GRIMSBY, ON- Following his podium finish in the most recent NASCAR Canadian Tire Series event at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on August 30th, veteran Jeff Lapcevich made it clear the race would be his last as a driver. However, now two weeks removed from his final performance, Lapcevich insists ‘retirement’ is not the right word for his motorsports career at the moment.
“Within hours of getting back from Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, we were back in the shop working on Cayden & Treyten’s cars,” laughs Lapcevich. “So that’s a pretty good example of where the team is headed these days”
Lapcevich’s two sons recently clinched a pair of Sunset Speedway championships on September 12th, with 15-year old Cayden tallying his second consecutive Super Stock title and 11-year old Treyten becoming the youngest champion in Sunset history by locking up his first career championship in the entry-level MIGHTY division.
“I haven’t dwelled on what retiring means, even for a moment, because I’m busier now than I’ve ever been,” says the Grimsby, ON native. “Other than my family, this sport is where I’ve spent the most of my life’s energy. The fact that I can dedicate my time to helping my kid’s programs makes me a happy guy”
“To stand there in victory lane at Sunset, and watch Cayden become a two-time Super Stock champion and see Treyten become the youngest champion in Sunset history was an incredible feeling. I couldn’t be more proud of our team and family”
Lapcevich departs the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series with 63 career starts, of which 18 ended with a finish inside of the top-5 – including an incredible run of 5 podiums in his final 6 appearances at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
“It’s almost poetic that [Canadian Tire Motorsport Park] was my last race,” offers Lapcevich. “We’ve been close to winning at that track more times than I can count, and something always seemed to come up to hold us from that top step on the podium. We had a fantastic car that weekend, and just ended up on the wrong side of some late-race contact that ended up keeping us out of victory lane. But we still got a podium, and with Cayden’s 9th place finish, we put two Tim Hortons cars in the top-10 and that’s awfully tough to be mad at”
When asked about his career spent with Canada’s national tour, Lapcevich makes it clear he’s enjoyed every minute of it.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to do this for 25-years and I wouldn’t change a single thing,” smiles the well-respected veteran. “As a team, we’ve raced at some of the best facilities and against some of the toughest competition that this country has to offer”
“This sport has helped me build relationships and friendships that I’ll have for the rest of my life. It’s tough to explain just how grateful I am for that. From the times when it was all about my Dad, my brothers and I to the weekends at the track with me and my own kids. There’s nothing else I’d sooner be doing”
“All I ever wanted to do was provide value for my supporters and put on a show for the fans. And I can walk away knowing that I did everything in my power to deliver that,” continues Lapcevich. “I’m grateful for all the years that I’ve had to compete at this level, but it’s time to step out of the seat and take a new role”
“[My wife] Sherri and I have spent a lot of time talking it over, and we both knew that something had to give. Moving forward, I can’t wait to help my kids enjoy this sport to the fullest and see how far they can take their own programs.”
Jeff Lapcevich’s career would not have been made possible if not for the helping hands of countless volunteer team members, family and friends. As well as the constant support of Tim Hortons, Castrol, Cathcart Trucking, Troy Cove Marine, EpicRacewear by OnePromo.ca and Springer’s Meats.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)