Lapcevich has best finish in NASCAR event

nascarcanadaGrimsby’s Jeff Lapcevich motored to a second place finish at the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Komatsu 300, presented by Mobil.

Lapcevich who started in the No. 5 pole position led the race for 97 laps until eventual winner Andrew Ranger overtook him lap 253. Lapcevich would finish 9.159 seconds behind Ranger at Riverside International Speedway on Sunday (Sept. 20).

Ranger, for all intents and purposes, clinched the 2009 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. All he has to do is start his No. 27 Walmart/Tide Ford in the season finale next week.

The victory was Ranger’s single-season series record sixth win, giving him a 189-point lead in the standings. He is right on the cusp of his second series title in three seasons having won it in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series’ inaugural season of 2007.

Ranger, racing out of Roxton Pond, Que., won for the first time on an oval track on July 18 at SunValley Speedway in Vernon, B.C. He followed that up with another win on an oval at Mosport Speedway in Bowmanville, Ont., on Aug. 8 before taking a third oval-track win in this event. The accomplished road racer also won three times on road courses—Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ont., Rexall Speedway in Edmonton, Alberta and Circuit de Trois-Rivieres in Quebec—to account for his six victories this season.

Even when not finishing the race in Victory Lane, Ranger, 22, was a contender each and every race. He has eight top-five finishes and has yet to finish outside the top 10 in 12 events, so far, this season.

Lapcevich’s finish was a series-career best.

Hamilton’s Don Thomson, who took the last race in the series, encountered transmission woes, and had to settle for 19th.

Third place went to Mark Dilley as he notched his third straight top five. Ron Beauchamp Jr. had another strong run and finished fourth followed by local Antigonish driver Donald Chisholm in fifth.

Jason Hathaway, Kerry Micks, Brad Graham, Dave Whitlock and Jason White rounded out the top 10.

The race lead changed seven times among six drivers and was slowed just three times due to caution for a total of 25 laps.

In the point standings, Beauchamp moved ahead of DJ Kennington, who suffered transmission problems in the race, to take the second position and has the only mathematical chance of taking the title by winning the race and leading the most laps to garner 190 points should Ranger not start the race for some unforeseen reason.

The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series wraps up the 2009 season Saturday evening (Sept. 26) at Kawartha Speedway in the Z-Line Designs 250 presented by the Dodge Dealers of Ontario and Coca-Cola.