The APC United Late Model Series’ inaugural champion Dale Shaw led all but the final two laps in the first eSeries race two weeks ago at USA International Speedway. On Thursday, it was the opposite as Shaw led just the final lap to win at the virtual Milwaukee Mile.
The finish did not come without controversy. Shaw reeled in race-long leader Treyten Lapcevich in the final 20 laps and the two waged a war in the final stages. The two drivers remained nose-to-tail while slicing through lapped traffic before the battle came to a head on the final lap.
Shaw drove his No.83 deep into turn one and the two made contact, resulting in Lapcevich spinning to the inside and out of contention. He would have to settle for sixth after dominating much of the race.
“I thought I had my nose there the first time and he came down, which is what he had to do. That last lap there I thought I had my nose in there,” Shaw said on the broadcast. “I haven’t seen the replay but I’ll go back and watch it, if I didn’t have my nose in there I apologize. It was all you could do.”
A late charge through the field allowed Shaw to catch Lapcevich and have a shot at scoring the win. He was complimentary to the 15-year-old post-race, with plans to apologize for his role in the finish in the future.
“I hate winning races like that. I’ll go back and watch the replay and if I didn’t have my nose in there I’ll still go back and apologize to him. He’s a good runner, he was driving that thing sideways off the corner and sticking with it. I was just trying to stay smooth and I caught him there at the end but with one-groove racing it’s hard to pass.”
While he wasn’t interviewed on the broadcast, Lapcevich gave his thoughts on the last-lap contact on Twitter.
“Yes, netcode is a thing. Regardless, the car didn’t hook itself in the wall and contact was going to be made,” the tweet read. “Still a fun race.”
The intensity of Thursday’s race matched any race Shaw has competed in the real world, leaving him catching his breath during the post-race interview.
“Man, I’m exhausted, that was the hardest I’ve ever worked on a sim for that many laps chasing him down.”
Ryan Dyson scored his second-straight runner-up finish after the contact between Shaw and Lapcevich. Jo Lawrence, two-time APC eSeries winner Cayden Lapcevich, and Jade Franklin completed the top five.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3