GRIMSBY, ON- With three runner-up finishes to his credit in NASCAR Canadian Tire Series competition at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, veteran Jeff Lapcevich will enter this Sunday’s Pinty’s presents the Clarington 200 in search of his first career NCATS win.
“We’ve been close so many times, I really feel as though this is going to be the year we turn the corner,” says Lapcevich. “The field is incredibly tight here. So many guys have their road course programs operating at an elite level these days that it makes it tough to pick up positions here”
After a number of close calls in seasons past, Lapcevich is confident that his program is ready to contend for his first ever series victory.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that we have all the tools necessary to win one of these races,” explains the Grimsby, ON veteran matter-of-factly. “I trust in my team and my equipment entirely. What we need to concentrate on is staying out of trouble and pulling off clean pit stops”
“Pit road penalties have stung us before. That’s certainly an area in which you can give a race away. If we can avoid that this weekend, I think we’ll be in good shape”
Sunday’s event will mark Lapcevich’s first race with Crew Chief Don Thomson Jr. In many ways, the new partnership feels like a homecoming for the team.
“Donny is probably the most experienced guy at the racetrack,” says Lapcevich. “He’s won this race as both a driver and a Crew Chief, so he certainly knows what he’s doing”
“Don was actually my brother’s Crew Chief during his Rookie of the Year run in 1993. He was with our team for a long time after that season. So, even though it’s been a while, we’ve worked together before and I’m confident it will be a strong combination”
In addition to the Pinty’s presents the Clarington 200 marking Lapcevich’s first event with a new Crew Chief – it will also mark the first event that he competes alongside his son Cayden in NASCAR Canadian Tire Series action.
When asked about his new teammate, Lapcevich admits juggling his roles as competitor and father might be the weekend’s biggest challenge.
“I’ve watched nearly every lap of Cayden’s career since he was five years old,” explains the veteran with a smile. “I’ve definitely always been there whenever he moved to a new division or took on something different – so this is a first for us”
“As a parent it will be hard because I can’t watch him, but I know he’s in good equipment and is surrounded by great people,” continues Lapcevich. “He’s always excelled at new challenges – whether it’s racing or anything else he’s taken on. He’s a smart kid and he’s mature behind the wheel – I have no doubts that he’ll be able to hold his own”
Sunday’s event will mark Lapcevich’s 61st career start with the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series and, after 16 top-5 finishes, the veteran is very open about his readiness for a series win.
“I’ve had enough of the 2nd and 3rd step on that podium,” confirms Lapcevich with a laugh. “If this win wasn’t so important to me, I’d be up on that hill watching my boy”
“I want this one real bad, and so does my entire team. So, we’re going to unload on Saturday and do what we can to find some speed right out of the box – and then go after that win on Sunday afternoon.”
In addition to primary support from Tim Hortons, Jeff Lapcevich would like to thank Castrol, Cathcart Trucking, Springers Meats, EPIC Racewear and Troy Cove Marine for their support for the 2015 season.
For more information on Jeff and the rest of the Fastline Motorsports team, visit LapcevichRacing.com or follow @LapcevichRacing on Twitter.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)