2023 marks the ninth season of the very successful United Racing Series.
The 2023 APC United Late Model championship kicks off on the Victoria Day weekend at Sunset Speedway with a race called the Dayco Spring Fling 150. In early June, the teams make the first of two stops at Flamboro Speedway for the Flamboro 100. In the middle of June, the Peterborough 100 is held at Peterborough Speedway. On the Canada Day weekend, drivers compete at Delaware Speedway during the Canada Day 100. The next race sees the championship make its final appearance at Flamboro Speedway for the London Recreational Racing 100. The Mid-Summer Classic 150 is conducted in early August at Sauble Speedway. Round seven called the Sunset 100, will take place at Sunset Speedway. The penultimate event of 2023 is at Sauble Speedway. Titles are determined on September 23rd at Delaware Speedway.
The series rules remain 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. A car can weigh as much as 2800-lbs depending on the engine choice. Crate motors from General Motors (GM 604 & GM 602) and Ford (347) are used in the series. Competitors use a spec tire from American Racer and Bilstein A2 shock absorbers to regulate expenses. There are also rules restricting the options for transmissions, ignition components, body material, brakes, etc.
To determine the starting order of the race, drivers participate in a qualifying session. The five fastest qualifiers selected starting positions one through five during a random draw. Before each race, the cars receive a technical inspection and are impounded until the start of the event.
A new restart procedure was introduced this year by series officials for the APC United Late Model and Qwick Wick Super Stock divisions called the 'choose rule.' On restarts, competitors are allowed to choose their lane. Their selection may be determined by the condition of the track, how many cars are ahead of them or the handling of their vehicle. If a driver changes their choice after the designated 'choose spot,' they must start from the rear of the field.
Also new for this season is the NTN BCA Bearings Triple Crown. Three marquee events, held at Sunset Speedway, Sauble Speedway and Delaware Speedway, will be 150-lap contests in contrast to the standard event, which is 100-laps. The three-race mini-series has a prize fund of $15,000. First place pays $3,500, second $2,500, third $2,000 and fourth thru tenth $1,000.
The 2023 APC United Late Model championship opening round for Pro Late Models was held at Sunset Speedway. Drivers would compete in the Dayco Spring Fling 150, a one-hundred-fifty-lap contest around the 0.333-mile banked asphalt oval.
|The pace lap for round one of the 2023 APC United Late Model championship. The Dayco Spring Fling 150 would be the first NTN BCA Bearings Triple Crown event. The third fastest qualifier, Rick Spencer-Walt, is on the pole in the No. 31w Struyk Energy Systems Chevrolet SS. Sharing the front row with Spencer-Walt is Jake Sheridan, who qualified second fastest in the No. 52 Cameron Crane & Riggers Ford Mustang.|
|Sunset Speedway witnessed a track regular collecting his first APC United Late Model victory. Danny Benedict qualified sixth fastest in the No. 54 Chevrolet SS. During the first seventy-five laps, he ran with the leaders. Benedict was one of four drivers that chose not to pit during the competition caution. Benedict was first for the restart, opening a comfortable gap on the leaders. He maintained the top spot to the checker.|
|Erik Dalla Riva was another driver who chose to stay on the track at the halfway point of the Dayco Spring Fling 150. Dalla Riva was fourteenth fast during the qualifying session but made good progress in the first seventy-five-laps. His decision to stay on the track moved him to second place on the restart. Like Danny Benedict, he was able to hold his position and cross the finish line in the runner-up spot.|
|After he won the 2020 APC United Late Model championship, Jo Lawrence scaled by his racing activities. Last season he won the Bone Stock title at Delaware Speedway. Lawrence returned to the APC series driving the No. 78 BT Racing Chevrolet Camaro. One of Lawrence’s backers is his mother, who supplied him with a GM 604 crate engine. Demonstrating he hadn’t lost any of his speed, Lawrence qualified fifth and finished third.|
|On lap-75 series officials threw the yellow flag for a competition caution. During this five-minute period, drivers had the choice to pit or stay on the track. The competitors that did not pit would restart at the front of the field. Those that stopped were allowed to make adjustments but could not change tires. They would return behind those that remained on the track and were gridded in the running order at the time of the yellow flag.|
|Jake Sheridan participated at Sunset Speedway’s opening weekend and captured a victory in the first feature of the Seaton Structures Pro Late Model championship. The visit was beneficial as Sheridan qualified second fastest for the Dayco Spring Fling 150 and started on the outside of the front row. He led early in the race but pitted during the competition caution and restarted fifth. Sheridan finished in fourth place.|
|Honourable mention for the event must go to Blair Wickett. After several challenging outings, Wickett was the fastest qualifier driving the No. 97 Ry-Matt Mini Storage-sponsored Chevrolet Camaro. He started the race in the third position and was in contention until lap-31 when he had a flat tire. Wickett lost five laps, but after returning to the track, he passed most of the front runners before finishing fourteenth.|
|The top three finishers for round one of the 2023 APC United Late Model Series at Sunset Speedway. In the center is a local favourite and first-time series winner, Danny Benedict. Benedict’s decision not to pit during the competition caution was instrumental in his victory. Another driver who chose to stay on the track was Erik Dalla Reva. He was rewarded with a runner-up result. The 2020 series champion, Jo Lawrence, finished third.|
|FINISH||START||DRIVER||SPONSOR / CAR||LAPS|
|1||6||Danny Benedict||North Country / Chevrolet SS||150|
|2||14||Erik Dalla Riva||SDR Seating/Eibach / Chevrolet SS||150|
|3||4||Jo Lawrence||BT Racing/MOM/APC / Chevrolet Camaro||150|
|4||2||Jake Sheridan||Cameron Crane & Riggers / Ford Mustang||150|
|5||7||Tom Gibbons||Tom Gibbons Concrete Finishing / Chevrolet Camaro||150|
|6||5||Josh Stade||Canadian Flat Roof Systems / Toyota Camry||150|
|7||13||Shawn Chenoweth||London Recreation Racing / Chevrolet Camaro||150|
|8||1||Rick Spencer-Walt||Struyk Energy Systems / Chevrolet SS||150|
|9||8||JR Fitzpatrick||Cambridge Rigging/ATV Depot / Chevrolet SS||150|
|10||10||Shae Gemmell||APC Auto Parts Centres / Chevrolet Camaro||149|
|11||11||Jr Farrelly||Berne Workwear / Chevrolet SS||149|
|12||9||Kyle Steckly||APC Auto Parts Centres / Chevrolet SS||149|
|13||15||Cory Luciano||Real Landscaping Plus / Ford Mustang||149|
|14||3||Blair Wickett||Ry-Matt Mini Storage / Chevrolet Camaro||145|
|15||12||Tyler Di Venanzo||Bremner Construction / Ford Mustang||116|
|16||16||Mike Bentley||Bennet Construction Group / Chevrolet Camaro||52|
|-||-||Shawn McGlynn||Blast Floor Coating Epoxy / Chevrolet Camaro||-|
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