The 100 Kellogg Lane Championship Event presented by Maple City Tire, the ninth and final round on the 2018 season, saw JR Fitzpatrick officially crowned the fourth champion for the APC Series in as many years. A large crowd was on hand to celebrate the accomplishment with Fitzpatrick after the conclusion of the 100 lap main event that wrapped up the 37th annual Great Canadian Race Weekend at Delaware Speedway.
Bennett GM Pole Qualifying started the evening’s competition for the APC Series as drivers were released in groups based on practice speeds earlier in the day. JR Fitzpatrick timed in fastest with a time of 18.359, bettering Matt Pritiko, Brandon Watson, Shae Gemmell and Jake Sheridan, who rounded out the top five. By turning a lap, Fitzpatrick officially clinched the 2018 championship.
The 100 Kellogg Lane Championship Event presented by Maple City Tire started off with Andrew Gresel on the pole position after the top 10 shuffle, alongside Junior Farrelly. Farrelly would get the jump on the start and lead the opening lap of the race as the field followed close behind. There was trouble on lap one for newly crowned champion, JR Fitzpatrick, as contact entering turn one saw a wall of smoke appear and Fitzpatrick enter the pits with a flat right front tire.
Dorchester’s Jamie Cox took the race lead on lap two, much to the excitement of the crowd as the 11-time Delaware Speedway track champion took command of the field. Cox would hold the lead until lap 13 when MacMaster of Orangeville Rookie of the year winner, Jake Sheridan, made his move to the inside and cleared him. Matt Pritiko took over the runner-up spot on lap 29 as the field still chased Sheridan on a long green flag run from the start of the 100 lap race.
Treyten Lapcevich, who started the race in the seventh spot, moved into the third position on lap 42, shuffling Jamie Cox off of a podium step. The first caution of the race came out on lap 49 when Andrew Gresel went around off of turn two. The yellow flag saw several drivers enter the pits as this was the first opportunity for teams to make some much needed adjustments to their cars. The restart was disaster for third place runner Treyten Lapcevich as sparks flew from beneath his car and the yellow was shown once again. Lapcevich would not return to the race, ending his 2018 season and potential runner-up points finish.
Brandon Watson would advance to the third spot on the restart and would set his sights on the front two right away. On lap 66, the yellow flag would be shown again as Shawn McGlynn went around on the front straightaway. The restart allowed Brandon Watson to move up to second and begin pressuring Jake Sheridan for the race lead. Just one lap later Watson would take his number nine machine to the front and lead his first lap of the race.
The race would get into another green flag run from the restart as drivers worked to pick off some positions in the closing laps. DJ Kennington, a fill in driver for Branden Verhoeven, worked his way up to sixth spot as Jake Sheridan raced for all his worth to hold off Matt Pritiko and Shae Gemmell for second. Watson would go on to collect his fifth checkered flag of the 2018 season and visit Sauble Beach Motorsports Victory Lane as Sheridan held off Pritiko for third with Shae Gemmell and Jamie Cox rounding out the top five.
The 2018 racing season has come to a close and all eyes now turn towards the October 20th championship banquet held at the 4 Points by Sheraton in London, Ontario. The celebration will highlight many exciting moments from the incredible season and JR Fitzpatrick will sit at the head table.
By Ryan Dyson - APC Series PR
Photos by Samantha Pilkey