Jeff LapcevichJeff Lapcevich and the #23 Tim Hortons Chevrolet team had posted back to back top-ten finishes in the most recent rounds of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. As the tour returned to Ontario for round number eleven at Barrie Speedway this past Saturday night they were expecting more of the same success. They would encounter a day and night of disappointment.

As practice began during the afternoon Lapcevich and the Tim Hortons Chevy team were perplexed by the lack of speed their car showed. “We started out slowly during the practice session” said the driver “but as the hour went on we started to get a little bit better, and then with some adjustments after practice we thought the car would be better still” he added.

Qualifying would also be disappointing for the Tim Hortons team, after the two lap dash the team noticed that one of the rear tires was out of round causing all kinds of problems. “With a bad tire it just doesn’t matter what else you do to the car” said Lapcevich. “Fortunately we found the problem right away”. Because of the work done on the car after qualifying Lapcevich would start the Tim Hortons Chevrolet at the back of the field for the 300 lap main event.

As darkness fell and the green flag waved to begin the race Lapcevich immediately began looking for openings to move the Tim Hortons Chevrolet forward. His progress was hampered in the early going by several yellow flag caution periods. “Just as we’d get going somebody would have trouble and we’d be slowed down again” said the aggravated driver. “When we did start to get some green flag laps in I did manage to pick up a couple of spots” he added.

While the Tim Hortons Chevrolet did gain a few positions there wasn’t the kind of progress the team felt they were capable of and Lapcevich continued to be mired in traffic. Following a pit stop for fuel and adjustments the team chose not to take on new tires at the same time so they could maintain better track position.

The track position did not help the Tim Hortons Chevy driver as just past the halfway point the car slowed coming out of turn four and stopped on the race track. A broken gear would be the culprit and it would end their night early. “It was an all round frustrating day” said Lapcevich. “We really had to fight for everything from the start of the day, and even with the hard we work the Tim Hortons guys put in it didn’t really seem to help us that much. We’ll regroup this week and be ready for Riverside though”.

Jeff Lapcevich and the Tim Hortons team will travel to Riverside Speedway near Antigonish, Nova Scotia for round number twelve of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series on Saturday September 19th. This year’s series events will consist of ovals, road courses and temporary street circuits from coast to coast in Canada. All events are once again scheduled to appear on TSN.

Photo by Todd Lewis