On Saturday, August 26th the APC Series took to the high banks of Sunset International Speedway for the 8th race on the 2016 season. The second to last event on the tour proved to be eventful as drivers fought hard to move up in the standings. Dale Shaw claimed the win in the 100 lap main event, after charging to the top spot late.
Bennett GM Pole Qualifying was the first form of competition on the day, as drivers battled for starting position in the main event, and very important championship points. Andrew Gresel took the Bennett GM Pole Award with a 14.280, barely knocking Jason Parker off of the top spot on his last lap. Dale Shaw qualified 3rd, Andrew Kamrath 4th, and Matt Pritiko rounded out the top 5 qualifiers. After the pill draw it would be Matt Pritiko starting from the pole position, alongside the qualifying winner, Andrew Gresel.
Matt Pritiko would lead the opening lap of the 100 lap main event, as Andrew Gresel tucked in behind. Gresel entered the day with a sizable points lead over Shawn Chenoweth and Jamie Cox, who entered 2nd and 3rd respectively. Just 5 laps into the event, Josh Stade slowed and entered pit road with his #17. Stade would not return to the race, proving to be a heartbreak after the team was on high hopes after leading opening practice.
The first caution flag came out on lap 25 as Andrew Kamrath slowed and came to a stop on the high side of turn 4. Kamrath would be forced to retire from the race with a broken rear end. On lap 34, there was a very heated 3 wide battle between Dwayne Baker, Jason Parker and Jamie Cox. Parker would get the worst of the battle and slide backwards, as Cox moved ahead of both drivers. From this point the field would race through a long green flag run, going past the halfway point of the race. During the green flag run Dale Shaw began to march his way forward, catching the leaders. Also a notable during the run was Rick Burbridge who raced all the way from his 18th place starting spot, into the top 10.
On lap 68, Marc Jacobs entered the pits and would retire from the event. On lap 71 major championship implications took place as the points leader Andrew Gresel slowed with an apparent issue. The caution flag would come out on lap 72 as Billy Scwartzenburg spun off of turn 2. Gresel would enter pit road at the time of the caution, and the crew immediately went under the rear of the car. Gresel would not return to competition, and be forced to settle for a 17th place finish.
On the ensuing restart, Dale Shaw and Matt Pritiko battled side by side for 7 laps, swapping the lead at the line numerous times. Shaw would eventually get the better of the battle and take sole possession of the top spot. Rick Burbridge advanced into the top 5, and then into the 4th spot late in the race, where he would finish. In the dying laps, Dale Shaw would pull away from the 2nd place battle, which saw Dwayne Baker get around Matt Pritiko. Dale Shaw went on to win his first race of the 2016 season over Baker, Pritiko, Burbridge, and Nick Goetz, who rounded out the top 5.
The next event for the APC Series is Saturday, September 17th at Delaware Speedway for the Great Canadian Race. This event will see the 2016 series champion crowned in what is sure to be a nail biting event. The 100 lap championship race will get started at 2:00pm, and fans can purchase advanced tickets on www.DelawareSpeedway.com
Photos by Thompson Photography