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Dodge to claim landmark championship tomorrow

by Bill Cawthon on

Weather willing, 16-year-old Cayden Lapcevich from Grimsby, Ontario, will become the youngest driver in NASCAR history to win a season championship – and he will do it at the wheel of a Dodge Challenger.


With a 41-point lead over his nearest competitor, Andrew Ranger in the No. 27 Mopar/Pennzoil/Mopar Express Lane Dodge, Lapcevich and the No. 76 Fastline Motorsports Dodge need only take the green flag at the beginning of the rain-delayed Kawartha 250 in Fraserville, Ontario on Sunday.

The Kawartha 250 is the final race of the NASCAR Pinty’s (formerly Canadian Tire) 2016 season

Along with the championship, Lapcevich will become the youngest champion in Canadian professional auto racing history; the youngest champion in any series sanctioned by NASCAR and the rookie of the year in Canada’s only national auto racing series.

Lapcevich, a high-school senior, beats the previous record held by Joey Logano who was 17 when he won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship in 2007.

Making the win even more special is that Lapcevich did it all without a major season sponsor. His previous sponsor, Tim Horton’s, dropped out after the 2015 season. This season, the Dodge wears the colors of Fastline Motorsports, the Lapcevich family team founded by Cayden’s grandfather.

Unable to afford a full-time crew, Lapcevich and his father, racing champion Jeff Lapcevich, kept the car going and the family racing. The younger Lapcevich tries to race conservatively to preserve the engines.

With eleven starts so far in the season, Lapcevich has finished in the top ten every race, He has three wins, eight top fives and eleven top tens.

Incidentally, Cayden Lapcevich’s daily driver is a 2012 Ford pickup. Perhaps the fine folks at FCA Canada should consider replacing that Ford with a new Ram?

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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