HAGERSVILLE, ON - For the first time in nearly a calendar year due to the global pandemic, the APC Series returned to action on Saturday, August 8th at Canada’s Crown Jewel, Jukasa Motor Speedway. The Dayco 75 presented by Pennzoil kicked-off a shortened five race season in a big way with a 32 car field on the 5/8 mile oval.
Pole qualifying saw Jo Lawrence claim the top spot with a time of 18.401, bettering former series champion Brandon Watson by a mere 0.011 seconds. Defending series champion Matt Pritiko timed in third fastest with Treyten Lapcevich and Travis Hallyburton rounding out the top five qualifying spots.
The Dayco 75 presented by Pennzoil began as the field roared to life in front of thousands of viewers all watching from their homes, unable to attend due to current restrictions. Jo Lawrence would lead the field into the first corner but it would be Brandon Watson using the high side to lead early. Watson and Lawrence would begin to distance themselves from the field as Treyten Lapcevich worked to hold off Pete Shepherd and Matt Pritiko for the third spot.
As the 1/3 mark in the race approached, the leaders began to work lapped traffic before Jake Sheridan went around off of turn two and brought out the races first caution flag. Several cars including Bryan Mercer, Tim Norris, and Tyler Di Venanzo utilized the caution period to come to the aid of their crew and make some needed adjustments on their Pro Late Models.
The restart allowed Shepherd to advance to third on the high side as Lapcevich fell backwards to fifth. JR Fitzpatrick, Matt Pritiko and Shae Gemmell found themselves in a heated battle by lap 28 after DJ Kennington snuck his way into the fourth running position.
At the halfway point in the Dayco 75 presented by Pennzoil, Watson had opened up a 15 car length advantage over 2019 rookie of the year, Jo Lawrence. Battles throughout the field continued as drivers tried to work their way forward in a race that was 25 laps shorter than a typical 100 lap APC Series event. Piper Adams went around directly in front of the race leader on lap 44, causing Watson to slide the tires and lock the brakes up for a concerning amount of time before narrowly missing the spun car. Once again, several cars came to pit road for service under the caution period, including JR Fitzpatrick who had been racing inside the top 10.
DJ Kennington moved into the top three on the restart as Pete Shepherd found himself under fire and fell a few spots back. Watson held the race lead but Lawrence stuck right with the nine car and began pressuring, looking high and low for a clean way to the race lead. On lap 56, Lawrence would take the lead and after a failed crossover attempt from Watson, would begin to run away. Matt Pritiko entered the top three on lap 61 after Kennington was unable to stick with him on the high side.
As the laps ticked away, Lawrence would continue to drive away in pursuit of his first career APC Series victory. Lawrence would show the way to the checkered flag as Brandon Watson, Matt Pritiko, DJ Kennington and Pete Shepherd rounded out the top five spots. The victory completed the evening sweep for Lawrence after claiming the pole award earlier in the day. Brandon Watson would lead the most laps in the 75 lap race, taking away the only additional point Lawrence could have earned on the day.
The tour will rest next week before heading to Sauble Speedway for the Stewart’s 100 presented by Pennzoil. Race fans will still be unable to attend the event due to current restrictions, however the action will once again be broadcasted live for free by GForceTV. Stay tuned to www.APCRacingSeries.com for event information including an itinerary in the coming days.