The APC Auto Parts United Late Models of Ontario Tour became the first drivers to make laps at Delaware Speedway following the repave, and it produced a couple surprises at the top of the board. After a day filled with laps on the track, Shaw Motorsports topped the early practice charts.
After not making a single start last season, Blair Wickett made his return behind the wheel with a lap of 18.556 seconds to top the speed chart. Although he has not experienced success on the big stage, Wickett has previous Pro Late Model experience at Flamboro Speedway and Jukasa Motor Speedway, and a past mini stock front runner.
Ranked second just six thousandth off of his time was Erik Dalla Riva, who got his feet wet behind the wheel of a pro late model in 2021 at Flamboro Speedway. Plagued by bad luck, this year the 2019 Frostoberfest Mini Stock Champion is hoping to show off his ability behind the wheel.
Although both drivers do not have the full book of experience behind the wheel, Shaw Motorsports is no stranger to success in APC competition. Dale Shaw won the inaugural series championship, and was fast last year with three top-five’s.
J.R. Fitzpatrick was third quickest with a quick time of 18.592 seconds, hopeful of building off his late momentum of 2021 that saw him win at Sunset Speedway and Frostoberfest, while battling for the victory at the Autumn Colours Classic. Another past champion of the series, the early speed shown with a new car is no surprise.
The test saw a mix of experience on-track, including young guns Ray Morneau, Kyle Steckly, Connor James, and Danny Benedict, as well as past winners like Josh Stade and Shae Gemmell. Another great sight was the return of Billy Schwartzenburg, after missing out in action the past couple seasons.
In total, 11 different competitors participated in the test.
The series will kick off their 2022 campaign on May 21 as part of Sunset Speedway’s Spring Velocity weekend. Their first appearance of the year at Delaware Speedway, meanwhile, is scheduled for Canada Day weekend.