Round two of the 2018 season for the APC United Late Model Series Presented by Grisdale Racing Products saw the tour head to Millgrove, Ontario for the Interstate Batteries 100 at Flamboro Speedway. The drivers endured a lengthy event that featured 10 caution flags and several banged up race cars.
Bennett GM Pole Qualifying would start the program off as Brandon Watson set a new track record with a time of 14.855. JR Fitzpatrick clocked in second fastest with Ryan Kimball, Shawn Chenoweth, and Tim Ellis rounding out the top five.
The Interstate Batteries 100, round two of nine for the 2018 season, started off with Ryan Kimball on the pole after the top 10 invert based on points standings. Kimball would lead the opening laps, his first laps led in the series, as Shawn Chenoweth began to pressure him for the spot heavily, having several looks to the inside. Brandon Watson was able to take advantage of contact between the front two drivers and move into the race lead on lap 11, shuffling Ryan Kimball back outside the top five after he became a victim of a freight train on the inside.
The first caution of the race came out on lap 20 when Rick Burbridge and Junior Farrelly made contact on the front straightaway. Lap 22 saw another caution flag displayed as Mat Box, Jade Franklin, and Paighton Jacobs tangled in turn two. Shawn Chenoweth entered the pits under the caution, surrendering his top five spot on the track.
Andrew Gresel nosed ahead of Brandon Watson to lead lap 23, before Watson took the spot back on lap 24. The caution flag would come out on lap 30 as Junior Farrelly slowed to the inside line with the hood blocking the windshield on his #72 machine. Just after the restart, Treyten Lapcevich entered the top three, with JR Fitzpatrick and Matt Pritiko filling the spots behind him just a lap later.
The race’s fourth caution came out on lap 43 when Tom Gibbons had a failure and pounded the turn three wall. Gibbons would walk away from the crash, however his car was left severely wounded. Just two laps after the restart, the yellow was shown again as Rick Spencer-Walt was turned in the middle of corner four. The restart allowed JR Fitzpatrick to move around Treyten Lapcevich and into the third spot, after coming from the ninth starting position.
Lap 46 saw the caution displayed for the sixth time, just after Shawn Chenoweth moved back into the top ten after his earlier pit stop. The restart saw JR Fitzpatrick advance his position, sliding Andrew Gresel back to third. Teammates collided on lap 52 when Treyten Lapcevich and Andrew Gresel got together off of turn two and ended up tangled entering turn three, resulting in damage to both cars. Shawn McGlynn was sent for a spin on lap 62, resulting in the eight caution period of the Interstate Batteries 100.
The ensuing restart was wild as Fitzpatrick and Watson traded the lead with a pair of top to bottom crossovers, however it was Watson able to hold the spot in the end. Paighton Jacobs was collected in a spin after sliding up the track in front of the leaders on lap 68, resulting in a sizeable pileup. Jamie Cox and Hudson Nagy, who was filling in for series regular Shae Gemmell, tangled on lap 77 bringing out the 10th caution of the event.
JR Fitzpatrick moved Brandon Watson up the track just after the restart, allowing him to gain the race lead and moving Matt Pritiko to second and Shawn Chenoweth to third. Watson would work his way back to second in the dying laps of the race, but it would not be enough as JR Fitzpatrick was able to score his first career APC Series victory.
The tour will once again have an off-week before making the journey to Peterborough Speedway for the Hy-Grade Roofing 100 on June 16th. More information about the event can be found on www.APCRacingSeries.com, the scheduled start time for the program is 5:00pm.
-APC United Late Model Series Press Release
-Photo credit: Dave Franks Photography