The 2017 APC Series championship battle will come to a close at Delaware Speedway on September 16th with the running of the prestigious Great Canadian race. Since the APC Series inception in 2015, the series champion has been crowned as a part of the Great Canadian weekend, an event that signals the end of the grueling 10 race schedule in 2017.
The 2017 season has been the season of Stayner, Ontario driver Brandon Watson, who has taken his Shear Metal Products, Tiff’s Bar, McColl Racing Enterprises, Barrie Frame & Alignment #9 machine through great amounts of success. Watson's success started off with a checkered flag at Sunset Speedway on May 27th and has continued through the summer, as the driver has collected six checkered flags along the way and will be eyeing to closeout his championship season with another strong finish at Delaware Speedway. Watson will lock up the 2017 championship once he takes the green flag at Delaware and will be crowned the series 3rd different champion in 3 seasons. Champion predecessors include Dale Shaw in 2015 and Andrew Gresel in 2016.
In 2016, Andrew Gresel in his McRobert Fuels, LRR, CUSW, Sauble Falls Tent & Trailer Park #81 collected five checkered flags including the final one of the season at Delaware in the Great Canadian Race, en route to being crowned champion. In 2017, if not for Watson’s terrific season, Gresel would be looking at scoring back to back championships, as his 2017 has been just that, a championship caliber season. He has nine top ten finishes as well as eight top five performances in the nine events thus far. Gresel currently holds a 33 point advantage over current third place point’s runner Matt Pritiko.
After Watson and Gresel in the standings there is still much to be decided. Currently in third is Matt Pritiko in his Global Warranty, Burwell Auto body, Toyota Town #21. Only six points behind Pritiko is 2016 rookie of the year and sophomore sensation Shae Gemmell, driving the #3 North Country Property Maintenance, APC, Maryanne Mustangs machine. Rounding out the top five, just 13 points behind Gemmell, is the Meineke Car Care, Davidson Custom Broker, and JMB Sales #23 driven by Shawn McGlynn. The remaining top 10 point runners are separated by a mere 49 points and could look very different by the end of the Great Canadian Race.
The MacMaster of Orangeville Rookie of the Year battle has been close all season long and will come to a close along with the season on September 16th. 13 year old Grimsby, Ontario driver Treyten Lapcevich has been on fire as of late, scoring two top ten finishes in the previous three events, and has catapulted his London Recreational Racing, Oakville Auto Collision #32 into the top 10 in overall points. For the majority of the season, London, Ontario driver Patrick Freel was on the heels of Lapcevich in his Simtech Supply Management #18, however some trouble last time out at Jukasa Motor Speedway has allowed Lapcevich to stretch the lead. The two young guns are the future of auto racing and their first season with the APC Series and first behind the wheel of the pro late model has been largely successful.
With the 2017 season coming to a close at Delaware Speedway, there is still much to be decided as drivers will be battling it out on the fast ½ mile to try and pickup points and launch themselves up the final season charts. The series third champion will hoist the trophy on the front stretch on September 16th and another season of hard fought, side by side battles will be in the record books. Following the championship race the next event for the APC Series will be held on Saturday October 21st with the annual awards banquet, where the series will thank all the loyal drives and sponsors who have supported the series throughout 2017.