The 2017 APC Series season officially got underway on May 27th at Sunset International Speedway for the Gumout 100, where drivers battled for their shot at glory in the season opener. A full field of Pro Late Models took to the high banked facility, all with one common goal of victory.
After the conclusion of three practice sessions, the event got underway with Bennett GM Pole Qualifying, where the new group format made its debut. Drivers were grouped into sessions based on practice speeds and sent onto the track for 5 lap stints. The field was chasing the current track record of 14.263 currently held by Dale Shaw. Jamie Cox won the Pole Award with a time of 14.221, setting a new track record after having mechanical troubles during practice. Defending series champion Andrew Gresel timed in second with Andy Kamrath in third.
The 100 lap main event began with Andy Kamrath on the pole after drawing the number one pill, MacMaster of Orangeville Rookie of the year contender Treyten Lapcevich drew number two and started alongside. Kamrath elected the high side for the start and made it stick, jumping to the lead before the caution flag came out for a spin in the mid pack by Shawn Chenoweth. On the restart Kamrath would once again elect the high side and open up a slight lead to those chasing from behind. The caution flag flew once again on lap 14 when Nick Goetz got into the back of Rick Burbridge, sending him into the inside wall, ending his event early.
The race would get going green from the restart cleanly as Kamrath maintained the top position. On lap 34 the caution flag flew again, this time for the #86 of Billy Schwartzenburg going around in turn 1. Just two laps after the ensuing restart the evening would end for Jason Hathaway as he slowed and entered the infield with an apparent issue on his familiar #3h machine. Kamrath’s time out front would come to an end on lap 39 when Matt Pritiko made a move after a heated battle, clearing the competition.
The Gumout 100 remained under green flag conditions until lap 46 when the caution flag was displayed for a spin in turn 1 by Junior Farrelly and Chris Mitchell. Both drivers were able to resume the race without any troubles. Just after the restart, Brandon Watson advanced into the 2nd position, shuffling Kamrath back on the high side.
On lap 51 the race saw its final caution flag as Nick Goetz came to a stop on the back straightaway. The restart allowed Brandon Watson to drive past Matt Pritiko and take the race lead. Side by side racing throughout the field filled the remainder of the event as drivers looked to gather up positions in the second half. On lap 71 there was a close call on the front straightaway as Jamie Cox and Shawn McGlynn got together, touching doors and the outside wall while racing in the top 10. Both drivers resumed racing for the position for the remainder of the laps after the scare.
Lap 80 saw Shawn Chenoweth drive into the top 3 after charging through the field from his lap 1 spin. Brandon Watson continued to lead as he worked heavy lapped traffic, while opening up a straightaway lead on Matt Pritiko. In the end Watson would score the win in the Gumout 100, his second win in the APC Series. Matt Pritiko finished 2nd, Shawn Chenoweth 3rd, Andrew Gresel 4th, and Shawn McGlynn rounded out the top 5.
The next event for the APC Series is June 10th at the Flamboro Speedway in Milgrove, Ontario for the Meineke 100. The second stop on the 2017 season is sure to be as exciting as the first. More details on the event including an itinerary will be released in the coming days.