Canadian NASCAR Champ Trekking South to SpeedFestScott Menlen
CRA SpeedFest at Crisp Motorsports Park (GA) is just a week and a half away, and that’s great news for those in the southeast that are currently under a rare blanket of snow. As the number of days to the race shrinks, the number of entries has increased. When looking at the entry list, one will see the normal cast of characters such as Bubba Pollard, Harrison Burton and Casey Roderick. But there is one name that really sticks out. That is the name of Cayden Lapcevich.
For those that are unfamiliar with that name, Cayden Lapcevich is as established of a driver as a Burton or a Stephen Nasse, but just from a different region.
Lapcevich is an 18-year-old driver from Grimsby, Ontario. In 2015 he became the youngest driver to start a NASCAR Pinty’s Series race. One year later, Lapcevich won the Rookie of the Year and the championship in the Pinty’s Series, becoming the first driver to pull off that feat. He also has six career NASCAR Pinty’s Series wins, and he’s a member of the 2017-18 NASCAR Next class.
Like we said, he’s established, even at such a young age.
Now he’s hoping to potentially beat some of the most experienced Super Late Model racers that North America has to offer during the ARCA/CRA Super Series portion of CRA SpeedFest on January 28. He’ll be making the start in the No. 71 machine owned by Harold Fair Sr.
“I grew up with a kid by the name of Hayden Sprague who races Pro Lates and is soon to be racing Supers,” Lapcevich explained. “His dad (Jason) and my dad were good buddies when we were growing up. Now they’ve come back into contact within late last year. He mentioned that they were paired with Harold Fair Sr. and Fair Racing Development. I guess Harold Fair Jr. wasn’t going to run SpeedFest so there was an opening. That’s how that came together and I’m going down to race Georgia with them now.”
Even as established as Lapcevich is, Lapcevich has never raced at the 1/3-mile D-shaped oval of Crisp Motorsports Park. He’s never raced for Fair Racing Development. He’s never even raced a stock car in the United States before. With all of that in mind, has Lapcevich changed his expectations for this race?
“I usually like to set my expectations high and say I can go in there and run for the win, but this one I think is definitely going to be a real challenge,” Lapcevich said with a laugh. “If we can go in there and run top 10 or top five then I think I’d be pretty pleased with that, especially going up against some of the best in the industry. It would be cool to get a good run out of it.”
As previously mentioned, Lapcevich has never raced at the challenging Crisp Motorsports Park. One of the things that will be new for him, among many, will be the lack of an outside retaining wall. Oh, and the threat of the infamous creek outside of turn three that has seen many cars attempt to go for a swim.
“That’ll definitely be a challenge. I usually use the wall as a reference point and now I won’t have that. I’ve heard some horror stories about people in the watermelon patch so I hope I don’t end up there as well.”
Race fans can watch Lapcevich take on some of Super Late Model racing’s best in the CRA SpeedFest 200 at Crisp Motorsports Park live on Speed51.com on Sunday, January 28 for $24.99 by clicking here.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: CaydenLapcevich.ca