We’re just two races of nine into the APC Auto Parts United Late Model Series season, and there are already things that are catching attention with what has happened thus far.
0 clear favourites emerge when we head into the next event of the season at Peterborough Speedway. However, you have to look at those who have stood out with past success as that’s been the secret the first two races on the calendar. Perhaps you point towards past ACC winners if you want to have an idea of someone to watch.
3 drivers have scored a top-five in each of the first two events – J.R. Fitzpatrick, Shae Gemmell, and Josh Stade. Gemmell has not been flashy in leading laps, but he has been putting himself up front when the pay window opens late in the event. Being able to do that will keep yourself in contention for not only the title as seen by his points placing, but a possible victory down the road this year.
He is a past series winner at Sauble Speedway so that may be where to circle him on the list.
17 of Stade became the circle of bad luck last year it seemed, with everything always falling his way when he seemed to be within striking distance of success. However, so far, it seems things are going to plan as he won a feature at Sunset Speedway in weekly competition, and is one of those aforementioned consistent drivers.
29 of Ryan Kimball is someone you’d never expect to be ranked all the way back 18th in the standings with two races in the books, but that seems to be the case. He has struggled the first two events of the season, not playing a part in your battle for a top-five whatsoever.
Peterborough being next on the schedule could be a blessing for him, big time, as he is known for his success there. Just look at the numerous wins, including ACC trophies to his name, and amount of laps around the track. With a lot of drivers not having experience there, it may become invaluable.
31 of Rick Spencer-Walt won the season opener in dominating style at Sunset Speedway. It is not a surprise, given his success at the track with numerous victories and championships. He was also a solid top-10 contender at Flamboro Speedway on Saturday, until a pair of incidents derailed his run to placing outside of the top-10.
With the next race scheduled for Peterborough, a rebound for Spencer-Walt should be very expected. He is a past track champion and Autumn Colours Classic (ACC) winner.
81 of Andrew Gresel was not someone who came to a lot of minds after Sunset Speedway, as he quietly worked his way forward through the 100 laps to place seventh. However, a past Frostoberfest winner, it was no surprise when he emerged the leader at Flamboro with 20 laps to go.
The battle for the win between himself and Fitzpatrick was what you want to see there – bumping, banging, but neither one wrecking each other. A good hard short track race if you will.
Gresel will carry that confidence forward, and you have to know he will factor into the event at Peterborough given his past ACC success.
84 of Fitzpatrick scored the victory at Flamboro Speedway, courtesy of a late-race pass on Gresel. No surprise to anyone that has followed the series on a consistent basis or Fitzpatrick’s career, as it actually marked his third straight win at the Millgrove, Ontario oval.
It seems since he turned his luck around in August last season, he has been unstoppable no matter what he is behind the wheel of. From almost winning ACC, to Frostoberfest success and a pair of APC victories, everything is seemingly falling his way. Could we see him pick up another title in 2022?
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