Shoulda, coulda, woulda is a phase that many have said in reference to Cayden Lapcevich in trying to get his first feature victory at Sunset Speedway in the past two years. The third-generation driver has found every which way possible to come close to winning without doing it.
After Sunday at Sunset Speedway, that is no longer the case as the 14-year-old went to victory lane in the Spring Derby 50 presented by Great Lakes Concrete.
“This car was amazing all day,” Lapcevich said in his post-race interview with track announcer Spencer Lewis. “To finally get my first win at Sunset and get this monkey off my back feels incredible!”
The day didn’t start off smoothly as Peterborough Speedway regular Tom Podd would get spun by the 55x on the first lap of the heat. Lane Zardo would get by Ryan Semple and pick up the heat win victory with Semple second. Chris Howse finished third, followed by Paul Geniole Jr., Paul Kivel, Brett Weller, Nick Tooley, Adam Martin, Johnny Morrison and Podd.
In the second heat, it’d run relatively clean and feature at thrilling battle with Sauble Speedway regular Ken Grubb and Dan Archibald with Grubb picking up the win. Lapcevich finished third, followed by Randy Rusnell, Tyler Liscum, Steve Cashmore, Coltin Everingham, Stan Coe and Dennis Cybalski.
At the end of qualifying, Lane Zardo was dubbed quick qualifier and in charge of the dice roll invert. Zardo would roll a seven, putting Chris Howse on the pole in his No. 55 Monte Carlo. Lapcevich would start second, followed by Geniole Jr., Archibald, Semple, Grubb, Zardo, Rusnell, Kivel, Liscum, Cashmore, Tooley, Everingham, Coe, Morrison, Podd, Weeda, Wheeler and Martin.
Howse led early, though it wouldn’t take long for Cayden Lapcevich to take the lead in his No. 76 Tim Hortons, Troy Cove Marine and Springers Meats Toyota. Archibald would move into second by lap six with Howse holding down third ahead of Grubb, Rusnell and Zardo.
On lap 14, Everingham would run into some mechanical issues, leaking oil down the frontstretch. Archibald would get sideways in the oil, going around, collecting Howse in the process. Archibald, though, would be allowed his spot back due to the reason for spin. So with 36 to go, Lapcevich led Archibald, Grubb, Rusnell, Zardo, Geniole Jr., Semple, Liscum, Grosman, Coe, Weeda, Kivel, Tooley, Morrison, Martin, Wheeler, Howse and Podd.
On the restart, the outside lane wouldn’t favor Archibald that well as he fell back to fifth by lap 21 while Rusnell moved into second behind Lapevich with Grubb third and Zardo fourth. Semple would move into sixth past Geniole Jr. before the second caution flew at lap 22 for Weeda spinning in turn two.
On the restart, Rusnell would begin his stalking of Lapcevich for the lead while Zardo got by Grubb for third. Rusnell kept looking for every which way possible by Lapcevich, though wasn’t able to as the caution flew at lap 30 for Weeda spinning for a second time. Weeda was debuting a brand new MRE Super Stock chassis so certainly finding what the car needs in terms of handling is still something that Weeda is searching for.
On the restart, the top five stayed the same as Rusnell continued stalking Lapcevich while Geniole Jr. passed Semple back for sixth on lap 33. The third caution then flew three laps later with Tooley and Weeda getting together, while Wheeler also caught a piece of it. Weeda would be done for the afternoon as he left a trial of fluid around turns one and two.
On the restart, the fourth caution would fly as Archibald would spin on the frontstretch, getting into the wall while Johnny Morrison caught a piece of it, breaking something in the left front resulting in him being done for the afternoon.
For the final 12 laps, Rusnell continued to stalk Lapcevich for the lead and try to find a way by as Cayden Lapcevich drove to his first Sunset Speedway feature victory. It also continues the good momentum going for Lapcevich as he won Flamboro Speedway’s FrostFest event to cap off last season.
Rusnell finished second, followed by Zardo, Grubb, Geniole Jr., Cashmore, Semple, Howse, Liscum, Coe, Kivel, Tooley, Wheeler and Martin.