ST. EUSTACHE, Que. – Sometimes a driver needs a good car and a good call by his crew chief to win a race.
Cayden Lapcevich got that and more Saturday at Autodrome St. Eustache to win the Lucas Oil 250. The 16-year-old's third win of the season also moved the Grimsby, Ontario, driver one step closer to winning the 2016 NASCAR Pinty's Series championship.
The rookie was the last driver to pit for tires on Lap 213 and that decision by his dad and crew chief Jeff Lapcevich paid off.
The younger Lapcevich restarted seventh and quickly moved up through the field and took the lead on Lap 241.
After contact between Jason Hathaway and Labbe in Turn 3 brought out the caution flag to set up the green-white-checkered finish, Lapcevich held off veteran D.J. Kennington and Mark Dilley to the checkered flag.
With the victory and Andrew Ranger's eighth-place finish, Lapcevich will carry a 41-point lead over Ranger entering the season finale at Ontario's Kawartha Speedway next weekend. Lapcevich can become the youngest series champion in the history of NASCAR series by starting the race at Kawartha.
While Lapcevich ended up celebrating in Victory Lane, it appeared during the second half of the race either Kennington or Dilley would end long winless droughts and celebrate a win.
Kennington, a two-time series champion who hasn't won since 2013, led a race-high 90 laps and appeared to be the car to beat before the late cautions. Dilley, who last won in 2011, led 24 laps and finished third. Adam Martin fourth and Alex Tagliani rounding out the top five.
Larry Jackson, Gary Klutt, Ranger, Labbe and Jason Hathaway completed the top 10.
Alex Labbe started on the pole after rain washed out qualifying and the field was set per the rulebook. Labbe and Kevin Lacroix traded the lead during the first 57 laps of the race.
Kennington passed Labbe for the lead on Lap 57 and Labbe retook the lead before rain brought out the red flag on Lap 62 for nearly an hour.
Once the race resumed, Labbe led until Dilley passed him for the top spot on Lap 108.
The Kawartha 250 will complete the 2016 season for the NASCAR Pinty's Series on Saturday, Sept. 17.
NASCAR Pinty's Series-Lucus Oil 250 Results
At Autodrome St. Eustache
St. Eustache, Que.
Lap length: 0.4 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (5) Cayden Lapcevich, Grimsby, Ont., Dodge, 253 laps, 53.671 mph.
2. (3) D.J. Kennington, St. Thomas, Ont., Dodge, 253.
3. (13) Mark Dilley, Barrie, Ont., Ford, 253.
4. (12) Adam Martin, Ayr, Ont., Ford, 253.
5. (11) Alex Tagliani, Lachenaie, Que., Chevrolet, 253.
6. (15) Larry Jackson, Oakville, Ont., Ford, 253.
7. (10) Gary Klutt, Halton Hills, Ont., Dodge, 253.
8. (4) Andrew Ranger, Roxton Pond, Que., Dodge, 253.
9. (1) Alex Labbe, Victoriaville, Que., Ford, 253.
10. (7) Jason Hathaway, St. Thomas, Ont., Chevrolet, 253.
11. (2) Kevin Lacroix, Saint-Eustache, Que., Dodge, 252.
12. (8) J.F. Dumoulin, Trois-Rivieres, Que., Dodge, 241.
13. (9) Simon Dion-Viens, Saint-Joseph-de-Kamouraska, Que., Ford, 240.
14. (14) L.P. Dumoulin, Trois-Rivieres, Que., Dodge, 217.
15. (6) Anthony Simone, Aurora, Ont., Dodge, 152, rear end.
Time of Race: 1 hour 53 minutes 8 seconds
Margin of Victory: .406 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: A.Labbe (83.107 mph, 17.327 seconds)
Caution Flags: 8 for 63 laps.
Lead Changes: 12 among 6 drivers.
Lap Leaders: K. Lacroix 1-5; A. Labbe 6; K. Lacroix 7-28; A. Labbe 29-56; D. Kennington 57; A. Labbe 58-107; M. Dilley 108-115; C. Lapcevich 116; A. Tagliani 117-123; M. Dilley 124-139; K. Lacroix 140-151; D. Kennington 152-240; C. Lapcevich 241-253.
Standings: 1. C. Lapcevich, 462; 2. A. Ranger, 421; 3. K. Lacroix, 411; 4. A. Tagliani, 409; 5. L. Dumoulin, 404; 6. D. Kennington, 397; 7. A. Labbe, 382; 8. G. Klutt, 372; 9. J. Hathaway, 353; 10. L. Jackson, 287.