempt by the UFCW Taurus driver to recover the lead, including a side-by-side battle with just two laps to go. Coming across the finish line just .165 seconds ahead of Micks, Lapcevich captured his first Super Series feature win since 1994. For Lapcevich, who was in contention to win the Toronto Molson Indy just two weeks ago - before being caught up in another competitor's accident - the win in the Mopar Parts 300 was extremely gratifying. Blue Streak Intrepid driver Al Turner finished third.
Peter Gibbons took the lead from Mopar Intrepid driver and polesitter Ron Beauchamp very early in the race. The Canadian Tire Chevy driver led until he was passed by Micks on lap 83. Several drivers pitted under caution, soon after, which handed the lead to Beauchamp.
The Windsor, ON racer held the top spot until he was passed, on lap 122, by the defending winner of the Mopar Parts 300, Dave Whitlock (Fast Lane Taurus). But the three-time CASCAR champion saw the lead slip away just 20 laps later when he was run down and passed by the charging Micks, who was on newer tires.
Rookie driver Joe Plazek put his Playstation2 Chevy into the lead on lap 173. The impressive first-year asphalt racer maintained the spot for 11 circuits, until pitting. In doing so, he passed the lead torch back to Micks, who held the spot until being passed by Lapcevich, with just eight laps to go. Plazek, of Caistor Centre, ON, continues to impress in his inaugural Super Series season, and is clearly making the adjustment from dirt, where he spent many years as one of the top competitors on the DIRT Motorsports circuit.
The CASCAR Super Series returns to action next weekend at the Molson Indy Vancouver.
CASCAR SUPER SERIES UNOFFICIAL POINT STANDINGS:
As of July 21, 2002 - After 8 of 12 events:
1. #4, Don Thomson Jr., 1348 points
2. #17, D. J. Kennington, 1305
3. #39, Dave Whitlock, 1257
4. #35, Kevin Dowler, 1223
5. #1, Peter Gibbons, 1207
6. #64, Mark Dilley, 1206
7. #76, Al Turner, 1202
8. #9, Robbie Thompson, 1182
9. #02, Kerry Micks, 1171
10. #60, Ron Beauchamp Jr., 1151
11. #93, Joe Goncalves, 1146
12. #99, Pete Vanderwyst, 1139
13. #33, Neil Fair, 1124
14. #22, Scott Steckly, 1118
15. #3, Billy Rowse Jr., 1082