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Lawrence Wins a Thriller at Sunset

By: Ryan Dyson | APC Racing Series | September 12, 2020 at 10:15pm
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INNISFIL, ON - The third round of the abbreviated 2020 APC Series season saw the tour head to Innisfil, Ontario’s Sunset Speedway for the London Recreational Racing 100 presented by Shell Rotella. 25 Late Model teams would answer the call with 27 MRE Super Stock Series teams in attendance for their second of three events on the 2020 schedule.

The MRE Super Stock Series saw Ryan Semple score the victory over Kenny Grubb and Frank Davey. The race saw the field battle hard and clean for 40 laps on the high banks with close side by side battles all the way back. Only two caution flags slowed the race with the majority of the field able to finish all 40 laps.

APC Series group qualifying sessions would conclude with Jo Lawrence on top of the charts with a 14.084, just shy of the track record of a 14.037. Josh Stade and Treyten Lapcevich rounded out the points paying spots, meaning Lawrence would leapfrog Brandon Watson in point standings entering the 100 lap affair.

The London Recreational Racing 100 presented by Shell Rotella saw Danny Benedict start on pole after the invert with Andrew Gresel alongside. Gresel would lead the opening lap of the race as the whole field remained side by side behind. On lap two there was trouble in turn four as several cars tangled including Nick Goetz going around and Dwayne Baker getting the worst, ending his evening early with left suspension troubles. 

After the restart the top five looked completely different with Pete Shepherd quickly moving to second, Lawrence to third, Matt Pritiko to fourth and Jake Sheridan into fifth. On lap 16 Shepherd pulled alongside Gresel for the lead before the yellow was shown for Jade Franklin going around in turn one.

Pete Shepherd would take the race lead on lap 19 after a battle with Andrew Gresel, bringing Jo Lawrence with him into second. Matt Pritiko would quickly move past Gresel and into the top three as the 81 car began to fade slightly. The caution came out on lap 23 when contact sent Treyten Lapcevich around in the apex of turns one and two. The caution was shown again on lap 32 when Nick Goetz ended up the wrong way off of turn four and facing oncoming traffic. All drivers narrowly missed contact and Goetz continued on after getting pointed in the right direction. 

On lap 36, Brandon Watson moved to the high side of race leader Pete Shepherd and took the lead just two laps later. Lawrence would also move around Shepherd and set sights on the top spot. Shae Gemmell went around on lap 44 after contact from behind, triggering the caution flag once again. There was more trouble on lap 52 as several cars tangled in turn three including Dale Shaw, Mat Box, and Blair Wickett. The night ended for Dale Shaw as the right front tire faced the wrong direction and he went on the hook from the tow truck.

Just after Jo Lawrence took the lead from Brandon Watson there was a large pileup off of turn four that collected Shawn Chenoweth, Shae Gemmell, Shawn McGlynn and Andrew Gresel. While several cars took damage, none were catastrophic. The restart would result in another caution after contact sent Shawn McGlynn around off of turn four. Once again just as Lawrence was looking to take the lead, the yellow came out for a stopped Jake Sheridan on the front straightaway. 

Lawrence would finally get clear of Watson on lap 67 but the two would quickly find themselves side by side again in a battle that seemed to last en eternity. The caution came again on lap 71, this time with Lawrence being credited as the race leader. Gemmell found himself in another crash on lap 72 after Tom Gibbons was sent for a spin in turn three and the track closed up quick, resulting in heavy front end damage on the 3 car.

While having a career run, Tyler Di Venanzo went around on lap 85, triggering the caution flag and erasing a sizeable lead for Jo Lawrence, setting up for another wild restart. Jade Franklin went around on lap 88 after contact, once again eliminating a large gap created by Lawrence up front and triggering another restart. There was a massive pileup on lap 96 as several cars tangled in turn four, causing a red flag. Shawn McGlynn found himself on top of Blair Wickett with Di Venanzo also under the 1 car and Nick Goetz entangled in the mess also. 

The race would end in dramatic fashion as Lawrence and Watson would wreck across the finish line. Lawrence would earn his second victory of the season with Watson being scored in second and Pete Shepherd earning the final step on the podium. 

The 2020 season will conclude in two weeks at Jukasa Motor Speedway with Twin 75 lap races for the APC Series and a 40 lap feature event for the MRE Super Stock Series. Information can be found on www.APCRacingSeries.com

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