In a sight that fans have grown familiar to seeing, Brandon Watson would score the victory in the APC United Late Models of Ontario feature at Sunset Speedway on Sunday night.
Brandon Watson was quick right from the start, timing in quickest during time trials with a lap of 14.037 seconds for a new track record. J.R. Fitzpatrick was second, followed by Treyten Lapcevich, Jamie Cox, and Billy Schwartzenburg. Mike Bentley qualified sixth, followed by Shae Gemmell, Matt Pritiko, Rick Spencer-Walt and Lane Zardo. Josh Stade was 11th, followed by Ryan Kimball, Rick Burbridge, Dale Shaw, Jake Sheridan, Shawn Chenoweth, Jordan Sims and Junior Farrelly.
Those drivers would lock into the show with the speeds, with the rest of the field sent to the last chance qualifier. That list would include Jerry Artuso, Brandon Verhoeven, Steve Laking, Andrew Gresel, Tom Gibbons, Mat Box, Patrick Freel, Jade Franklin, Paighton Jacobs, and Shawn McGlynn. Out of the last chance qualifier, they would be taking four drivers on provisionals, as well as four drivers on their finishing position.
The last chance didn’t go without caution, as McGlynn would spin Freel in turn four on Lap 3. At that time, both Gresel and Box pulled off into the pits. Jerry Artuso picked up the win to transfer, followed by Laking, Gibbons, McGlynn, Verhoeven, Freel, Franklin, and Jacobs. With the combination of provisionals and finish, it’d be Verhoeven and Franklin failing to qualify for the event.
With the invert in-place for the feature, J.R. Fitzpatrick led the field to green ahead of Billy Schwartzenburg, Treyten Lapcevich, Jamie Cox, Brandon Watson, Mike Bentley, Rick Spencer-Walt, Shae Gemmell, Lane Zardo, Josh Stade, Ryan Kimball, Rick Burbridge, Dale Shaw, Jake Sheridan, Shawn Chenoweth, Jordan Sims, Junior Farrelly, Jerry Artuso, Steve Laking, Tom Gibbons, Shawn McGlynn, Mat Box, Andrew Gresel, Patrick Freel, Paighton Jacobs, and Matt Pritiko.
The drop of the green flag saw a battle for the lead between Schwartzenburg and Fitxpatrick, with Schwartzenburg taking the top spot on Lap 2 ahead of Fitzpatrick as Lapcevich and Cox battled for third ahead of Watson and Bentley.
Fitzpatrick would get back alongside Schwartzenburg for the lead on Lap 4, taking the top spot three laps later. However, the caution would fly for Zardo spinning Spencer-Walt in turn two. With 94 laps to go, Fitzpatrick led Schwartzenburg, Lapcevich, Watson, Cox, Gemmell, Bentley, Stade, Kimball, Burbridge, Sheridan, Sims, Artuso, Shaw, Chenoweth, Farrelly, and Gibbons.
Fitzpatrick got a good restart to take the lead ahead of Watson, as Schwartzenburg battled Lapcevich for third. Schwartzenburg got the spot on Lap 8 ahead of Lapcevich, as Cox and Gemmell battled for fifth. Gemmell got the spot on Lap 10 ahead of Cox and Stade, with Burbridge alongside Bentley for eighth. Behind them, Kimball and Sims ran side-by-side for 10th ahead of Sheridan and Artuso, with Shaw and Farrelly side-by-side for 14th.
Bentley would clear Burbridge for eighth on Lap 14, with Sims clearing Kimball a lap later for 10th. Behind them, Sheridan continued to run 11th ahead of Artuso. Both Sheridan and Artuso would then get by Kimball on Lap 17, with Farrelly moving up to 12th on Lap 18. Kimball now ran 13th ahead of Shaw, as Chenoweth and Gresel battled for 15th.
The second caution of the 100 lap feature would then fly on Lap 19, with Zardo going around for a spin. With 82 laps to go, Fitzpatrick led Watson, Schwartzenburg, Lapcevich, Gemmell, Cox, Stade, Bentley, Burbridge, Sims, Sheridan, Artuso, Farrelly, Kimball, Shaw, Gresel, Chenoweth, Box, Laking, Pritiko, Gibbons, Freel, Spencer-Walt, Jacobs, Zardo, and McGlynn.
Brandon Watson got a good restart to take the lead from Fitzpatrick, but the caution came back out for Chenoweth going around in turns one and two.
The second restart saw a battle for the lead between Watson and Fitzpatrick, with Fitzpatrick gaining the advantage this time around. Lapcevich slotted into third ahead of Cox, with Schwartzenburg and Gemmell side-by-side for fifth. Gemmell got the spot on Lap 25 ahead of Schwartzenburg, Stade, Sims, Farrelly, Sheridan and Kimball, as Gresel and Artuso battled for 12th. Gresel got the spot on Lap 28, passing Kimball for 11th a lap later.
Further up the field, Gemmell was able to get alongside Coz for fourth at Lap 31. Gemmell took the spot a lap later, allowing Schwartzenburg to take a look at following him through. The pair would battle side-by-side till Lap 35, with Schwartzenburg taking fifth ahead of Cox and Stade as Farrelly and Sims battled for eighth.
The battle for the lead would heat up on Lap 36 with Watson getting alongside Fitzpatrick. However, he was unable to complete the pass, falling back in line as the pair made their way through lap traffic. Lapcevich continued to run third ahead of Gemmell, Schwartzenburg, and Cox, with Farrelly and Stade side-by-side for seventh at Lap 41. Farrelly would get the spot a lap alter ahead of Stade, with Gresel ninth ahead of Sims, Sheridan, and Shaw.
With 44 laps on the board, Gresel would get alongside Stade for eighth, with Gemmell alongside Lapcevich for third a lap later. Schwartzenburg ran fifth ahead of Cox and Farrelly. Gemmell would get the spot on Lap 47 ahead of Lapcevich and Schwartzenburg, with Farrelly moving up to sixth as Cox battled Gresel for seventh. Stade now ran eighth with 49 laps complete ahead of Sims, Sheridan, Shaw, and Pritiko, with Kimball and Spencer-Walt side-by-side for 13th.
With 52 laps on the board, Fitzpatrick led Watson, Gemmell and Lapcevich as Farrelly and Schwartzenburg battled for fifth ahead of Gresel, Cox, and Stade. Farrelly got the spot on Lap 55, with Gresel looking to follow him through but unable to. Behind them, Cox ran eighth followed by Stade, Sheridan, and Shaw. Shaw would then get alongside Sheridan for 10th at Lap 58, with Farrelly alongside Lapcevich for fourth a lap later. Farrelly was unable to complete the pass, though, falling back in line.
The battle for the lead picked up once again at Lap 62 as Watson was able to make his way around Fitzpatrick as they were lapping Kimball. Gemmell ran third, followed by Gresel and Lapcevich. Farrelly would once again try to get by Lapcevich for fifth, but was unable to complete the pass. Behind them, Schwartzenburg and Cox battled for seventh ahead of Shaw. Cox was then able to clear Schwartzenburg on Lap 68, with Shaw looking to follow him through.
Further up the field, Farrelly got back alongside Lapcevich for fifth at Lap 70 ahead of Cox, Shaw, Schwartzenburg and Sheridan. Shaw would then get alongside Cox for seventh at Lap 72, with Sheridan alongside Schwartzenburg. Shaw was able to complete the pass at Lap 74 ahead of Cox, with Sheridan and Pritiko both getting by Schwartzenburg. Spencer-Walt was then able to get alongside Schwartzenburg for 11th at Lap 76.
With 13 laps to go, Farrelly would grab the fifth spot, with Shaw looking for sixth on Lapcevich ahead of Cox, Sheridan, Pritiko and Spencer-Walt, with Stade now alongside Schwartzenburg. Shaw would get the spot at Lap 80 ahead of Lapcevich, with Sheridan alongside Cox for eighth at Lap 81 ahead of Pritiko and Spencer-Walt. Spencer-Walt was then able to get around Pritiko on Lap 87 to move up into 10th.
With 89 laps on the board, Watson led Fitzpatrick, Gemmell, Gresel, Farrelly and Shaw as Sheridan and Lapcevich battled side-by-side for seventh, with Cox and Spencer-Walt side-b7-side for ninth. Shaw would then get alongside Farrelly for fifth at Lap 91, as Sheridan moved into seventh ahead of Spencer-Walt through traffic. Behind them, Pritiko and Lapcevich battled for ninth ahead of Cox.
The green flag wouldn’t last all the way till the checkered, as the third caution came out on Lap 94 for Schwartzenburg having a flat tire. With five laps to go, Watson led Fitzpatrick, Gemmell, Gresel, Shaw, Farrelly, Sheridan, Spencer-Walt, Lapcevich, Pritiko, Cox, Stade and Sims for lead lap cars. Burbridge ran as the first car one lap down.
The first attempt at a restart didn’t go smoothly, with Sheridan and Shaw making significant contact in turn two. The second restart saw a battle for the lead between Fitzpatrick and Watson ahead of Gresel, as Spencer-Walt and Gemmell ran side-by-side for fourth. Watson would get the top spot on Lap 96 ahead of Fitzpatrick and Gresel. Gresel then made his move, giving Fitzpatrick a shot into turn four to take the runner-up spot.
Brandon Watson picked up the win ahead of Andrew Gresel, J.R. Fitzpatrick, Rick Spencer-Walt, and Shae Gemmell. Junior Farrelly finished sixth, followed by Matt Pritiko, Treyten Lapcevich, Jamie Cox, and Josh Stade. Rick Burbridge finished 11th, followed by Jordan Sims, Shawn McGlynn, Steve Laking, Mat Box, Billy Schwartzenburg, Tom Gibbons, Shawn Chenoweth, Jerry Artuso, and Patrick Freel. Paighton Jacobs finished 21st, followed by Dale Shaw, Jake Sheridan, Ryan Kimball, Lane Zardo, and Mike Bentley.