By: Ashley McCubbin
While most Canadians saw their racing season finish mid-October, the same was proven to be the case for Treyten Lapcevich. Instead, he made the trip south of the border with Wight Motorsports for the Snowflake 100 earlier this month at 5 Flags Speedway.
The 2021 NASCAR Pinty’s Series Rookie of the Year performed well in his first attempt at the event, qualifying 18th and placed 14th in the event despite a parts failure.
“I think we were pretty happy with it,” he told NEWS FROM THE PITS. “We achieved our first goal in just making the race. With all the talent that shows up there, just making the race would be a good thing to be able to carry on to going into the next coming years. It’s defiantly a tough race to make. We showed a lot of speed in practice. It’s unfortunate our bad luck started in qualifying there with the car wrecking before us, and dirtying the track and laying down the fluid there. Then having the parts failure in the race, it just seemed everything went wrong at the worst possible times as practice went really well, actually.
“We were thinking we had a ton of speed going into the race, but we were happy to qualify 18th and happily put us in the show, and then finish 14th with the parts failure. Considering, it was all a really good experience.”
The failure was a suspension part, which took the team out of contention for a top-10 finish in the late stages of the event. The problems came about as a result of the unexpected extra load on the car due to the speed difference between 5 Flags Speedway and tracks in Ontario.
“It was load that we hadn’t experienced before, and plus we had better shocks on the car which all contributes to a little more tear on the parts than we would normally see,” Lapcevich explained. “I think that helps us from a building perspective to improve as a whole, whether it’s the APC Series or more races down south, as well.”
The speed was one of the big highlights of the weekend, being one of the first surprises once unloading for the first practice session.
“Doing laps on the simulator and watching videos, you don’t realize how fast it is until you get there,” he said. “We’re driving it so deep in to the corners, lifting so little, and barely using any brake at all was a pretty eye opener to me. I think it’s comparable to Jukasa (Motor Speedway), but a little faster in the corners.
“Other than that, we were surprised with the speed we had right off the bat in being third quickest in the first practice right off the bat in the Thursday practice. I think we were expecting to have to work at a little, and we made a ton of adjustments throughout Thursday, Friday, and Saturday practice. But knowing that we had the speed right off the bat, it felt good to know we had a pretty good base.”
With the success to date, he will get another opportunity down south, with it being announced he will be running the 2022 Grand Slam Outlaw Late model Racing Series at Plymouth Motor Speedway.
“I’m really excited for it,” Lapevich said. “I tested an Outlaw a couple years ago and it was wild as well there. They’re extremely fast and a lot of grip there. So a really big thanks to Kevin Sauer for making that happen. It will be at the new Plymouth Speedway – while not new, but going back to asphalt. I’ve never been there myself, but I’ve seen videos and photos that they’ve been posting and it looks like a cool track. So it’ll definitely be exciting and I’m not for sure on this yet, but I think I’ll be racing against my brother (Cayden Lapcevich).”
While noting some of those events conflict with the APC Auto Parts united Late Model Series Tour, the third generation racer says their plans are up in the air for the 2022 campaign. Beyond possibly returning to the APC Series and Pinty’s Series, there is also a possibility of running more races down south.
“It was definitely a good experience and to know that we can go down south and have that speed with our equipment was good because we had to change a lot of stuff going there and acquire a lot of parts,” he said. “Now that we have that stuff, it will be easy to go back in the future.”