LONDON, Ontario — Pacing the field with under 40 laps to go in the APC Auto Parts United Late Model Series finale at Delaware Speedway, it seemed everything was set to come together for Shae Gemmell to reach victory lane.
However, he would slip up the track in turn one and two with 13 laps to go, giving up the lead to Treyten Lapcevich. He’d ultimately fade back to third by the checkered flag.
“After the long run there, I went into the corner and I got squirrely and was like, ‘Something is not right,’ and then down the back straightaway, the front end just didn’t seem right,” he told SHORT TRACK MUSiNGS. “I lost the lead to Treyten, lost second to (Andrew) Gresel, and then came down on the podium there and you hear a hissing sound, which is never a good sign. So must’ve ran over something with the right front, but to finish off with a podium for the car and our season, pretty happy with that.”
Despite not finishing in victory lane, the driver of the No. 3 North Country Property Maintenance / APC Auto Parts entry for Gemmell Corrado Racing had a smile on his face. After all, he was pleased with their really strong performance in having phenomenal entry speed, and really good exit speed off the corner.
If he had not had the tire going down, Gemmell felt good about his chances, even with the lap traffic up ahead.
“it seemed like it was a bit of a struggle to find a line. They weren’t being consistent in where they were running – they were going high, they were going low, so there was a lot of darting in and out,” he admitted. “But I feel like we would’ve had a lot more competitive car and maybe closer to the lead, maybe stretched it out, but you just never know. So I guess we’re coming back here for another year to find out.”
The podium allows him to finish the APC Series season on a solid note. following an eighth at Sunset Speedway.
“It’ll be one to surely remember – flat tires, mechanical problems, starting at the back of the field, working our way back up and proving we have a fast car still with an older chassis, working on this car to prove that we still have it,” he said. “It shows how much work we’ve put into this car, and how much more this means to us as we’re were the ones that put in the hours to compete against these guys. So I’m very happy with how it went, but it’s racing – it’s one of those things.”
Gemmell’s 2021 campaign is not done yet, as he heads into this weekend at Flamboro Speedway tied for the Grisdale Triple Crown Championship points lead with Shawn Chenoweth.
“After finishing here with the car in one piece and on the podium, it just means you’re going over maintenance on the car, trying to find a little bit more speed in the car,” he said. “Going back to Flamboro, I love the facility there. John Casale and all their support is really good there. It’s always good to roll into there with smiles.
“But the Grisdale Triple Crown, we hope to be competitive and hopefully bring that back – guess it would be again with not running again, but after today’s showing, we have a strong car. It’s just if we can keep four tires up, we can be alright for that race.”
Once the year is in the books, it’ll be time to reflect and get better for 2022, with Gemmell saying the minor aspects will be critical.
“It’s just little things that you have to find and fine tune because this field is the best in Canada,” he explained. “I think in qualifying today, there were just two tenths separating everyone from first to 15th and everyone has got good equipment, everyone is a strong running driver.
“Hopefully I’m back for another year. My contract ends this year with North Country Maintenance. I’ll meet with them over the winter time and see what next year brings.”
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