#NCATS • #PintysClarington200 • #SpeedFest • @CTMPOfficial • DAYTONA BEACH, FL – Jeff Lapcevich enters the Pinty’s presents the Clarington 200 in a fascinating place, both professionally and personally. As a racer, the 2015 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1’s season-opening event might just present his best shot yet at a victory, while as a father, it also marks a monumental moment in the mentorship of his son Cayden’s budding career.
Jeff, 44, has competed with the Canadian Tire Series since its inception in 2007. Toward the end of last year, he alluded to turning the wheel of his No. 76 Tim Hortons Dodge over to Cayden for 2015 and beyond. But it turns out that they will instead compete together for the first time in this race.
Not only will the Pinty’s presents the Clarington 200 be Cayden’s first Canadian Tire Series appearance, but it will also mark his first career road-course competition. The 15-year-old will need all of the help he can get from his father, who has been right by Cayden’s side through the progression of his young career.
Since he won’t be able to advise Cayden throughout the race, pre-event preparation will be key. Jeff sent Cayden to the Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in Arizona for road racing instruction, and they’ll look to take full advantage of the practice sessions at CTMP together before going their separate ways once the green flag drops.
Jeff’s work with his son is just one half of the challenge he faces heading into the Clarington 200 though. He’s got to get behind the wheel himself.
A veteran of 60 career Canadian Tire Series starts, Jeff is still looking for the elusive first trip to the Winner’s Circle. He’s been awfully close of late, however, with runner-up finishes in three of the last four series events at CTMP. The one outlier in the last two years, an eighth-place finish in the 2013 summer race, saw him lead a road-course career-high 17 laps.
Jeff, originally from Ancaster, Ontario, ran second to J.R. Fitzpatrick in both 2014 CTMP races, but Fitzpatrick will not defend those wins this year. If Lapcevich can put forth the same type of performance, a long-awaited trip to the top step on the podium may very well be in the cards.
RACE: Pinty’s presents the Clarington 200
PLACE: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Bowmanville, Ont.
DATE: Sunday, May 17
TIME: 12:30 p.m. ET
TELECAST: May 23, 1 p.m. ET on TSN; June 14, 4:30 p.m. on RDS2
TRACK LAYOUT: 2.459-mile, 10-turn asphalt road course
2014 WINNER: J.R. Fitzpatrick
2014 POLESITTER: Andrew Ranger
EVENT SCHEDULE: Saturday – Practice 11:35 a.m.-12:05 p.m., Final Practice 12:45-1:15 p.m., Qualifying 3:45-4:35 p.m., Sunday – Driver Autograph Session 10:45 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
TRACK CONTACT: Ryan Chalmers, 905-983-9141, email@example.com
TRACK TWITTER: @CTMPOfficial
EVENT TWITTER HASHTAGS: #PintysClarington200 #SpeedFest
NASCAR CONTACT: Jason Cunningham, 704-201-6658, firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @NASCAR_NE
The Race: The Pinty’s presents the Clarington 200 will be the 2015 season-opening event for the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1, and the first of two events at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The race will headline CTMP’s Victoria Day SpeedFest Weekend.
The Procedure: The maximum starting field is 32 cars, including provisionals. The first 27 cars will have secured starting positions through NASCAR road-race style group qualifying. The qualifying groups will be determined by practice times, and the sessions will be 20 minutes apiece. The remaining five starting spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race is scheduled for 51 laps (125.4 miles, 201.8 kilometers).
The Track: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park opened for auto racing in 1961. The 2.459-mile, 10-turn road course welcomed the Canadian Tire Series for the first time on June 17, 2007, in an event won by Andrew Ranger. The facility also previously featured a half-mile oval that held seven series events from 2007-13.
Race Winners: There have been four different race winners in 10 all-time races at the CTMP road course. J.R. Fitzpatrick has the most wins with five, including a 2014 sweep.
Pole Winners: There have been four different pole winners at the CTMP, led by Andrew Ranger’s five. Ranger set the series’ track qualifying record in this event last year at 82.956 seconds (106.712 mph).
Pinty’s Presents The Clarington 200 Notes
Season Overview: The 2015 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 season will visit 10 tracks in five provinces. Canadian Tire Motorsport Park will host two events – the May 17 season opener and the Aug. 30 date in conjunction with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event. Four events will be contested on road courses while seven races will be held on oval tracks, including the series’ inaugural visit to Ontario’s Sunset Speedway on June 20.
CTMP Openers: For the fourth straight year, the Canadian Tire Series opens the season on the 2.459-mile CTMP road course. It’s the fifth consecutive season to open at the Ontario facility overall, as the 2011 campaign commenced at the half-mile oval that was formerly on the grounds.
Race No. 99: The Clarington 200 will be the 99th all-time event for the Canadian Tire Series. A new era of stock car racing in Canada was launched on May 26, 2007 at Ontario’s Cayuga Motor Speedway with the series’ inaugural event. Milestone race No. 100 is scheduled for June 13 at Autodrome Chaudiere in Quebec.
Title Defense: Reigning series champion L.P. Dumoulin will open up his title defense at CTMP, a place where he’s won twice and has a five-race top-five streak. In six previous seasons, only Scott Steckly (2009 and 2012) began a defense with a win the following season.
Thomson Stays With the Series: In one of the latest offseason moves, Don Thomson Jr. has joined Lapcevich Racing as crew chief for Jeff and Cayden Lapcevich’s efforts in 2015. Thomson, a winner of seven Canadian Tire Series events as a driver from 2007-11, was most-recently associated with Fitzpatrick Motorsports where he led J.R. Fitzpatrick to five victories, including three at CTMP. Thomson will call the shots for Jeff in the No. 76 in his two planned starts this year at CTMP, and for Cayden in the No. 34 in his remaining appearances.
O’Connell International: Kevin O’Connell is set to make history as the first driver to compete in all three of NASCAR’s international series. O’Connell, originally from Houston, Texas, made his overseas debut in the 2013 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series event at England’s famed Brands Hatch Circuit and added a NASCAR Mexico Series start earlier this year at Phoenix International Raceway. A veteran of six NASCAR XFINITY Series road course events, O’Connell will run the No. 00 White Motorsports entry at CTMP.
Strong Rookie Class: The veteran-laden Canadian Tire Series will see some new faces on a consistent basis in 2015 as Marc-Antoine Camirand, Gary Klutt and Erica Thiering all plan to compete full-time for the Jostens Rookie of the Year Award. Dwayne Baker, Cayden Lapcevich and Kevin Lacroix also figure to impact the rookie race as each has plans to run between four and seven events.
CTMP Series Debuts: As of the beginning of the week, there were five drivers included on the Pinty’s presents the Clarington 200 entry list that will vie to make their Canadian Tire Series debut. In addition to the aforementioned Lacroix, Lapcevich and O’Connell, the other first-timers will be Pier-Luc Ouellette and Kevin Poitras. Ouellette is set to sub for Alex Tagliani, who will be absent to participate in Indianapolis 500 qualifying, in the No. 18 Dodge.
From: Jason Cunningham/ NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications