When Cayden Lapcevich took the lead on lap 45 of the 75-lap Outlaw Super Late Model feature at Jukasa Motor Speedway (ON) Saturday night, it appeared he would run away with the race after fighting his way from the rear of the field.
Just 12 laps later, he and second-place J.R. Roahrig were pulling onto pit road simulataneously in a bizarre turn of events, opening the door for Phil Bozell to take the lead.
Bozell would lead the rest of the way, finishing ahead of his father Andy Bozell to score the win on opening night of the Canadian Short Track Nationals.
Lapcevich suffered a mechanical failure 18 laps shy of the finish in the race, with Roahrig slowing behind him with a flat tire. This allowed Phil Bozell to claim the top spot and the $10,000 (CAD) payday.
For the younger Bozell and the family team, the win was a culmination of a hard day of work at the Ontario 5/8-mile.
“We worked our tails off,” Bozell said in victory lane. “Changed motors in both of these cars. I’ve said it every time I’ve talked to anyone this year, we’ve worked our tails off. We knew our program was behind so we got to work.
“That’s why I work on my stuff seven days a week, because it never falls apart," Bozell added, referencing the misfortunes of his competitors. "We never have issues. You’ve got to finish to finish first.
“We’ve got the check. That’s all that matters.”
While Bozell celebrated the victory, Lapcevich lamented the mechanical failure on his entry derailing a hard charge through the competition. The 19-year-old drove from the rear of the field after a post-qualifying adjustment to take the lead just past the lap 40 competition caution, only for his night to come to a premature conclusion.
“Just blew up,” Lapcevich said. “There’s nothing else to it. We were really good tonight. Led both practices, qualified second, then went to the back because we had to come in and fix a brake problem. We drove from the back to the front. The car was on rails. Motor problems bit us again.”
J.R. Roahrig was running second to Lapcevich at the time of his dilemma, but faced problems of his own with a flat tire at the same time.
“I don’t know what happened to the 16 [of Lapcevich],” Roahrig said. “All I know is I had a cut right-front tire and almost hit the wall in three and four. It was something in the sidewall. I didn’t even feel running over anything. I don’t know. I guess I ran over something on the race track.”
Andy Bozell, who led earlier in the race, would finish second as a result of the Lapcevich and Roahrig problems. It may not have been a win, but the elder Bozell was plenty pleased with finishing behind his son.
“Not a better view in the world than watching your kid drive away from you,” said Andy Bozell. “That’s pretty cool. We had a great car all day. We had some distributor issues earlier today. The pickup started getting hot and we’d lose power. That’s what happened after the restart. I think it sat in the pits and got warm. It just didn’t make the steam it did in the first 25, 30 laps.”
Glenn Watson rounded out the podium, acknowledging he probably didn’t have a top-three car but pleased to finish third.
“We didn’t have a third-place car, I don’t think, but we’re here,” Watson said. “We’re thankful for this show and everyone who came out tonight.”
Fans who missed Saturday’s Outlaw Super Late Model feature can watch an on-demand replay of the Speed51’s Summer Thunder TV broadcast of the race with a Speed51 Premium Membership by clicking here. Fans can also click here to view Trackside Now updates from the event.
Speed51 will also provide coverage of Sunday at the Canadian Short Track Nationals, headlined by the 250-lap, $75,000-to-win (CAD) Pro Late Model feature. Live pay-per-view coverage will begin at approximately 12:30 p.m. ET. Click here to order your video ticket now.
Unofficial Results – Outlaw Super Late Model Feature
Canadian Short Track Nationals – Jukasa Motor Speedway
|14||40||Stu Robinson Jr|
|15||71||Harold Fair Jr|
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com