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Howse’s Maiden Voyage to Epic Victory Lane

By: Jamie Maudsely | APC Racing Series | August 14, 2021 at 9:45pm
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The 2021 APC  United Late Model Series presented by Grisdale Racing Enterprises rolled into  Sunset Speedway on Saturday for the Dayco 100, event number three of the season,  and the first visit of the year to the Barrie-area banked 1/3-mile playground  of speed.

Brandon  Watson, of Stayner, has been the story of the season entering the Dayco 100, as  he is a perfect two for two on the year, and arrived at Sunset Speedway, a  place he has three previous wins, with an 11-point margin on Pete Shepherd III,  of London, and 12 markers on Treyten Lapcevich, of Grimsby.

The first  order of business was qualifying, and it looked like there might be a shot at  the track record of 14.037 seconds, set in May 2018 by Watson.  Dale Shaw, of Guelph, set the early mark of  14.361 seconds, during the first group of qualifying.  Despite some heavy hitters throughout the  qualifying program, no one was able to topple the early time set by Shaw, the  2015 APC United Late Model Series champion, as he was able to capture the fast-qualifying  award.

Shepherd  timed in second at 14.423 seconds, while Jake Sheridan, of Mt. Brydges, qualified  third at 14.443 seconds.  J.R.  Fitzpatrick, of Ayr, and Jo Lawrence, of London, rounded up the top-five.

Former  Sunset feature winner Jordan Sims, of Sault Ste. Marie, was sixth, with Jordan  Howse, of Hillsburg, seventh, Ryan Kimball, of Norwood, eighth, and Nick Goetz,  of Southampton, and Andrew Gresel, of Sauble Beach, rounding out the top-ten.

Following  the inversion of the top-ten, Sims wound up on the pole, looking for his second  career triumph at Sunset, and Kimball on the outside of the front row.  Sheridan and Shaw would make up row two, with  Lawrence joining Fitzpatrick in row three.   The remainder of the top-ten saw Gresel, Shepherd, Howse, and Goetz fill  those spots.

Kimball and  Sims ran the first three laps of the Dayco 100 side-by-side, with Kimball  holding the lead at the line by a bumper each time, and when the races first  yellow flew for a stopped Brandon McFerran, of Action, on the backstretch, putting  Kimball in control for the restart.

‘Flyin’  Ryan’ was able to take control from the outside lane on the restart, but Sims hung  tough on the bottom while Sheridan chased the side-by-side duel for the lead until  Kimball moved in front by a car length on lap eight.

Yellow  number two flew on lap nine when Dustin Jackson, of Sault Ste. Marie spun off  turn four, with the biggest early moves being Shepherd who had climbed from  eighth to fifth, and Watson, the point leader, who was shown 11th after  starting 15th.

Kimball  took control again, and Sims could only hang tough so long before falling into  the clutches of Shaw, the fast qualifier.   After dispatching Sims, Shaw set his sights on Kimball, and waltzed by  into the lead on lap 20.  Shepherd was  also continuing to climb the leaderboard, as he bypassed Kimball on lap 25 to  move to second.  Fitzparick and Sims rounded  out the top-five, but Sims was in trouble as his car faded to eighth by lap 30,  moving Sheridan back into the top-five.

The next driver  to fade was Kimball, who had fallen back to ninth on lap 35, with Shaw still in  command over Shepherd and Fitzpatrick, with Sheridan fourth, and Howse moving  to fifth after starting ninth.

At the halfway  point when the crossed flags appeared, Shaw held a lead of a little more than  1.5 seconds over Shepherd, with Fitzpatrick over four seconds behind the  leader, and Sheridan and Howse filling the top-five spots, with Lawrence sixth.

After  taking a plane from qualifying earlier in the day at the Pinty’s event in  Quebec, Treyten Lapcevich, of Grimsby, started at the back of the pack and had  climbed to seventh with the assistance of just two yellows.  Gresel, ran eighth, with Travis Hallyburton,  of Elmvale, ninth, and Watson, the championship leader, running a pedestrian  tenth.

The third  yellow flew on lap 59, as Jackson went around for the second time of the night,  putting Shaw on the inside of Shepherd for the restart, and Fitzpatrick and Howse  occupying row two.  Shepherd was able to briefly  poke his nose out front on the outside on lap 59 before Shaw cleared him, but  Shepherd wasn’t done as he went on the attack on the inside.  Shaw held him off, but it was House who was  on the attack, moving to second, while Shepherd faded to fourth, behind  Fitzparick.

Shepherd  was able to move back to third on lap 79 but had nothing for the top-two  drivers.

On lap 82,  Howse made the move, taking command from Shaw, and was staring at less than 20  laps between him and his first career win.

Shaw was unable  to mount another challenge for the win, coming home second to Howse, as the race  ran green until the end.

Shepherd  closed the race out third, while Lawrence finished fourth, and Sheridan held  off Fitzpatrick to round out the top-five.

Fitzpatrick  came home sixth, while local shoe Hallyburton was seventh.  Conner James, of Hamilton, was eighth, with  Lapcevich coming from the back of the pack to finished ninth.  Sims finished tenth, with point leader Watson  11th, and Gresel losing 3 spots in the final two laps to wind up 12th.

With Lapcevich  and Sheridan finishing in front of Watson, it will tighten the championship  points heading to the next event, next Saturday night, August 21st, at  Sauble Speedway, in Sauble Beach, ON.

Because of a rain out earlier in the month, the  APC United Late Models will have a pair of 75 lap features next Saturday night,  which could have a huge impact on the championship chase.  

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