GRIMSBY, ON- Third-generation star Cayden Lapcevich will make his second career NASCAR Canadian Tire Series oval start this Saturday, when Sunset Speedway plays host to the inaugural running of the Leland 300.
‘The Prodigy’ is just one week removed from his oval debut with the cross-Canada series – an impressive run at Autodrome Chaudiere that was unceremoniously cut short due to late-race contact.
“Chaudiere didn’t end the way we were hoping it would, but we learned a ton,” explains the upbeat high-school student. “We showed some speed and I think we proved to a lot of people that we’re ready to run with some of the best racers in the country”
Though the transition from weekly Super Stock competition to Canada’s national series has not been entirely seamless, Lapcevich maintains the team has learned plenty in their first short track appearance in the far heavier NASCAR Canadian Tire Series car.
“The NCATS ride isn’t like anything else I’ve ever been in on an oval,” says the multi-time Sunset Speedway feature winner. “Keeping your equipment under you is so important – because those tires and brakes can go away in a hurry. If you burn your stuff up early, you don’t have a shot”
“I think there’s a lot we figured out last weekend at Chaudiere that will apply to Sunset,” continues the well-spoken rising star. “Chaudiere was fast on the bottom in the early laps, but as soon as the top lane got run in it was the place to be. That’s what we’re hoping for this Saturday”
“We struggled a bit in time trials last week, but I learned from it. The whole single-car qualifying thing is still brand new for me. We’ll be looking to improve on that at Sunset”
When asked about a possible home-track advantage, the 15-year old explains that any advantage will lie in a driver’s ability to keep up with the surface as it changes throughout the evening.
“The advantage isn’t so much about knowing where to run on the track as it is understanding how it’s going to change,” notes Lapcevich. “Once the sun sets and the temperature goes down, it’s a completely different ball game. We’ve been dealing with that for three seasons with the Super Stock – and I think that knowledge is going to play a huge factor for us in the second half of the race”
“We hope just to be in the conversation when those laps start to mean something,” offers the freshman contender. “If we could walk out with a top-5 finish in front of our family and fans – I would be the happiest guy on the property.”
Cayden Lapcevich’s 2015 season is made possible thanks to the support of 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)