In July of 2009, Canadian Supermodified driver Mark Sammut picked up his first career ISMA Super Modified victory at the Cayuga Speedway, more popularly known as “Canada’s Crown Jewel”. However, that would be the final time any driver would visit one of the most famed victory lanes in all of Canadian racing there at Cayuga in close to a decade. That is until now. After plans to reopen the track as Jukasa Motor Speedway were announced last December, the excitement has been building for Canadian and short-track racing fans everywhere.
This weekend, the APC United Late Model Series will headline the return of the speedway located near Cayuga, Ontario. The outlaw super-late models will join the APC Series with a 75-lap feature, paying $5,000 to the winner.
“We at Jukasa are so excited to be able to bring the old Cayuga Speedway and now Jukasa Motor Speedway back to life this coming weekend and to do it with the APC Series along with Outlaw Super Late Models is great because Late Model racing is what this place was known for. We are going to have a huge field of cars and the support from the fans is unbelievable, we are so thankful.” Alex Nagy, general manager of Jukasa Motor Speedway told Speed51.com powered By JEGS.
In just its third year of competition, the APC Series has quickly taken over the Canadian racing scene. With over 45 cars pre-registered for this weekends Late Model Summer Shootout, the series is set to make history with the largest car count to date.
“Alex and I spoke last year when he was first announced as the general manager of Jukasa Speedway and I didn’t know there would ever be a possibility, but now that we are here I am really excited. His team pulled this deal off and it is really an honour for our series to be there. It really puts us on the map.” APC Series director Luke Ramsay said.
With the largest car count in series history set to take to the brand new surface at Jukasa, many questions have floated around regarding the official number of cars that will start the main event. That number will be 36 after a B-main will round the field out on Saturday night.
It will then be two 75-lap features on Sunday afternoon, both of which will count as two separate point events for the series championship, as well as both paying $5,000 to the winner. When asked about his thoughts regarding the strategy that drivers will use knowing that both races count for points, Ramsay responded with “Racers say they will save their stuff but once the helmets are on anything can happen.”
With seven of 10 races already in the books for the 2017 season, it has been all Brandon Watson (Stayner, ON) all year long. With six wins and a second-place finish, it is safe to say that the former OSCAAR Outlaw Super Late Model champion is the favourite heading into Jukasa for race number eight and nine.
Second in 2017 series points is the defending series champion, Andrew Gresel. After finishing in the top 10 in every event so far this season including six top five finishes, it is tough to believe that Gresel is not once again at the top of the standings. With some experience on bigger and faster tracks it will be interesting to see if Gresel can use that to his advantage and pick up his first victory of 2017.
A big event like this calls for a fan favourite. Four-time NASCAR Cup Series winner Ken Schrader will make his APC Series debut. Schrader has experience on the former Cayuga Speedway, however, with the track being completely re-built, time will tell if that experience can translate to anything this weekend.
“I reached out to him with an opportunity and a car and Kenny was more than happy to come race. He will be more than happy to sign some autographs but he is coming to race, he is coming to win.” Ramsay stated.
On track activity for the first annual Late Model Summer Shootout begins on Saturday with practice, qualifying and the last chance race, followed by the dual 75-lap features on Sunday.
-By Jaxson Jacobs, Speed51.com Canadian Correspondent
-Photo Credit: Jukasa Motor Speedway Photo