LATE RACE INCIDENT COSTS TIM HORTONS CHEVROLET TEAM June 7, 2009. Jeff Lapcevich and the ...
LATE RACE INCIDENT COSTS TIM HORTONS CHEVROLET TEAM
June 7, 2009. Jeff Lapcevich and the #23 Tim Hortons Chevrolet team worked on two separate but equally important projects leading up to round two of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series at Delaware Speedway this past Saturday. The first was a labour of love for all involved.
Participating in Tim Hortons Camp Day on June 3rd. The annual Camp Day is the one day each year where every penny of coffee sales at Tim Hortons locations in Canada and the United States is donated to the Tim Hortons Children's Foundation. By purchasing coffee on Camp Day loyal customers helped to send close to 14,000 children between the ages of nine and twelve to one of six Foundation Camps where the kids participate in a wide range of first class programs and activities designed to build self-confidence, self esteem and leadership skills. The #23 Tim Hortons Chevrolet appeared at several locations in Southern Ontario and generated plenty of activity and interest and helped attract customers during the hugely successful Camp Day.
The second activity of course was preparing their race car for competition which involved several late nights for many of the team members as the entire rear end of the car needed to be replaced after hard impact at round number one.
As the Tim Hortons Chevrolet began to run practice laps it was evident early that something was amiss. The crew quickly determined that a piece of plastic was lodged in the carburetor and wasn't allowing Jeff the opportunity to get all of the power from the motor. Once the obstruction was cleared performance improved and Lapcevich qualified the Tim Hortons car eleventh for the 200 lap main event.
The #23 Tim Hortons car didn't stay there for long. Jeff quickly moved up through the field into the top-ten. "The car was really good, the whole team did a great job just to get us ready and we were really strong once we solved that little problem in practice" said the driver. Unfortunately the team's fortunes would quickly change as Jeff had contact with another car and spun. This would be the first of several incidents during the race.
Recovering quickly from the early spin Lapcevich moved back through the field and eventually into the top-five. "I was running in fourth and looking to gain another spot but a car a lap down was not giving way to the faster cars so I tried to stay out of the way. Unfortunately they had trouble and I got into the #21 car. The trouble from this one incident however was just beginning.
After the contact NASCAR officials ruled that Lapcevich was guilty of rough driving and would have to serve a penalty. As Jeff attempted to move the #23 Tim Hortons Chevrolet onto pit lane for a drive through penalty he was spun again. Though he would lose a tremendous amount of track position he was still forced to pit again to serve a penalty. "I didn't agree with the call for rough driving in the first place. I spoke with the diver of the #21 car after the race and he didn't believe that was the case either but we have to live with it" said the frustrated driver.
Once again Jeff Lapcevich would keep the Tim Hortons Chevrolet moving toward the front of the field and was trying to salvage whatever points possible from the night. Unfortunately on a late race restart the car in front of him missed a shift coming up to speed, an Lapcevich had no where to go and made contact damaging the radiator and ending their night. The #23 Tim Hortons car would be classified fifteenth at the end.
The 2009 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series continues with round number three with the first road course event of the season this coming weekend at Mosport International Raceway. Practice and qualifying will take place Saturday and the race will be on Sunday June 14th. This years thirteen events will consist of ovals, road courses and temporary street circuits from coast to coast in Canada. All events are once again scheduled to appear on TSN.