Enabling a strategy focused on saving his equipment throughout both events, Jason Hathaway came away victorious as he swept both APC Auto Parts United Late Models of Ontario Tour features on Sunday at Jukasa Motor Speedway as part of the Rankin Construction Summer Shootout.
Following Saturday’s qualifying session, Dale Shaw started pole for the first 75-lap event ahead of Brandon Watson, Matt Pritiko, Alex Labbe, and Pete Shepherd. Jamie Cox started sixth, followed by Jason Hathaway, Brandon Verhoeven, Shae Gemmell, and Treyten Lapcevich. Ken Schrader started 11th, followed by J.R. Fitzpatrick, Shawn McGlynn, Cayden Lapcevich, and Josh Stade. Andrew Gresel started 16th, followed by Junior Farrelly, Justin Demelo, Willie Reyns, Mark Burbridge, and Jesse Kennedy.
Derek Lynch started 21st, followed by Billy Schwartzenburg, Corey Jones, Junior Hanley, and Hudson Nagy. Patrick Freel started 26th, followed by Mat Box, Shawn Chenoweth, Jason Parker, and Tom Gibbons. Gary Elliott started 31st, followed by Paighton Jacobs, Nick Goetz, Gord Shepherd, and Marc Jacobs.
Brandon Watson jumped out to the early lead on the opening lap ahead of Shaw with Pritiko in third. Shepherd would then get alongside Pritiko on Lap 3, though was unable to complete the pass. Behind them, Gemmell ran fifth on Lap 4, though was passed a lap later for the spot by Jason Hathaway.
Pritiko would get by Shaw for second on Lap 7, bringing Shepherd and Hathaway through with him. Shaw now ran fifth ahead of Gemmel and Schrader. Shaw continued to fall back, though, as he was also passed by Gemmel, Schrader and Labbe before the first caution flew at Lap 10 for Goetz backing the car into the turn one wall. With 65 laps to go, Watson led Pritiko, Shepherd, Hathaway, Shaw, Gemmell, Schrader, Labbe, Cox, Verhoeven, Cayden Lapcevich, Treyten Lapcevich, Fitzpatrick, Gresel, Stade, Reyns, and Stade.
The restart saw a battle for the lead between Watson and Pritiko, with Shepherd in third ahead of Hathaway, Gemmell, Shaw, Schrader, Cox, Vanhoeven and Cayden Lapcevich. Lapcevich then got alongside Vanhoeven, passing him on Lap 15 for 10th, with Gresel looking to follow him through. Further up the field, Gemmell got alongside Hathaway for fourth at Lap 16.
With 17 laps on the board, Pritiko cleared Watson to take over the lead ahead of Shepherd, as Gemmell and Hathaway continued to run side-by-side. Hathaway prevailed, clearing Gemmell for fourth on Lap 19 ahead of Scharder, Shaw, and Cox.
Lapcevich continued to move forward, getting alongside Cox for ninth ahead of Gresel and Vanhoeven. However, his progress was cut short with the caution flying on Lap 23 for Shaw slowing in turns one and two. With 53 laps to go, Pritiko led Watson, Shepherd, Gemmell, Hathaway, Schrader, Lapcevich, Gresel, Cox, Vanhoeven, Labbe, Fitzpatrick, Reyns, Treyten Lapcevich, Farrelly, Stade, Gibbons, Hanley, Shawn Thompson, and Box.
The restart saw another battle for the lead between Pritiko and Watson, but also saw the third caution with Patrick Freel losing a rear wheel in turn two, causing him to hit the wall.
The second attempt at a restart went smoother, with Pritiko holding serve ahead of Watson and Hathaway. Shepherd then got alongside Hathaway for third, passing him on Lap 25, with Gemmell and Cayden Lapcevich following him through. Hathaway now ran sixth, with Gresel and Cox side-by-side for seventh at Lap 28.
Lapcevich continued to move forward, passing Gemmell for fourth on Lap 30 with Hathaway continuing to run sixth ahead of Cox, Labbe, Gresel, and Treyten Lapcevich. Kennedy ran 11th, followed by Schrader, Vanhoeven, Stade and Hanley. Kennedy then got alongside Treyten Lapcevich for 10th at Lap 34, completing the pass a lap later. Schrader looked to follow him through next.
The battles continued around the speedway, with Labbe getting alongside Cox for seventh at Lap 38 ahead of Gresel and Kennedy, as the Schrader and Lapcevich battle continued. Labbe would get the seventh spot three laps later, with Schrader clearing Lapcevich for 11th after that. Labbe continued to move forward, passing Gemmell for sixth at Lap 43.
With 31 laps to go, Pritiko led Watson, Shepherd, Cayden Lapcevich, Hathaway, Labbe, Gemmell, Cox, Gresel, Kennedy, Schrader, Stade, Treyten Lapcevich, Hanley and Vanhoeven. Cox then got alongside Gemmell for seventh at Lap 49, completing the pass a lap later, and bringing Gresel and Gibbons through with him. Gibbons then got alongside Gresel for eighth at Lap 52, with Schrader alongside Gemmell for 10th. Schrader would take the spot two laps later, with Stade rounding out the top-12.
The front of the field found themselves in deep heavy lap traffic, which didn’t play out as Pritiko wanted. He’d get stuck behind Nagy, while both Watson and Shepherd were able to find a way by. As a result, Watson grabbed the lead ahead of Shepherd, with Pritiko now back to third ahead of Hathaway, Cayden Lapcevich, and Labbe.
Pritiko continued to fade back, dropping to fifth after being passed by both Hathaway and Lapcevich at Lap 60. Labbe ran sixth ahead of Cox, Gresel, Gibbons, Schrader and Gemmell. Stade then got alongside Gemmell for 11th at Lap 63, completing the pass a lap later. Gemmell now ran 12th ahead of Hanley, Treyten Lapcevich, Vanhoeven, and Farrelly.
The leaders continued to make their way through lap traffic, with Watson leading the way. Hathaway continued to move forward, though, passing Shepherd for second at Lap 66, just before the caution flew for Pritiko spinning Nagy in turn four. Under the yellow flag, Lapcevich slowed down, eventually turning into the infield as he ran out of gas. With nine laps to go, Watson led Hathaway, Shepherd, Labbe, Cox, Gresel, Gibbons, Schrader, Gemmell, Hanley, Farrelly, Chenoweth, Treyten Lapcevich, and Vanhoeven.
Watson and Hathaway battled for the lead on the drop of the green flag, but it wouldn’t last long with Reyns hitting the backstretch wall for the fifth caution.
The second attempt at a restart went clean, with Hathaway grabbing the lead ahead of Watson and Shepherd, as Gresel and Labbe battled for fourth.
Jason Hathaway led the rest of the way en route to scoring the victory ahead of Brandon Watson, Pete Shepherd, Andrew Gresel, and Alex Labbe. Shae Gemmell finished sixth, followed by Jesse Kennedy, Ken Schrader, Jamie Cox, and Jeff Hanley. Treyten Lapcevich finished 11th, followed by Mat Box, Cayden Lapcevich, Jr Farrelly, J.R. Fitzpatrick, Justin Demelo, Shawn Chenoweth, Brandon Verhoeven, Josh Stade and Rick Burbridge.
Matt Pritiko finished 21st, followed by Shawn McGlynn, Dale Shaw, Billy Schwartzenburg, Gord Shepherd, Tom Gibbons, Derek Lynch, Hudson Nagy, Shawn Thompson, and Corey Jones. Marc Jacobs finished 31st, followed by Gary Elliott, Jason Parker, Paighton Jacobs, Willie Reyns, Patrick Freel, and Nick Goetz.
For the second feature, Pete Shepherd started pole ahead of Brandon Watson, Jason Hathaway, Shae Gemmell, and Andrew Gresel. Matt Pritiko started sixth, followed by Cayden Lapcevich, Jr Farrelly, Alex Labbe, and Justin Demelo. Tom Gibbons started 11th, followed by Jamie Cox, Treyten Lapcevich, Jeff Hanley, Mat Box, J.R. Fitzpatrick, Shawn Thompson, Dale Shaw, and Brandon Vanhoeven.
Unfortunately, the race started off in a disastrous way with a big crash in turn one involving Shawn McGlynn, Gibbons, Josh Stade, Schrader, Vanhoeven, and Rick Burbridge.
The second attempt to start the event went smoother with Pete Shepherd grabbing the early advantage ahead of Watson, Hathaway, Gresel, Cayden Lapcevich and Pritiko as Labbe and Gemmell ran side-by-side for seventh. Lapcevich would get alongside Gresel for fourth at Lap 4, though was unable to complete the pass. Instead, Pritiko got by Lapcevich to take the fifth position a lap later.
Labbe moved into seventh on Lap 7 ahead of Gibbons, with Gemmell and Treyten Lapcevich side-by-side for ninth. Gibbons then got alongside Labbe for seventh on Lap 8, completing the pass one lap later. Treyten Lapcevich ran ninth ahead of Hanley, Box and Fitzpatrick.
Hathaway began to make his move forward, passing Brandon Watson for second on Lap 11, while Gresel and Pritiko went side-by-side for fourth. Gresel ran fourth on Lap 13 ahead of Pritiko, Cayden Lapcevich, Gibbons, Treyten Lapcevich, Hanley, Labbe, Fitzpatrick, and Box. Fitzpatrick would then get by Labbe on Lap 15 to take the 10th position with Box continuing to run 12th ahead of Cox, Farrelly, Chenoweth and Demelo.
As the race drew on, it didn’t play out as Watson hoped as he got passed by Gresel, Pritiko and Cayden Lapcevich on Lap 19 to bump him back to sixth ahead of Gibbons, Treyten Lapcevich and Hanley. The second caution then flew on Lap 21, for Paighton Jacobs spinning in turns three and four.
The restart saw a battle for the lead between Shepherd and Hathaway, as Pritiko ran third ahead of the battle for fourth between Gresel and Brandon Watson. The Lapcevich brothers would battle side-by-side for sixth behind them, with Cayden Lapcevich getting the spot on Lap 23 ahead of Treyten Lapcevich, Gibbons and Fitzpatrick.
Shepherd would clear Hathaway for the lead on Lap 25, but the caution flew one lap later for Cox spinning in turn four. With 50 laps to go, Shepherd led Hathaway, Pritiko, Gresel, Watson, Cayden Lapcevich, Treyten Lapcevich, Gibbons, Fitzpatrick, Farrelly, Hanley, Box, McGlynn, Chenoweth, Demelo, and Gemmell.
The restart saw the battle for the lead commence once again, with Hathaway taking the top spot on Lap 27 ahead of Shepherd, Pritiko, Gresel, Watson and Cayden Lapcevich. Lapcevich then got alongside Watson for fifth, completing the pass two laps later. Behind them, Gibbons would clear Treyten Lapcevich for seventh, getting alongside Watson for sixth. He would get the spot on Lap 33, but the caution flew a lap later for Shaw having a mechanical issue.
Hathaway would get a good restart, leading ahead of Shepherd with Gresel and Pritiko side-by-side for third ahead of Cayden Lapcevich, Watson, Gibbons, Treyten Lapcevich, Farrelly, Box, McGlynn and Gemmell. Gresel would clear Pritiko for third on Lap 35, but Pritiko got alongside him two laps later. Unfortunately, the move didn’t pan out as planned, with Pritiko going for the spin for the caution.
Hathaway got another good restart ahead of Shepherd and Gresel, with Watson and Cayden Lapcevich side-by-side for fourth. Watson got the spot on Lap 39 ahead of Lapcevich, with Gibbons running sixth ahead of Treyten Lapcevich and Farrelly, as Box and McGlynn battled for ninth. McGlynn got the spot on Lap 42, with Labbe getting alongside McGlynn next ahead of Schwartzenburg.
Cayden Lapcevich would get alongside Watson once again on Lap 44 ahead of Gibbons, Treyten Lapcevich, Farrelly and Box, with Labbe and McGlynn still side-by-side. Labbe would get the spot on Lap 47 to bump McGlynn back to 11th. Treyten Lapcevich continued to move forward, passing Gibbons for sixth on Lap 49, bringing Farrelly through with him.
Gibbons would now run eighth ahead of Labbe, Box, and McGlynn, with Pritiko getting alongside McGlynn for 11th at Lap 51. Brandon Watson looked set to clear Cayden Lapcevich for fourth a lap later, but Lapcevich wasn’t set to let him go that easily. Treyten Lapcevich continued to run sixth ahead of Farrelly, Gibbons, Labbe, Pritiko, and McGlynn.
The battle for fourth would be settled on Lap 56, with Cayden Lapcevich clearing Watson for the position, as Treyten Lapcevich held off a charge from Farrelly for sixth ahead of Gibbons.
Jason Hathaway led the rest of the way en route to scoring the victory.
“I didn’t plan on coming here and winning both, that’s for sure,” Hathaway told Short Track Musings. “”I just wanted to come here and make sure we were competitive. My main focus was making sure that we got to race the 9 car (Brandon Watson). I wanted to gauge how our car was, where we were, and how I was as a driver truthfully. So got to race him in the first one, and had a real good set-up on the long distance so I said to the boys to not tweak it too much, just a few changes, and it took off like a rocket. I was expecting the guys to race a little harder in the beginning. I think I was racing too hard, so I kind of backed off a little bit.
“But yeah, it’s my deal. It’s a nice, smooth steady pace to go after it not burning up your stuff, so it worked for us today. So I won a couple trophies, couple cheques, gas can, bonus for sweeping – there was cash flying.”
Pete Shepherd finished second, giving him three podiums on the day to go with his third-place Super Late Model finish.
“It was a good overall day for sure,” Shepherd said. “It was the best that we could do without getting a win. We were on the podium for all three races; we were in the wedding party for two, and the bridesmaid for the last one. We didn’t have anything for the 3 car (Hathaway) as he was really strong, but the McColl chassis – what can I say? The Super Late Model – it was the best super late that I have driven in my life. I put that on my own shoulders. I missed time where I should’ve picked up the gas. I could’ve been more competitive in that race, but I waited a little too long. Like I said, this McColl car was turning outstanding.
“I think we were a lot better than a third-place car in the APC Series on the last run, but we weren’t as good as the 3 car on the long haul. We could run with him for five laps. I have to thank National Exhaust, ECO Canada, Shelby Roofing – the entire group of sponsors for everything that they’ve done for us. It’s just been a pleasure to get back to the premiere track in Canada, and to see the doors re-opened here is pretty special.”
Shepherd felt with a little more forward drive, he could have been more competitive.
“I was changing my line as the race went on,” he added. “I was swinging it up higher going in and then trying to cut it lower in the corners to get some forward drive off. The back tires were driving excellent, but the front tires just lost a little bit of bite in them and sliding the nose a little bit. I think if I had a little more front hook-up, I could’ve been a little more competitive.”
Andrew Gresel finished third, followed by Cayden Lapcevich, and Brandon Watson. Treyten Lapcevich finished sixth ahead of Jr Farrelly, Tom Gibbons, Alex Labbe, and Matt Pritiko.