LONDON, Ontario — In the closing laps, Brandon Watson made the pass on Kyle Steckly enabling him to cross the finish line in the sixth position.
The pass may have seemed insignificant to many watching, but it meant everything. It allowed him to win the APC Auto Parts United Late Model Series Championship by a single point over Treyten Lapcevich.
“We’re defiantly very happy with it,” he told SHORT TRACK MUSINGS. “An up and down season for us, but we were able to sneak away with a 1 point win there at the end. It was definitely closer than we wanted, but struggled a little bit with the handling tonight.”
“We had a tire going down that we didn’t catch at the start so unfortunately we were making adjustments to counter that, so that hurt us, so we really didn’t get any practice in,” he explained. “So qualifying the car felt pretty good – a little snug in the middle, but we weren’t really sure if it was going to tight up in the middle of the race.”
Starting 15th for the 100 lap feature, he made his way up into the top-10 just before the halfway mark. From there, he was able to work his way into seventh, though unable to make up much ground with the field being equal in lap times and spread out over the long run.
However, it was the closing laps that he was able to close on Steckly, and make the move on Lap 99 of 100 to secure sixth, and a championship.
“Unfortunately, just a little tight a little center off so couldn’t get on the gas early enough. But like I said, we were just able to sneak away with it,” Watson said. ‘This crew and these sponsors do a great job – Shear Metal Products, Barrie Frame Alignment, Redline Apparel.
“McColl Racing Enterprises always gives us a really good piece to put us up there in the race, anyway. We came from 15th tonight to sixth with a tight car is defiantly a really good. Just got the last car pass at the end, but it was really something for us. We came away with another championship so that’s two for us; we’re definitely happy with that.”
As a whole, Watson was able to pick up three wins, and five top-10 finishes through the eight events. When asked as to his most memorable moment of 2021, he says it’s hard to say.
“This is definitely a nice feeling sitting here in victory lane with the points championship, but like I said, it would’ve been better if we were in the winner’s circle as the winner, too,” he shared. “But the 32 (Treyten Lapcevich) had a good car, ran a good year all year, the 22 (Pete Shepherd) did as well – so lot of good racers here, but any wins are really good.
“Our Sauble win was really good coming from the middle of the pack there; it was definitely a struggle there, but we were able to get up there and get that win. And of course, our other two wins at Flamboro and Delaware were great for us, too.”