Saturday night, the stars and cars of the APC United Late Model Series Presented by Grisdale Racing Enterprises were back in action at Sauble Speedway for a pair of twin 75-lap features, events number four and five of the 2021 championship schedule. The tour was supposed to compete on the August Civic holiday weekend at the Bruce Peninsula area ¼-mle oval, but rain would cancel the event.
The schedule was altered to give Ontario race fans a treat, the AP Emissions Technologies 75 presented by Quaker State, and the Stewart’s Equipment 75 on the same night.
Entering the twin-bill, Brandon Watson, of Stayner, and Pete Shepherd III, of London were tied for the championship lead, with Dale Shaw, of Guelph, eight points back, and Treyten Lapcevich, of Grimsby, and Jo Lawrence, of London, also in the mix, no more than 13 makers behind the points leaders.
Shortly after practice started the skies opened up, and the event was put on hold while everyone waited out the weather, which would finally break, but not allow enough time for qualifying as the starting order would be set based on the points standings.
Following the inversion, Mat Box, of Carlisle, was on the pole, with Jordan Sims, of Sault Ste. Marie, on the outside of the front row for the AP Emissions Technologies 75 presented by Quaker State. Jake Sheridan, of Mt. Brydges, and Andrew Gresel, of Sauble Beach, occupied row two, with J.R. Fitzpatrick, of Ayr, and Lawrence in row three. Lapcevich, and Shaw would roll from the fourth row, with Shepherd and Watson in row five.
Box, racing with a heavy heart at Sauble took the early lead and would lead the first two laps before Sheridan found his way to the front on lap three, before the yellow flew a couple laps later when James Horner, of Fraserville, spun in turns three and four.
Sheridan was able to keep control and opened up a gap on Gresel, and Sims, before Dustin Jackson, of Sault Ste. Marie, spun on lap 16 to bring out the second yellow of the race.
Yellow number three would come out shortly after the restart when Zach Sprung, of Owen Sound, and Jackson got together causing a delay in the action.
Two drivers on the move were Shaw, who had climbed from eighth to fourth, and Lapvevich was also now in the mix in fifth spot.
On lap 27, the race would be slowed for the fourth time, as Nick Goetz, of Southampton, and Tim Ellis, of Kitchener, tangled in turn four.
Sheridan would get away on the restart again, leaving Gresel and Sims in his wake. Lapcevich passed Shaw shortly after the green dropped again to claim fourth, positions they would continue in until the halfway point. Former track champion, Josh Stade, of Chesley, found himself in sixth, after starting 13th, with Fitzpatrick, Lawrence, Ryan Kimball, of Norwood, and Shepherd filling out the top-ten.
With 25 to go, Shaw had re-taken fourth from Lapcevich, and Kimball had dispatched Fitzpatrick for seventh, but the battle between Lapcevich and Shaw wasn’t done. As the pair were racing with 16 to go the pair made contact into turn one while trying to lap a slower car, with Shaw ending up in the fence. The 2015 Series champion would visit the pits and return to action at the back of the pack, as Stade moved into the top-five, but it was short lived for Josh, and Kimball got past him no the restart, and was on the charge, putting the heat on Lapcevich.
Meanwhile at the front of the pack, it was still all Sheridan, as he continued to control the pace until the checkers finally fell after 75 laps, claiming his first career APC United Late Model Series feature win by a margin of .506 seconds over Gresel. Sims held on for third, while Kimball moved Lapcevich and passed him for fourth with two laps to go. Lapcevich held off Stade for fifth, with Stade sixth. Fitzpatrick wound up seventh. J.R. Farley, of Guelph, had a tremendous drive from 24th on the grid to eighth, while Matt Pritiko, of London, advanced from 22nd in the starting line up to a ninth-place result, with Lawrence winding up 10th.
Championship contenders Watson and Shepherd finished 11th and 12th.
This unofficially puts Shepherd one point behind Watson for the championship, with Lapcevich moving to third, and Gresel moving from seventh to fourth, while Sheridan vaulting from eighth to fifth with the win, heading into the nightcap later in the evening.
Photo by Thompson Photography