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Weekend racing action (Updated)

by Bill Cawthon on

After the weather cleared in Fraserville, Ontario, Cayden Lapcevich claimed the NASCAR Pinty’s series championship, Rookie of the Year title, and the owner’s championship for his mother, Sherri, who owns the #76 Fastline Motorsports Dodge Challenger.

racing Dodge Challengers in Canadian Tire NASCAR series

Lapcevich needed only to be in the field at the start of the race to clinch the season victory, but he ran a good race, finishing second behind Jason Hathway’s Chevrolet.  He finished the season 54 points ahead of Dodge driver Andrew Ranger, the largest margin of victory since 2011.

This was Hathway’s final race as a full-time driver. He is one of only two drivers to have been in every race since the Canadian series debuted in 2007; the other is two-time series champion and Dodge driver D.J. Kennington.

Further south, in North Carolina, Dodge failed to win at the Carolina NHRA Nationals, and some drivers lost ground in the six-race Countdown to the Championship.

Tommy Johnson Jr., the top Funny Car qualifier, made it all the way to the final round, losing to John Force but jumping from seventh to fourth in the standings. On his way to the final matchup, Johnson eliminated Matt Hagan in the quarterfinals and Del Worsham in the semifinals.

Ron Capps, the current points leader, lost to John Force in the semifinals but still padded his lead over second-place Worsham.

Hagan’s loss to Johnson cost him two spots in the standings; Hagan dropped from third to fifth.

Jack Beckman struck the tires in his opening-round race with Worsham and fell from fifth to seventh.

John Hale went up in smoke in his first race of the day, losing to Capps.

Force not only collected the Funny Car Wally, he jumped from eighth to third in the Countdown order.

Allen Johnson fell from fourth to fifth in the Pro Stock competition following a first-round loss to Jeg Coughlin Jr. Alan Prusiensky’s race day also ended in the opening series when he lost his race with Greg Anderson, who would advance to the final round and his own loss to Jason Line.

Coughlin made it as far as Round Two. He was matched up with Vincent Nobile who get the better start and the lower ET.

As mentioned in a previous article, Enders failed to make the cut following what turned out to be a loose wire in the fuel injector.

In Top Fuel, Tony Schumacher lost a first-round stunner to Cameron Ferre, who was running in his first-ever pro class race. Schumacher got the better start but lit the tires just after that.

Leah Pritchett won the first Top Fuel race of the day, beating Richie Crampton and moving from tenth to eighth in the Countdown. She was slow off the line in her second race, falling to Doug Kalitta.

In IMSA action, it was a tough weekend for Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen. The No. 33 Dodge Viper GTS-R finished 13th in the Lone Star Le Mans at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Dan Knox and Mike Skeen finished a bit better, bringing the No. 80 Lone Star Racing Viper in for an eighth-place finish.

Up to this event, Keating and Bleekemolen were in second place in the GT Daytona standings, just 20 points behind the leading No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 drivne by Christina Nielsen and Alessandro Balzan. The gap is now 32 points heading into the final event of the season.

The next Trans Am event is next weekend. Louis-Philippe Montour and the No. 77 Dodge Challenger are fourth in a tight race for the championship with five races still on the schedule. Montour is currently 17 points behind Tony Buffomante and his No. 34 Ford Mustang.

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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