After dominating most of the 100-lap APC United Late Model Series feature at the Jukasa Motor Speedway, Brandon Watson suddenly found himself having to fight off JR Fitzpatrick during a five-lap dash for the win. With a lead of more than three seconds at times during the race, the thought was Watson would drive off into the distance and take the win. However, that was easier said than done.
Fitzpatrick took the lead with four laps to go, but Watson was able to rally and take the lead back on the final lap to score the victory.
Watson chose the inside for the final restart, putting Fitzpatrick in the outside lane, the lane that had been strong on restarts for much of the race.
Fitzpatrick got a great restart on the outside and was able to clear Watson off turn two with three laps to go.
But that was far from the end of the battle. Watson got a terrific run off turn two and drove to the inside of Fitpatrick’s no. 84 into turn three.
With the white flag in sight it was a drag race into turn one. The two stayed door-to-door off of turn two, but Watson was able to motor ahead down the backstretch. Watson came off turn four and beat Fitzpatrick to the checkered flag by less than a car length to take the victory.
Matt Pritiko, Jake Sheridan and Treyten Lapcevich completed the top five.
“We had an amazing car,” Watson said in victory lane. “Unfortunately, we just got a bit tight as the night came in. It was a good race. It was a little exciting there at the end. I maybe should have taken the outside there but we were able to make it work. I got a good run off two there. We’ll take this win and move onto tomorrow and hopefully have a good run.”
Thirty Pro Late Models were in action on Saturday night with the APC United Late Model Series. Many of those same cars will be in action on Sunday in the 200-lap $50,000-to-win Pro Late Model headliner at the Canadian Short Track Nationals.
Race fans can watch all of the action live with our pay-per-view broadcast. Sunday’s online video ticket costs just $24.99 and can be purchased by clicking here.
For an on-demand replay of Saturday’s Trackside Now coverage presented by Outerwears, click here.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Associate Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com/Mojo Photos
APC United Late Models 100
Jukasa Motor Speedway, Cayuga, Ontario