Commentary

OBSERVATIONS: Canadian Tire 125 at Delaware Speedway

By: Ashley McCubbin

It’s going to be a very exciting weekend of racing, if the first of three NASCAR Pinty’s Series races at Delaware Speedway is any indication.

As evident by both the Qwick Wick Super Stock Series finale and the Canadian Tire 125 for the NASCAR Pinty’s Series, close quarters racing is the name of the game around the half-mile. Unfortunately, that results in contact at multiple times, and people leave with a mix of feelings.

D.J. Kennington has more laps around Delaware Speedway than anybody else in the field, and it showed by running inside the top-five all night long after qualifying second. He was also strong on the short run, and reeled in Treyten Lapcevich following a late-race restart.

Lapcevich, who appeared stronger on the long run, had dominated the middle portion of the event and could easily been on his way to his first career series victory if not for the late caution. Instead, his inability to get away on the final restart opened the door.

It’s one thing to complete a pass clean without any contact. Ideally, that’s the way you want things done as it’s takes skills to roll the center and get a run underneath somebody. Lapcevich had followed this technique through the event.

Though tight confines bring forth the controversial bump and run, to where it seems no two fans can agree about it being done in the right, professional way. In this situation, Kennington ultimately rolled into three better, connecting with Lapcevich’s bumper for a clean tap to send the No. 20 up the track, and roll on by.

Was it fair? Absolutely, as short track racing has always been a little rough around the edges.

Does Lapcevich have a right to be frustrated? Any driver who has the win snatched away in the final laps would be. He has every right to be frustrated, but also there’s an understanding it’s not over the line in desperate measure racing.

The only takeaway that is positive could be Kennington admitting it. He straight out said he got into the back of Lapcevich with the door being left open, but also praised the young star in saying he has lots of  wins to come.

It will be interesting to see how the pair race each other moving forward. It’s not the first time they’ve made contact, with Kennington giving Lapcevich a shove in a late model event at Flamboro Speedway. As said in victory lane, “There’s still two more races,” and that means anything is possible. If the pair meet again on Sunday, could we see the No. 17 spun around backwards?

The pair that could capitalize on Sunday could be Andrew Ranger and Cole Powell. The pair ragged a war for third throughout the duration, backing up Ranger’s victory at Flamboro Speedway. Also, don’t overlook Shae Gemmell as he showed speed early but was stuck in traffic due to incidents.

Alex Tagliani hopes to be part of  the conversation, as he struggled in qualifying and was a non-factor throughout the whole event. Entering as the points leader, continuing to perform in this luxury will hand the championship over to L.P. Dumoulin.

It is worth noting the driver of the No. 18 for 22 Racing has been fast each season and shown title potential, but seems to throw it away late in the season. A repeat of that fate would not be welcome.

Short track heroes Brandon Watson and J.R. Fitzpatrick once again proved their worth in the Ontario racing scene, battling right alongside the series regulars. If not being spun out while trying to avoid a spin, Fitzpatrick could easily have placed inside the top-five as he was making up ground slowly. Watson, meanwhile, solidly ran sixth until brake problems took him out of contention.

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