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Plans Currently Up in the Air for Cayden Lapcevich

Near the end of February, NASCAR Next member Cayden Lapcevich surprised many fans when his family team Fastline Motorsports listed their racecars for sale. 

“We’re just putting it out there and weigh our options at this point, really,” Lapcevich said at The Motorama Custom Car and Motorsports Show. “If we come across funding and we’re able to do the full (NASCAR) Pinty’s Series again, then we will. But we’re exploring our options, seeing what’s out there, and maybe trying to venture down south this season. Nothing is set in stone and everything is still up in the air.”

Over the past two years, the third-generation racer has proven his talent on track, winning six NASCAR Pinty’s Series races to go with the championship in 2016. Despite that, finding sponsorship has been a constant struggle for the team. 

While they were able to make the past two years work for them in the series, most of the marketing deals were single-race partnerships and came together sometimes a week before the event in question. 

If they were able to find a full-time sponsor, Lapcevich said it would help the season flow a lot better.

“We’d know what we’re doing each week and we wouldn’t have to second guess ourselves so much,” he commented. “But the not knowing is helped really keep things interesting for myself and my family. I hear it often from the fan base, too, with people asking what I am doing. I just keep saying, ‘I’m not sure’ and then we show up and the fans are happy to see us there.

“So yeah, to have a big name on the car would be awesome and make life a lot easier for my family – but I like keeping things interesting.”

As questions continue to swirl surrounding his plans, he did drop a photo on twitter near the end of March. 

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER:@ladybug388

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

 

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The Future Stars of NASCAR Announced

The 2017-18 class of the NASCAR Next program, was announced on Tuesday and includes some familiar second-generation names, as well as drivers whom you may never heard of.

The program was established to help develop and highlight young drivers who aspire to compete at NASCAR’S top levels. Alumni include current stars Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, and Chase Elliott.

“The NASCAR Next program identifies emerging talent in our sport,” said Jill Gregory, NASCAR senior vice president, and chief marketing officer. “Drivers in this year’s class have already achieved success on the track or shown potential, and this program will help them further develop their skills. We look forward to watching these young stars connect with our fans and continue their climb up the NASCAR ladder.”

The selection process includes consulting industry executives, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Drivers Council and media members. The candidates are chosen from a pool of drivers between the ages of 15-25, who are actively racing at local tracks or lower-tier NASCAR series.

Here is a breakdown of the 2017-18 class.

Harrison Burton from Huntersville, North Carolina is in his second year of NASCAR K&N Pro Series East competition, with two wins to his credit. The 16-year-old is the son of former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Jeff Burton.

Chase Cabre is a rookie in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, driving for Rev Racing as part of the NASCAR Drive for the Diversity program. The 16-year-old picked up his first two pole awards in twin features at South Boston, before scoring a best-career finish of fourth.

Hailie Deegan has made a name for herself in the Lucas Oil Off Road Series, becoming the first female to score a podium in series history last season. The daughter of FMX legend Brian Degan won the Lucas Oil Off Road Modified Kart Championship last season.

Todd Gilliland from Sherrills Ford, North Carolina is running both NASCAR K&N Pro Series divisions in 2017, along with a limited NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule for Kyle Busch Motorsports. The son of former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver David Gilliland won the Pro Series East Championship last year.

Riley Herbst raced in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West last season, scoring seven top-fives in 14 races. The Joe Gibbs Racing development driver is competing full-time in the ARCA Racing Series for 2017.

Cayden Lapcevich was a Canadian stand-out last year, winning three events en route to being crowned the 2016 NASCAR Pinty’s Series Champion in his rookie season.

Tj Majeski recently signed a development contract with Roush Fenway Racing to run a select number of NASCAR XFINITY Series events in 2017. The 22-year-old kicked off last year by winning the Super Late Model championship at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway, followed by a third-place finish in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series standings.

Chase Purdy from Meridan, Mississippi took home NASCAR Whelen All-American Series rookie honors last year with a track championship at Greenville Pickens Speedway. The 17-year-old is racing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East this year.

Zane Smith put himself on the scene  by winning the Super Late Model championship at New Smyrna’s World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing in 2015. He finished off the year with a runner-up to Elliott at the Snowball Derby.

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @ladybug388

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

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“They Said What?” Memorable Quotes – 2016 Pinty’s Series

We may have turned a page on the calendar and entered the year 2017, but that doesn’t mean we’re quite ready to leave 2016 behind yet. Even if we were, there’s still four months left till the start of the next season for the NASCAR Pinty’s Series.

So to help pass the time, here are some memorable quotes that drivers said to me throughout the 2016 season.

 

“Our goals are very simple. These guys will be house hold names in the next four to five years. We’re going to make them that way. I am tired as a fan of racing to mention names like Scott Steckly, Mark Dilley and not be recognized. We got great talent up here, but nobody knows about it.”

Pinty’s Director of Marketing and Research Tony Spiteri on what Pinty’s plans to do with their NASCAR Sponsorship

 

“It’s awesome. I didn’t think it could happen in the first year, but to be here and named the champion is pretty cool. I didn’t think I would do this in my rookie guy, racing guys like Andrew Ranger and D.J. Kennington who have championships and be as consistent as we were. I definitely didn’t think I’d be doing it at this level with the caliber of talent.”

Cayden Lapcevich on winning the championship in his rookie season. 

 

“We made a plan on the way here to get a win – I didn’t want to go out wrecking. I got the job done, so I kept the wife happy.”

Jason Hathaway on winning at Kawartha Speedway in his last NASCAR start as a full-time driver. 

 

“Third place run for Larry Jackson at this track is a win. To finally be in a car that turns and runs well and have my family and old friends and crew here – it’s awesome.”

Larry Jackson on finishing third in the Leland Industries 300 at Sunset Speedway. 

 

“If you know Alex Tagliani, there’s a lot less chance you’ll feed me nuts because everybody knows I have an allergy. But if you hide it and come talk to me, spend time with me and don’t know, maybe you’ll feed me a meal that has nuts. There’s no chance this meal has nuts because if they know me, they know I have an allergy. But if you hide it, the risk elevates. My message is to more make kids feel they can live well with it, you need to be comfortable with it and not embarrassed, and always used the safe way. I mean, would you jump in my car without the seat belt on and no helmet? I’ll drive that fast, but with a helmet. That’s the comparison that we’re making to them and hopefully get to something.”

Alex Tagliani speaking about why he is spreading awareness about allergies and encouraging those with allergies to always carry their EpiPen with them.

 

“I am always stressed when I am traffic and the only way to be calm is to be leading and seeing nothing ahead of me. That’s always what I want to do, and I want to control the pace of the race, and that’s what I did in each race that I won and that’s what I want to do this year.”

Kevin Lacroix on his goals entering the 2016 season.

 

“We’re just going to keep building on the team as it’s a new team this year. As a new team we faced a lot of challenge, but the season is like a race. You have to finish to strong. We have two races to go – two ovals – and our oval program is doing really well so we want to go win those two races.”

L.P. Dumoulin on his goals with two races remaining in the season following a top-five at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

 

“It was pretty intense. I passed him on the inside initially, and then he gave me the bumper to get me outside and got back inside of me. I was on the outside for the last 25 laps, at least, and it was pretty good. Every time I thought I was clear, he was there again. He gave me a good run at the end. It was good hard racing.”

Alex Labbe on the battle back and forth with Cayden Lapcevich for the win at Autodrome Chaudiere. 

 

“I couldn’t be happier. We started the season out with no funding, so we were only going to run a couple of races. He ran so good, and some money came in, and he ran good again, and a bit more money came in. Cayden really rose to the occasion. As a father, I’m really proud. As a crew chief, I couldn’t ask for more out of him. Everything was against him, and he rose to the occasion. He’s done it before – in super stock, he had to win the race to win the championship, and he won the race. It’s great. So I couldn’t be happier.”

Jeff Lapcevich‘s thoughts at Kawartha Speedway after Cayden won the championship. 

 

“It’s been years to figure out and now I’m starting to finally get there. We’ll adjust a little bit more and get the car where I need to so I can run the same times that they’re running. Then it’s left up to the driver. So struggling a little on the set-up, but we’re a lot stronger than we were.”

Kerry Micks following a top-five finish on the streets of Toronto.

 

“Joey McColm has really taken this team to another level. He’s so motivated, active in the racing world and we have a plan that is going to attract drivers. The series is growing, and we’re also growing in the Trans-Am Series, as well. It’s definitely in developing stages and we have a lot more cars, a lot more drivers, and a lot more interest in what he does. It’s a bright future.”

Kevin Poitras on how much Joey McColm has contributed to the growth of Canada’s Best Racing Team. 

 

“Just being on these streets is cool because I went to school at Ryerson. I was on these streets for a lot of time and to go up the Lakeshore and through all of Exhibition Place/CNE Grounds, it’s like no other place that we go to. Plus, it’s Toronto so the hype is massive.”

Joey McColm on the Pinty’s Series returning to the streets of Toronto. 

 

“It’s fun to be in the series. I’ve driven other series in the past few years, and just to be in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series – it’s so competitive. To see guys like Kevin Lacroix and Alex Labbe, it’s a lot of pleasure to me as a driver. To see a guy like Mark Dilley or Kerry Micks, it’s fun. They’re a really good driver, too. It’s weird to say that I am a veteran, but I’m still young, I think.”

Andrew Ranger on racing in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series.

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER:@ladybug388

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

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NPS Notebook: Lapcevich To Be Crowned; Hathaway Closing Chapter

The crowning of the NASCAR Pinty’s Series Champion will be delayed by a day, as a persistent rain on Saturday afternoon resulted in the Kawartha 250 being postponed to Sunday, September 18 at Kawartha Speedway. The drivers will qualify at 11:30 a.m. EST, followed by the event at 1 p.m. EST.

The season finale has a bunch of storylines going into it with a pair of them bringing opposite ends to the spectrum – a new young champion along with a veteran closing a chapter in his career.

Following his victory at Autodrome St. Eustache, 16-year-old Cayden Lapcevich enters this weekend with a 41-point advantage ahead of Andrew Ranger. As soon as he takes the green flag for the race, he will be the 2016 NASCAR Pinty’s Series Champion and will set the record for the youngest ever NASCAR Champion.

Everything isn’t locked up for the Grimsby, Ontario native, though, as the owner’s championship is still not solidified. Sherri Lapcevich currently holds a 20-point advantage over Alex Tagliani’s car owner Colin Livingston (462-442) heading into the season finale. By only finishing 17th or better, the owner’s championship will belong to Lapcevich Fastline Motorsports.

If there was a place to celebrate, though, an oval marks the perfect opportunity as Lapcevich has finished in the top-three at each of the six ovals, including three victories. Notably, he finished sixth in his first trip to Kawartha Speedway last season.

jasonhathawaySpeaking of Kawartha Speedway victory lane, Jason Hathaway knows what’s all about as he was able to score the victory last year. The Stouffville, Ontario native will be looking to complete the feat once again in what marks an important race in his career.

Before this weekend, Hathaway announced this year would be his last full-time season in the Pinty’s Series.

Over the past 12 years, Hathaway has run a total of 121 straight races and is only one of two drivers to compete in every race in the series’ history, along with D.J. Kennington. During that time, he has picked up eight wins and 73 top-10s, highlighted by a runner-up finish in the series standings last season.

Hathaway noted he was stepping away from the series to pursue other projects he has on the go with his wife Jamie, and spend time with their children.

“I have had a great career, and I am extremely proud of my accomplishments and our Team’s accomplishments on the track,” he said in a statement. “Narrowly missing the Championship several times and 8 NASCAR wins are some of my cherished accomplishments. I think my greatest and most humbling achievement was being honored as the 2015 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Most Popular Driver.”

“We have accomplished so much as a team and as a racing family. We have traveled across the country, met some great people and fans along the way and have built some truly awesome friendships with NASCAR officials and fellow competitors. The Team we have built is a tight knit group that truly enjoy being around each other and are a part of each other’s family.”

Before the rain, the drivers were able to take to the track for practice.

kevinlacroixKevin Lacroix, who won two weeks ago at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, was quickest with a time of 17.871 seconds. He was running inside the top-10 last year at Kawartha when a late-race incident with Dwayne Baker took him out of contention.

Two-time Champion Kennington was second quickest as he looks to end off the year by breaking a three-year winless streak, followed by rookie Donald Theetge in third. Alex Labbe and Ranger rounded out the top-five.

Lapcevich was sixth, followed by Hathaway, Tagliani, Kerry Micks and LP. Dumoulin. Gary Klutt was 11th, followed by Derek Lynch, Baker, Joey McColm, Mark Dilley, Paul Geniole Jr. and Larry Jackson. Notably, this weekend marks the series debut for Geniole with Canada’s Best Racing Team (CBRT). Geniole previously raced at Sunset Speedway in the Super Stock division, before crewing this season for CBRT and Nick Goetz‘s NG Motorsports Late Model team.

“I’m excited to give Paul a chance to get behind the wheel,” CBRT General Manager Joey McColm said. “He is eager to prove himself, and we are always looking for fresh young talent. In a lot of ways he reminds me of how I was when I started driving.”

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @ladybug388

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

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Lapcevich Looks to Maintain Pinty’s Series Points Lead

With only two races remaining on the schedule, everything is currently falling how Cayden Lapcevich hoped as he currently holds a 30-point advantage ahead of Andrew Ranger with only two races left in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series season.

Lapcevich came into the weekend with a 12-point lead, but ran in the top-10 throughout the Can-Am 200 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park and despite falling back to 14th at one point, he picked up a third place finish. For Lapcevich, it marks his best career road course finish in his eighth road course start.

“It was a great run,” Lapcevich told POPULAR SPEED. “We were very happy with how everything turned out. I didn’t think anything went wrong – everything went right, and we were able to extend our points lead. We’ll go to the next two ovals and try to be fast there.”

Meanwhile, Ranger ran in the top-three in the early stages of the race, but fell out of the event with an engine failure, finishing 21st.

With Ranger out of the event, Lapcevich said it was a relief as he was able to calm down and be a little more patient. Though balancing aggressiveness this year has been a big part of his program due to the lack of the budget the team has, as they’ve only had a sponsor on their Dodge for three of the 10 races this season.

“I know if I wreck a racecar, I may not be at the race track the next week,” he said. “So I’ve just been conservative all year and making sure not to put myself in a bad position.”

With only two races left on the schedule, confidence is high for the Fast Line Motorsports team as Lapcevich’s background is ovals, and he has won two of the ovals this year with no finishes off the podium in five oval races this year.

“I always have a lot of confidence going into the ovals because that’s what I grew up doing,” he said. “So going into the next two ovals, I feel confident with our program, and I think we have a lot of potential for the next couple of races.”

Despite the points gap being what it is, Lapcevich isn’t changing his strategy, either, as he’s set to contend in both races. Notably, he has never competed at Autodrome St. Eustache before and last year at Kawartha Speedway, he ran in the top-five all race long en route to a sixth-place finish.

” I’m really confident in our oval program and the potential we have on the ovals,” he said. “I don’t think it will change much. I am actually going to go out there and do my best, and try and run up front all race.”

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @ladybug388

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.