By: Ashley McCubbin
There’s been an influx of APC Auto Parts United Late Model Series drivers getting behind the wheel of NASCAR Pinty’s Series cars, from Shae Gemmell and Treyten Lapcevich to Brandon Watson.
The latest to get the chance to do so was Josh Stade, who partook in a test at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park last month with Wight Motorsports.
“It was amazing experience and I felt after a quick couple of laps following Gary Klutt, I adapted quick to getting around the road course,” Josh Stade told NEWS FROM THE PITS.
Stade added being used to ovals, it was totally different experiencing the 10-turn road course. It was why getting comfortable came down to more learning the track – from where to put the car and carrying momentum to getting shifts right – than the actual racecar itself.
The opportunity came about thanks to a conversation with one of their drivers, Mark Dilley.
“He was mentioning that him his team owner TJ (Rinomato) and the WMI crew were going to test Mosport, (and) in conversation we had mentioned that we had never even been,” Stade recalled. “Mark said come down next week see what it’s all about and bring your gear.”
It was a chance he enjoyed, stating it ultimately is his most memorable moment of the 2021 season.
“For TJ and Mark to allow me to step in and test a car I’ve never been in, a track I’ve never been at and a road course I’ve never drove, it was a pretty amazing and fun experience that knocked a few things off of my bucket list for sure,” he commented. “We had a lot of fun, met some great people, and for that I’m still buzzing.”
Following a successful test, Stade says if an opportunity came about to run a series event, he wouldn’t turn it down.
“That is my nature though,” he admits. “I would race anything given the opportunity with seat time in any race car is huge for a driver to learn from.”
This past APC Series season, Stade showed speed on a weekly basis throughout the schedule, poised to score a victory at Sunset Speedway after leading over half the laps prior to a mechanical failure. Ultimately, he capped off the year with three top-10’s including a season-best sixth at Sauble Speedway.
“I felt as if we had a very competitive car all year,” he commented. “We still are searching for some speed at Delaware , but we were in the mix with all the front runners. Unfortunately for me, I had my biggest racing career heart break at Sunset when our ball joint broke. I felt as if that was our race. We had a dominate car for 80 laps and didn’t look back until that part malfunction.”