LONDON, ON – This Saturday night, the stars of the APC Racing Series, presented by Castrol and Grisdales, will roll into Sauble Speedway for the Stewart’s Equipment/Kubota 100. The second last event on the 2023 calendar sees the visit just off the shores of Lake Huron with a championship race tighter than ever before in the series history.
In seven events this season a record six different drivers have visited VP Racing Fuels Victory Lane with point leader, Kyle Steckly, the only two-time winner, who has used those victories to hold a narrow one-point margin over Jake Sheridan.
Steckly was able to claim wins at Peterborough Speedway earlier in the season, as well as in the first event of the year at Sauble Speedway, giving the youngster four win in just 18 starts in his APC Late Model career. After already grinding through a championship battle in 2022, this seems to have served Steckly well in 2023, and his narrow point gap heading into the final two events of the season.
With Sheridan just a single marker behind, it is basically even odds between the pair, and if Sheridan can pull it off, many will point to his win on Canada Day weekend at Delaware as the highlight. But it’s also been events like the most recent race at Sunset, where Jake fought from a mid-race issue, through the pack, to post a fourth-place result, and make the best of nights that haven’t gone his way.
Two events ago, at Sauble Speedway, 2020 champion Jo Lawrence saw his season, like his motor, look like it had gone up in smoke. A rebound and a late race pass for the win at Sunset Speedway in the Stewart’s Equipment / Kubota 100 put Lawrence in victory lane for the first time on the season, and right back into the championship picture, just four markers in arrears of Steckly.
Former Sauble Speedway champion Josh Stade is looking to use his home-track advantage to his favour this Saturday, as he enters the night fourth in the standings, 14 points back, but still having an outside chance. While winless this year, Stade was able to visit VP Racing Fuels Victory Lane in last year’s Stewart’s 100 at the beach and is looking to atone for having the last race at Sunset slip out of his grasp late.
Another championship contender who needs some assistance as he enters Saturday’s race 17 points behind is J.R. Fitzpatrick. The two-time series champion was victorious at Flamboro in the Grisdale Racing Enterprises 100 and was less than 20 laps away from a win in the London Recreational Racing 100 before a part failure knocked him out of the lead.
Other winners on the tour who are on the brink of the top-five in the standings are Danny Benedict, the winner of the season opening Dayco 150, where he scored his first career win, and Shae Gemmel, who picked up his third career win during the Spectra Premium 100 on Canada Day weekend this year, and captured his first win in 2019 at Sauble enroute to a runner-up result in the standings.
Some other contenders who could be chasing a surfboard Saturday night include red-hot Blair Wickett, coming off three finishes of 6th or better, and sitting eighth in points, and Shawn Chenoweth, who has rallied with two top-tens and a top-five in the last two races, to climb to ninth. Tenth in points is another local Sauble Speedway shoe Tom Gibbons, who posted his only top-five of the season during the opener but has used top-tens in every race to hang inside the top-ten in points.
The action at the ¼-mile is always competitive and only time will tell whether someone takes control of the title chase Saturday night in the Stewart’s Equipment/Kubota 100. Will we see another different winner on the season to join the six others so far on the year? And if that is the case, will that driver join a lengthy list of APC drivers who have hosted their first APC Victory Lane party just outside the popular beach town.
ABOUT UNITED RACING SERIES: The United Racing Series debuted in 2015, and immediately drew attention from around the province with the formation of the APC United Late Model Series. Fans, drivers, and sponsors alike were left wanting more after a wildly successful inaugural season that saw the championship battle come down to the final laps. The series that took Ontario by storm has continued to grow for years and has brought Late Model racing in Ontario to what it truly should be. The United Racing Series is also the home of the Qwick Wick Super Stock Series and the OSCAAR Modified and Hot Rod Series. The goal of the United Racing Series continues to bring out top talent and create a racing atmosphere that is one of a kind. www.apcracingseries.com .
ABOUT OUR PRESENTING SPONSORS: APC Auto Parts Centres – APC opened its first branch in London in 1981. Since then, 47 branches have been added to the network, which now stretches across South and Central Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area. Supply and support of APC stores is carried out from our 200,000 sq ft. state of the art distribution centre in London, Ontario. Our Mississauga location is 40,000 sq.ft. and operates as a hub servicing just-in-time inventories to the GTA stores.
Castrol: Castrol is here to serve every driver, every motorcyclist and every industry on earth. Castrol does this through Liquid Engineering. That means creating high performance oils, lubricants, fluids and greases for every application you can imagine.
Grisdale Enterprises Inc. – Truck & Auto Sales | Performance Racing Products | Mini Storage: With more than 40 years in the business, whether it’s for your new car, an old car or your race car, our people have the expertise to help you with whatever you need.
- From the United Racing Series