Race Reports

Rick Spencer-Walt Dominates APC Series Dayco 100 at Sunset Speedway

After posting a speed outside of the top-20 in practice, several people wrote Rick Spencer-Walt off as a potential contender for the Dayco 100 victory at Sunset Speedway. However, that all changed once qualifying was complete, as they watched the No. 31w dominate on Saturday evening.

Rick Spencer-Walt was quickest in qualifying with a lap of 14.103 seconds ahead of J.R. Fitzpatrick, Dale Shaw, Kyle Steckly, and Jake Sheridan. Josh Stade was sixth, followed by Shae Gemmell, Erik Dalla Riva, Tom Gibbons, and Andrew Gresel.

Following the invert after time trials, Jake Sheridan started pole in front of Kyle Steckly, Dale Shaw, Rick Spencer-Walt, J.R. Fitzpatrick, Josh Stade, Shae Gemmell, Erik Dalla Riva, Tom Gibbons, Andrew Gresel, Matt Pritiko, Jordan Howse, Connor James, Danny Benedict, Jr Farrelly, Blair Wickett, Jade Franklin, Travis Hallyburton, Gord Shepherd, Jordan Sims, Shawn Chenoweth, Ryan Kimball, Billy Schwartzenburg, James Horner, Shawn McGlynn, Sean Grosman, and Dwayne Baker.

Jake Sheridan grabbed the advantage on the second lap with Shaw and Steckly side-by-side for second, as Spencer-Walt moved into fourth in front of Fitzpatrick and Stade’s battle for fifth. Gemmell ran seventh, as Pritiko and Dalla Riva battled for eighth, with Pritiko taking the spot on Lap 5 ahead of Dalla Riva, as Howse and Gresel battled for 10th. Gresel took the spot on Lap 6, with James looking to follow him through.

The first caution came out on Lap 7 with contact between Jade Franklin and Gord Shepherd, resulting in Shepherd making significant contact with the backstretch wall. With 94 laps to go, Sheridan led Steckly, Shaw, Spencer-Walt, Fitzpatrick, Stade, Gemmell, Pritiko, Dalla Riva, Gresel, Howse, James, Gibbons, Farrelly, Benedict, and Wickett.

Sheridan retained the lead on the restart ahead of Steckly and Spencer-Walt, with Steckly able to get alongside a lap later as Shaw dropped back to fourth in front of Fitzpatrick and Pritiko. Steckly’s challenge for the top spot wasn’t successful, as he was instead challenged for second by Spencer-Walt. Steckly was able to regroup and rechallenge Sheridan for the lead on Lap 21, with Fitzpatrick challenging Shaw for fourth a lap later. Both challenges went unsuccessfully, with Gemmell running seventh in front of Gresel, Stade, James, Howse and Gibbons.

Spencer-Walt would challenge Steckly for second once again on Lap 26, this time taking the spot a lap later. He then got alongside Sheridan for the lead on Lap 28 with Shaw getting by Steckly for fourth; Fitzpatrick tried to follow him through, but was unsuccessful.

Spencer-Walt’s persistence paid off as he was able to clear Sheridan for the lead on Lap 34, with Shaw looking to follow him through as Steckly remained fourth in front of Fitzpatrick, Gemmell, Pritiko, Gresel, Stade, and Howse. Shaw would finally clear Sheridan for second on Lap 41, bringing Fitzpatrick through with him as Steckly remained fourth in front Gemmell, with Gresel passing Pritiko on three laps later.

The shuffling continue, with Gemmell moving into fourth on Lap 45 ahead of Sheridan, Steckly, Pritiko, Gresel, and Stade. Stade made his move on Gresel for eighth, and completing the pass through lap traffic, as Gibbons and Chenoweth rounded out the top-11.

At the halfway mark, Spencer-Walt led in front of Shaw, Fitzpatrick, Gemmell, Sheridan, Steckly, Pritiko, Gresel, and Stade, as Baker made his way down pit road with mechanical issues. Stade would get alongside Gresel for seventh on Lap 53, challenging Pritiko a lap later for seventh. Stade took the spot, with Gresel looking for him through.

Things got interesting within the top-five with Steckly developing a tire rub through contact while making his way through the lap traffic. It resulted in him losing the fifth spot on Lap 62 to Stade, with Gresel clearing Pritiko for eighth through lap traffic the lap before.

There were battles around the speedway, with Fitzpatrick challenging Shaw for second on Lap 63, completing the pass a lap later ahead of Gemmell, Stade, Sheridan, Steckly, and Gresel. Benedict moved his way up to ninth in front of Gibbons, Pritiko, Chenoweth, and Sims. Steckly continued to be challenged, with Gresel getting alongside on Lap 68, as Hallyburton headed down pit road a lap later with overheating issues.

With just 30 laps left on the board, Spencer-Walt led Fitzpatrick, Shaw, Gemmell, Stade, Sheridan and Gresel, as Benedict battled Steckly for eighth, with Chenoweth and Pritiko side-by-side for 10th. Gemmell would then challenge Shaw for third on Lap 72, taking the spot as Benedict got by Steckly, to challenge Gresel for seventh. That was short lived, though, with the yellow flag flying on Lap 82 for Sims going around courtesy of contact from McGlynn.

Spencer-Walt got a good restart in front of Fitzpatrick, as Shaw and Gemmell resumed their battle for third. Gemmell got the spot on Lap 87, with Benedict looking to follow him through as Stade ran sixth in front of Gresel, Chenoweth, Gibbons, Steckly, and Sheridan. Benedict was successful in his attempt, taking the fourth spot on Lap 90, with Stade tagging the back of Shaw a couple laps later. It’d work, as he’d get fifth on Lap 93.

Rick Spencer-Walt’s dominating performance culminated with him taking the checkered flag.


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