It took the NASCAR Pinty’s Series two years longer than expected to get to Ohsweken Speedway for the series’ inaugural event on the dirt, but they finally made it, and the on-track action didn’t disappoint.
The driver lineup for the inaugural Pinty’s 100 didn’t disappoint either, with local legends competing on the same track as some of the greatest dirt racers in North America, including Stewart Friesen and Ken Schraders, both of which have ties to NASCAR in the US.
But, when the checkered flag waved to conclude Tuesday’s 100-lap contest, it wasn’t a dirt racer or even a local track legend that visited victory lane, but rather 18-year-old pavement short track racer, Treyten Lapcevich.
Lapcevich, who led a race-high 53 of 100 laps, was enthralled in a fantastic battle for the victory with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular Stewart Friesen over the race’s final segment, with the second-year driver having to endure restart after restart.
The most difficult restart for Lapcevich was the green-white-checkered restart to complete the race, as Friesen was able to stay close to the 22 Racing driver, within striking distance to make the pass exiting turn two on the final lap.
Lapcevich then allowed himself to tuck into line behind Friesen heading into the final set of corners, before making a dive to the inside lane which saw him make contact with the No. 22 Chevrolet, completing the pass and going on to claim his second career victory in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series.
“Just an awesome night,” Lapcevich said post-race. “Just a big thanks to my whole 22 Racing crew, the FBM/Qwick Wick/RGC Sports No. 20 was fast both days and I’m happy we could get it done. All those restarts, I was getting a little nervous, It’s not easy having Stewart Friesen on your heels. So, just drove it for all I had and we came up number one.”
Amidst the full-contact racing on the final lap, Lapcevich beat Friesen to the start-finish line by 0.219 seconds, the eighth NASCAR Pinty’s Series event this season to feature a margin of victory under seventh tenths of a second.
After the last-lap contact between himself and Lapcevich, Stewart Friesen finished in the runner-up position in Tuesday’s Pinty’s 100, coming across the start-finish line with a flat left-front tire.
Jake Sheridan – who wasn’t even scheduled to compete in the event until late Monday evening when it was determined that Christopher Bell wouldn’t make it to Ohsweken Speedway for the event – finished an impressive third-place on debut.
Marc-Antoine Camirand and Alex Tagliani – two drivers you wouldn’t expect to have great runs on the dirt – completed the race’s top-five finishers. DJ Kennington, Andrew Ranger, Ken Schrader, Gary Klutt, and Brandon Watson rounded out the top-10.
The Pinty’s 100 featured a season-high 11 caution flags over the course of its 100 scheduled laps, which was likely only able to occur because of the sanctioning body’s decision to not count caution laps.
With only three races remaining on the 2022 NASCAR Pinty’s Series schedule, DJ Kennington and Marc-Antoine Camirand are tied for the lead in point standings, with Treyten Lapcevich and Alex Tagliani sitting 20 points behind the two leaders. Andrew Ranger rounds out the top five only 22 points back.
2022 NASCAR Pinty’s Series Points:
- DJ Kennington 385pts
- Marc-Antoine Camirand 385pts
- Treyten Lapcevich (-20pts)
- Alex Tagliani (-20pts)
- Kevin Lacroix (-21pts)
- Andrew Ranger (-23pts)
- LP Dumoulin (-31pts)
- Brandon Watson (-32pts)
- Gary Klutt (-33pts)
- JP Bergeron (-68pts)
- Dexter Stacey (-83pts)
- Mark Dilley (-107pts)
- Wallace Stacey (-125pts)
- Glenn Styres (-138pts)
- Bryan Cathcart (-144pts)