Cayden Lapcevich claims first NASCAR Pinty’s win
Teenager Cayden Lapcevich claimed his maiden victory in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series by finishing first at the Velocity Prairie Thunder 250 at Wyant Group Raceway.
After scoring a pair of runner-up finishes in what he called ‘frustrating nights’ earlier this season, the 16 year-old Grimsby, Ontario native can finally celebrate.
Lapcevich took the lead in a tight battle with veteran Jason Hathaway midway through the race and held off former NASCAR Pinty’s Series champion L.P. Dumoulin late to score his first series victory.
He scored the win in just his 13th start, to become the youngest winner in the history of the series at 16 years, eight months and 24 days – eclipsing the old record held by J.R. Fitzpatrick of 19 years, one month and 26 days set in 2007.
Lapcevich first took the lead on lap 135 as he and Hathaway raced side-by-side for eight laps.
After Hathaway took the lead on laps 136-137, Lapcevich reclaimed the top spot on lap 138 and remained out front with leads by as much as six car lengths.
Late race action
Hathaway and Lapcevich traded the lead two more times before the teenager reclaimed the point on lap 145 and stayed out front until the eighth and final caution of the race was given to the field on lap 237.
Dumoulin, who won this race in 2014 for his first oval track win, took the lead after the restart on lap 246 before Lapcevich made the pass for the lead on lap 248 and hold on for the victory.
Alex Labbe followed Dumoulin in third to score his best finish since his win at Chaudière in June with Alex Tagliani and pole position holder, Andrew Ranger completing the top five.
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“It’s awesome!” said Lapcevich after the race. “We feel we gave away a couple of ones away earlier in the season and it was hard to come over. So to jump on the top step of podium today is a dream come true. We did it against the top guys in the country. I hope we can take one more before the end of the season.”
D.J. Kennington was sixth followed by Gary Klutt, Kevin Lacroix, Noel Dowler and Mark Dilley to complete the top 10.
Lapcevich pulled to within one point of Ranger in the driver points’ battle (289-288).
The NASCAR Pinty’s series will return to action on August 14 at Circuit de Trois-Rivieres for the Can-Am 50 Tours.
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