It appeared that the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus would prevent any racing in Ontario during the 2020 season. However, Track Management at Jukasa Motor Speedway, Flamboro Speedway and Sauble Speedway, along with APC Series Officials, were able to work with all levels of government to make events possible – albeit with a reduced list of events.

The APC United Late Model championship for Pro Late Models was scheduled to conduct ten rounds this year. However, the risk of the Coronavirus infecting participants and fans would require some significant adjustments. The calendar would be reduced to just five races over four weekends. The season would kick-off in early August at Jukasa Motor Speedway with the Dayco 75 presented by Pennzoil. The event was initially slated to include two contests on the same day, but a tire shortage prevented this from happening. The next race, called Stewart’s 100, presented by Quaker State, will be conducted at Sauble Speedway. Round three is hosted by Flamboro Speedway. The race will be sponsored by London Recreational Racing and presented by Shell Rotella. The series returns to Jukasa Motor Speedway for the final weekend of competition. There will be two contests – the Pennzoil presents the Spectra Premium 75 and the Jukasa 75.

Due to the government’s limits on social gatherings, none of the events can be attended by fans. However, qualifying and the races can be viewed on Facebook or YouTube at GForce

The series rules remained unchanged from last season with the cars constructed to specifications and controls common to most stock car series. The chassis is a tube frame covered with fiberglass bodies. Depending on the engine choice, a car can weigh as much as 2800-lbs. Crate motors from General Motors (GM 604 & GM 602) and Ford (347) are used in the series. To regulate expenses, competitors use a spec tire from American Racer and Bilstein A2 shock absorbers. There are also rules which restrict the options available for transmissions, ignition components, body material, brakes, etc.

To determine the starting order of the race, drivers participate in a qualify session. Positions one to ten are inverted according to points and season attendance is used to establish the final grid. Before each race, the cars are fitted with a new set of American Racer tires, receive a technical inspection and are impounded until the start of the event.

Jukasa Motor Speedway hosted round one of the 2020 APC United Late Model Series on Saturday, August 8. Despite the challenges, the 2020 APC series’ opening round boasted an entry list of thirty-two Pro Late Models. Drivers would start the seventy-five-lap race on the 5/8-mile semi-banked oval with support from Dayco and Pennzoil.

The front row exits turn two at Jukasa Motor Speedway for round one of the 2020 APC United Late Model Series. Starting on the pole for the Dayco 75 presented by Pennzoil is the No. 78 Auto Parts Centres sponsored Chevrolet Camaro of the pole-sitter, Jo Lawrence. Sharing the front row with Lawrence is the second-fastest qualifier and the 2017 series champion, Brandon Watson, in the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro.
In the ultra-competitive APC United Late Model series, there are several very quick drivers that are due for a victory. Among them is Jo Lawrence, 2019 rookie of the year and driver of the No. 78 Chevrolet. Lawrence gave notice in qualifying by recording the fastest time. At the start of the race, he lost the top spot to Brandon Watson. With nineteen laps to go, Lawrence made a pass on Watson and held on for his first win.
The 2017 series champion, Brandon Watson, entered a Late Model event earlier in the season at Flamboro Speedway. During the race, Watson was the innocent victim of an accident that severely damaged the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro. Repairs to the Camaro must have been successful as he missed earning the pole by 0.011-seconds. Watson led fifty-six laps before losing first-place to Jo Lawrence and finished second.
Back to defend his 2019 APC United Late Model series title was, Matt Pritiko. Pritiko started fifth in the No. 21 Global Warranty / Axalta Toyota Camry. Early in the contest, he found himself battling with Treyten Lapcevich and Pete Shepherd. Pritiko was able to pass them and chased down the third-place Dodge of DJ Kennington. He moved by Kennington on lap-61 and went unchallenged for the remainder of the contest.
The driver of the No. 52 Vibrent Farms sponsored Ford Fusion, Jake Sheridan, started the Dayco 75 in the fourteenth position. On lap-23, the series veteran brought out the race’s first caution period when in spun in corner two. Sheridan lined up at the rear of the field and worked his way up to fourteenth-place before being slowed by a mechanical issue. At the conclusion of the event, Sheridan was in twenty-ninth-place.
Before the abbreviated NASCAR Pinty’s schedule was announced, the two-time champion, DJ Kennington, decided to participate in the APC series. In a pre-season tune-up at Flamboro, Kennington captured the victory. Driving the No. 28 Dodge, he started round one at Jukasa in the ninth position. By lap-25, Kennington was in fourth place, but the car developed a vibration and he was unable to advance.
Third-generation driver, Pete Shepherd, is always a threat to win. This season, he will compete in all rounds of the APC United Late Model series driving the No. 22 Chevrolet Camaro with backing from the title sponsor. Shepherd was gridded sixth for the seventy-five-lap contest. The Camaro’s handling was expected to improve during the race, but that didn’t happen and he had to be content with a fifth-place finish.
While past series champions, Brandon Watson and Matt Pritiko delivered on expectations, it was a long day for others. The best of the rest was the 2018 title holder, JR Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick started seventh and looked like a contender, but faded and finished thirteenth. The two other drivers that held the crown, Dale Shaw and Andrew Gresel, were never factors. In fact, a broken shock prevented Gresel from qualifying.
The top-three finishers for round one of the 2020 APC United Late Model Series at Jukasa Motor Speedway. In the center, capturing a well-earned first victory is the 2019 rookie of the year, Jo Lawrence. Standing on the left is the 2017 series titleholder and runner-up, Brandon Watson. The final position is occupied by the reigning APC champion and third-place finisher, Matt Pritiko.

11Jo LawrencePennzoil / Chevrolet Camaro-
22Brandon WatsonGreat Lakes Concrete / Chevrolet Camaro-
35Matt PritikoGlobal Warranty / Toyota Camry-
49DJ KenningtonCastrol Edge / Dodge-
56Pete Shepherd IIIAPC Auto Parts Centres / Chevrolet Camaro-
610Shae GremmellNorth Country Property / Chevrolet SS-
74Treyten LapcevichACE Services / Toyota Camry-
812Blair WickettJP Powder Coating / Chevrolet Camaro-
919Mat BoxMaple City Tire / Chevrolet-
103Travis HallyburtonHillsdale Service Centre / Chevrolet-
1113Ryan KimballSMG Motorsports/APX Racewear / Chevrolet SS-
1216Shane MaginnisFrenbrook Homes / Chevrolet Camaro-
137JR FitzpatrickCambridge Rigging/Equipment Express / Chevrolet-
1420Ray MorneauXpress Group/Hallmark Memorial / Chevrolet SS-
1518Lane ZardoKRM Medweld / Ford Mustang-
1630Darrell LakeCustom Fluid Power / Ford Mustang-
1715Dale ShawWellington Systems / Chevrolet-
1811Josh StadeTiremaster/MEI Paving / Toyota Camry-
1926Patrick FreelAir Liquide London / Chevrolet SS-
208Gary AdriaensenLondon Drive Systems / Chevrolet SS-
2124Shawn McGlynnLatem Industries / Ford Fusion-
2217Jason LidsterSouthwinds Roofing / Toyota Camry-
2327Tim NorrisBryan's Auction Services / Chevrolet-
2431Andrew GreselGallinger Ford Lincoln / Ford Mustang-
2529Tom GibbonsTom Gibbons Concrete Finishing / Chevrolet-
2625Bryan MercerStoney Shore Construction / Chevrolet SS-
2723Tyler Di VenanzoRetail Design Group / Chevrolet-
2821Piper AdamsBig Box Mobile / Chevrolet-
2914Jake SheridanPride Seed/Vibrant Farms / ChevroletDid Not Finish
3028Shawn ChenowethLondon Recreation Racing / Chevrolet CamaroDid Not Finish
3122Carson NagyQueenston Chevrolet / ChevroletDid Not Finish
--Danny BenedictShaw Motorsports / Chevrolet SSDid Not Start

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