GRIMSBY, ON- NASCAR Canadian Tire Series rookie Cayden Lapcevich has wasted little time in acclimating himself to Canada’s national tour. If a podium finish in the series’ visit to Sunset Speedway was an initial indication that the third-generation star was ready to find his place amongst the country’s elite, his brilliant 29th-to-9th charge at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Sunday left little room for doubt.
“That was the most fun I’ve ever had in a racecar,” says Cayden on his somewhat surprising tear through the pack. “Coming up through that field like that was a blast. We passed some of the best guys in the country. I couldn’t ask for a better confidence boost than this. We started at the back, and so did DJ [Kennington], so I just hooked up with him and we made a charge to the front together”
The Grimsby, ON teenager commanded his fair share of attention in the paddock post-race, with a number of fellow competitors congratulating him on his performance in just his second career CTMP appearance.
“Once we were three or four laps into this race and I realized that I was still hanging with DJ and passing cars, I knew we had something,” explains ‘The Prodigy’. “[Canadian Tire Motorsport Park] is still really new to me, but I remembered so much from when we were here in the Spring and it helped a lot. I didn’t realize just how much I had picked up on until we came back here to race again. A lot of it is muscle memory – and it absolutely came in handy”
The race marked Cayden’s third ever road-course race, following a 17th place result at CTMP earlier this season and a 15th place finish at Trois-Rivieres in early August.
“All of the subtleties of road course racing are so tough to pick up on at first, but we’re getting better with every start,” offers Cayden with a smile. “This weekend, I worked a lot on how to out brake someone, how to be smooth with my downshifts, how to draft down the backstretch and how to save my brakes while still staying aggressive enough to pick up positions”
“Knowing that we moved forward all day is huge,” adds the high-school student. “We’ve put so much focus into our road course program and it’s awesome to see it paying off”
Cayden will have a final appearance with the cross-country series at Kawartha Speedway on September 19th, before hopefully turning his attention to the series on a more permanent basis in 2016.
“I remember the first time that I got in one of these cars, everything felt so strange. Now, every lap I make, on a short track or a road course, feels a lot more familiar,” says the personable star.
“Days like Sunday help a lot. We came into this deal knowing that it was going to be a huge learning curve. These drivers are the best in the country. All season, we’ve been improving with every single race, if we can keep this up I think we’ll be in an awesome spot for 2016.”
Support for Cayden Lapcevich’s 2015 endeavors is provided by Tim Hortons, Castrol, Cathcart Trucking, Springers Meats, EPIC Racewear and Troy Cove Marine.
Fans can keep up with ‘The Prodigy’ by following him on Twitter @CaydenLapcevich and visiting the official Cayden Lapcevich Racing page on Facebook.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)