BOWMANVILLE, ON- Jeff Lapcevich added to his Canadian Tire Motorsport Park resume with a strong runner-up performance in the Pinty’s presents the Clarington 200, kicking off the 2014 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series season.
“I love this track. Always have”, beamed Lapcevich upon stepping from his ride post-race. “Our team gave me a fantastic piece this afternoon. We were real fast in this race last season, and I felt as though we were even better today”
The Grimsby, ON veteran timed in 3rd quickest, and ran within the top-2 for the entirety of the race’s early stages.
“We were great on short runs and were able to hang with the leader, he was just a touch better on longer runs”, said Lapcevich when asked about his car’s performance.
“This car was great all day”, continued the veteran. “It never once fell off. It gave me a lot to work with. [Eventual winner] JR [Fitzparick] was just a little faster. He drove a great race, so hats off to him”
Lapcevich struggled on pit road, but worked feverishly to rejoin the top-3 in the race’s second half.
“Our pit stop was a little slow”, explained Lapcevich. “We gave up a lot of track position, and had to work a little harder than we would have liked to in the second half”
The Fastline Motorsports representative stormed from 21st to 2nd within the final 20-laps, retaking the valuable spots surrendered on pit road.
“I couldn’t have asked this car anything more”, smiled Lapcevich. “We picked up 19 positions without the aid of a caution. That’s huge. I felt like Superman!”
A late-race caution set up a Green-White-Checkered finish, and a showdown with longtime friend JR Fitzpatrick.
“That finish was the most fun I’ve had in a racecar in quite a while”, said Lapcevich. “It got a little tense there, when JR got out of shape in the oil dry that was put down”
“I got a run to the inside of him on the exit of turn-3, and I don’t think that he knew, because he kept moving me over until I was all the way to the right through turn-4. At that point, I think we were both lucky to have survived with both of our car’s in one piece. Because it easily could have ended up with us on a flatbed”
Lapcevich survived the last lap contact and pulled to Fitzpatrick’s bumper at the checkered flag, earning his second straight Victoria Day weekend runner-up at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
“This team has a lot to be thankful for today”, observed Lapcevich in post-race technical inspection. “We’re going to do a little bit of work on our pit-stops, and we’re going to have our engine torn down and freshened. I felt as though I was giving up a little bit of power. This engine’s a little tired, so we’ll wake it up before we head to Circuit ICAR ”
Jeff Lapcevich and the Fastline Motorsports would like to thank Tim Hortons, Castrol, Cathcart Trucking, Troy Cove Marine, EpicRacewear by OnePromo.ca and Springer’s Meats for their continued support through the 2014 season.
Jeff will return to action with the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series at Circuit ICAR in Mirabel, Quebec on July 6th.
Fans can keep up with Jeff on Twitter @LapcevichRacing all season long.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)