By: Ashley McCubbin
Following a couple victories last season in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series, many fans are excited about seeing Treyten Lapcevich return in 2023. So what’s in the cards for the third generation racer? News From The Pits recently caught up with him to see.
What’s in the cards for 2023 for you?
We’re trying to get everything figured out right now, in regards to the funding and stuff like that. But right now, we will probably back in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series with 22 Racing to some capacity, hopefully we’ll know soon what that looks like. Whether being part-time or full-time, we’re not just sure on that aspect of it yet. Hopefully some new sponsors coming on-board and new games. That’s that side of things. For the late model side, I think we’re open to focusing on whatever we can to do more races down south. We haven’t picked out any specific races or places we want to hit, but we’re just going to do it as much as we can with what we have for the most part.
I was just going to say, it’s been neat to see you make the trek down there (to the United States) and try some of the big (late model) races. How has that experience gone for you so far?
We did the Snowflake in 2021, that was a really good experience for us. I think that was kind of a big confidence booster in itself when we went down there. We were competitive. I think we ran really good all weekend and then we had the equipment failure in the race so it was kind of disappointing. It makes us want to get back really bad. That’s definitely one of the ones that we’ve circled to try and get back to this year. Then we also did the Easter Bunny in March last year. That one really went well. We got a top-10 in the first race, really competitive, and then in the second, race we had some engine issues.
I think both times we’ve been down to the states, we’ve been competitive. It makes me wish we could get down there most often. I think we’re going to try and get there a few more times this summer if we can and hopefully pick up some good finishes.
If you could pick your dream event to run down there in a late model, which would it be and why?
We did the Snowflake, but I think the dream event would be the Snowball (Derby). Obviously, it’s the big one. Everyone in short track racing knows the Snowball. It’s that time of the year where nobody else is doing anything but watching the Snowball Derby if you’re into racing. I think that’s the big one. It’s made a lot of people’s careers and seeing my brother (Cayden Lapcevich) do it was really cool, as well. It’s definitely one I’d like to get to and on the bucket list for sure.
Looking back at the Pinty’s Series, what are your reflections on last season and how things played out there?
Last season was pretty good for us. It started really good with the win at Sunset (Speedway). I was really anxious all winter to get that win because we came so close in my rookie year in the year prior. We were really dominant on the ovals for the most part in my rookie year, so to come out of the box and get the first win was really relieving in a sense. Then we ran pretty good all year – we were consistent, but at the same time, we had a lot of mechanical issues go wrong – ultimately is what crossed us out of the run for the championship.
But to get the win at Ohsweken (Speedway) was really good. That was definitely the biggest win of my career so far, and a big moment for our team. I think we were happy with the season, but just moving on, we are hoping to be a little more consistent and continue to pick up on the ovals and run competitive on the road courses as well.
So looking back at what the schedule may possibly contain for you this year, what track are you most excited to get to?
I think obviously Ohsweken has to be one of the ones that I have circled going for the twin events there this season. I think that’s really cool. Obviously, we had a lot of speed there this past year so I think having two events there back-to-back it’d be really advantageous for us. I’m really excited for any oval. I’m excited to get back out to Sutherland (Raceway). We put it on the pole there last year and just had terrible luck in both races, got caught up in a mess in the first race, and then electrical issues in the second one. That’s one I’m really angry that we weren’t able to win last year so I’m really eager to get back there.
Then (Autodrome) Chaudiere, as well. Chaudiere, we were quick again and had the engine blow up on us. All these ovals – excited to get to. Obviously Sunset and then there’s really not a track on the schedule I’m not excited for the most part.
We’ve had the double headers at Saskatoon for a couple years, and now we have the double header at Ohsweken as you mentioned. With that being a double header event, does that change your thought process at all going into the week?
I mean, I think it should from a mental perspective. I think most people go into the twin races understanding that we need to save our equipment for the second show. I guess the difference between Ohsweken and Sutherland is that the Ohsweken ones are going to be on different nights, so there will be a little bit more time between races if something were to happen. I don’t know if that will play into a driver’s thoughts going into the event. For me, personally, I always run the first race knowing there’s a second race that we have to get to and those twin races, they can be big points implications if you don’t have a car to start the second race.
We’ve seen you making your way up the ranks piece by piece. So five years from now, where do we see you?
I’d really like to say hopefully down south doing some racing there full-time. That’s the ultimate goal – to be doing this for a full-time living, but if not, I’m sure you’ll see me dabbling in the Pinty’s Series and APC Series as well. We’ll definitely see how it all goes.
Speaking of the APC Series, you know the competition that we see every year with the series. Who are five drivers that you are keeping an eye on?
The big one has to be J.R. (Fitzpatrick). J.R. had an insane year last year – he’s quick everywhere he goes. He has to one of them, and then Kyle Steckly has been running good every year and keeps getting better. I’d say (Shae) Gemmell, he runs good everywhere he goes. I know Ty Di Venanzo is going to be back out there with his new car so that’s good for him. Final one, I’d say that (Andrew) Gresel has some pretty good success as well. I also have to throw Rick Spencer-Walt into that pool of guys.
Last question for you. Just based on everything you’ve done in your career, what’s a piece of advice that you’d give to the next racer out there looking to make their mark?
I think the big thing is just being passionate about it. If you’re passionate about the racing, stuff will come to you. I know for my family specially, we live to race, so racing is a huge part of our lives. To anyone young trying to get into it, keep watching the racing, go to the go-kart track, get some reps in. There’s a lot of good opportunities now that these tracks are giving for young drivers to make their way up. I know the Jr Late Models are a big thing in Ontario right now and they hadn’t used to be, especially when I was getting into it. That’s a really good opportunity to get into racing, relatively to what it costs as well to get your own stock car. I think that’s a good opportunity and just be passionate about it.
Categories: ashley asks...., Feature, Interview, NASCAR Pinty's Series, NASCAR Roots
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