HAGERSVILLE, ON - The third event on the 2019 season for the APC United Late Model Series presented by Grisdale Racing Products saw 35 teams in attendance at Hagersville, Ontario’s Jukasa Motor Speedway. The track dubbed ‘Canada’s Crown Jewel’ played host to an incredible event that saw the race winner a guaranteed starting spot in the Canadian Short Track Nationals scheduled for later in the summer.
Group qualifying saw Jo Lawrence take the top spot for the second time this season with a time of 18.723, bettering Brandon Watson, Ray Morneau, JR Fitzpatrick, and Jake Sheridan who rounded out the top five.
The 100 lap Prelude to the Nationals kicked-off with Jake Sheridan on the pole after the invert with Junior Farrelly on his high side. Sheridan would lead until lap seven when JR Fitzpatrick made his way to the top position. In his return to the APC Series, Brandon Watson made his way into the top three after just 15 laps, coming from the 10th starting position.
Lap 30 saw a close call as Ray Morneau, who was making his series debut, tagged the wall while running inside the top 10. The caution flag came out on lap 30 for Shawn McGlynn going around on the front straightaway. All others missed the spun number one car as it rolled to the inside apron facing oncoming traffic.
On the ensuing restart there was trouble as Shae Gemmell slid in fluid on the track and into Jake Sheridan. Behind there was more trouble as several cars went around and Jordan Howse ended up in the fence. Shae Gemmell took the lead on the restart but it was short lived as Fitzpatrick fought back on the high side. 47 laps into the Prelude to the Nationals Marc Jacobs took a hard hit as he had a mechanical failure in the centre of turns one and two.
A long green flag run saw Gemmell and Brandon Watson swap the runner-up position a few times as Fitzpatrick continued to pace the field. During the run the top three cars broke away from the rest of the field by nearly a straightaway. On lap 78, Fitzpatrick surrendered the top spot to Brandon Watson after a high side to low side crossover.
With eleven laps remaining the caution flag flew for the final time as JR Fitzpatrick blew a tire and rode the outside wall into turn one while running in second place. The final restart saw Brandon Watson slip away from the field as he went on to score his series leading 13th victory over Shae Gemmell and Jake Sheridan, who held off Dale Shaw after a race long battle.
The next event for the APC Series is in just one week at Delaware Speedway for the annual Canada Day weekend celebration. The Spectra Premium 100 Presented by Pennzoil is scheduled for a 6:00pm start with advance tickets already on sale at www.DelawareSpeedway.com
APC Series PR - www.APCRacingSeries.com
Photos by Dave Franks Photography