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Cayden Lapcevich defied the odds to become NASCAR’s youngest champion

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Remember the name Cayden Lapcevich.

It is the 16-year-old from Grimsby, Ontario, who is the youngest champion in NASCAR history. Lapcevich, at 16 years, 10 months, 16 days, was crowned the NASCAR Pinty’s Series champion last Sunday, breaking the record Joey Logano set in 2007 when he won the K&N East Series championship at 17 years, 3 months, 28 days.

“It’s pretty cool knowing that I was able to break a record that stood for a long time and it also being Joey Logano’s,” Lapcevich told NBC Sports. “He started in the same place I did, back in quarter midgets, so it gives me that hope that I’m headed in the right direction to make it to the Sprint Cup Series one day.”

INNISFIL, ON - JUNE 18: JUNE 18: Cayden Lapcevich, driver of the #76 Fastline Motorsports Dodge sits with his dad, Jeff Lapcevich, after qualifying on the pole at the NASCAR Pinty's Series Leland 300 Presented by Dickies at Sunset Speedway on June 18, 2016 in Innisfil, Canada. (Photo by Matthew Manor/NASCAR via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Cayden Lapcevich; Jeff Lapcevich
Cayden Lapcevich (right) sits with his dad, Jeff Lapcevich, after qualifying on the pole at the NASCAR Pinty’s Series Leland 300 Presented by Dickies at Sunset Speedway on June 18, 2016 in Innisfil, Canada. (Photo by Matthew Manor/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Lapcevich, a third-generation driver, was passed the torch by his father. Jeff Lapcevich raced in the Pinty’s Series from 2007 until his retirement in 2015. There was never any question nor was it difficult, Jeff said, that Cayden was going to take over for him. He now serves as his son’s car owner and crew chief.

Cayden’s success, which includes the driver’s championship, owner’s championship, and Rookie of the Year honors, came despite long odds. Last fall, the family learned their sponsor of 25 years, Tim Horton’s, would not be returning. Their plans to run a full season suddenly became a week-by-week decision.

“That was a big shock to the heart,” Jeff Lapcevich told NBC Sports. “But my wife and I talked and said we would do what we could afford and at that point, we knew we could get to a couple of races. It was disheartening because we had a lot of faith in Cayden and knew that he could win races and be up front everywhere and be competitive. So I think it was emotionally hard on us because you want the best for your kids, especially when they want it so bad.”

Cayden said that even a couple of days before his first race his mother, Sherri, “was still questioning herself of whether we should go or not.”

Lapcevich ran so well that funding trickled in, leaving them to change decals on the car almost weekly. It was enough, however, to allow the No. 76 Fastline Motorsports Dodge to continue running. And Lapcevich knew he had to keep the car in one piece to help their efforts.

He took the points lead after a second-place finish in the season’s third race at Autodrome Chaudiere. But the team, consisting mostly of family and friends, still knew nothing was set in stone. Lapcevich’s first of three wins on the season came at Wyant Group Raceway, the seventh event of the year.

Over the course of the 12-race schedule, Lapcevich never finished worse than eighth.

“It was a funny season because we all went to the first bunch of races and we never imagined early in the spring that we were going to be able to do the Western swing,” Jeff Lapcevich said. “(Cayden) was still really in the thick of things heading to that swing, which we had no plans to do, we didn’t even have a truck. By the time we decided to go, which was literally about three days before we needed to be on the road, nobody on the team was able to make it.

“We went out there with only two of our regular guys, and we went to Edmonton and got some help from a local guy out there, and then we went to (Wyant Group Raceway) and recruited three more local racers to help us and actually got our first win there. So it was a big deal for us. Then we got back home and had the same group of guys, but we’re still a very small team.”

Lapcevich will celebrate with other touring and weekly champions at the annual awards ceremony in December. As for his plans for next season and beyond, Lapcevich has hopes of finding funding to race again in the Pinty’s Series or try his hand at K&N or Camping World Truck Series.

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Daytona road course entry lists

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NASCAR’s national series will make their debuts on the Daytona road course this weekend. The Cup, Xfinity and Truck events will be held without any practice or qualifying.

NASCAR is prohibiting drivers from competing in more than one series this weekend on the Daytona road course in an effort to get extra track time. NASCAR states that is to make the event fair for everyone.

Sunday’s Cup race will be broadcast on NBC.

Here are the preliminary entry lists for the races at the Daytona road course 

Cup – Go Bowling 235 (3 p.m. ET Sunday on NBC)

Thirty-nine drivers are entered for the race at the Daytona road course.

JJ Yeley is in the No. 27 for Rick Ware Racing.

Joey Gase is in the No. 51 for Petty Ware Racing.

Gray Gaulding is in the No. 53 for Rick Ware Racing.

Brendan Gaughan is in the No. 62 for Beard Motorsports.

Timmy Hill is in the No. 66 for Motorsports Business Management.

Reed Sorenson is in the No. 77 for Spire Motorsports.

Click here for Cup entry list


Xfinity – UNOH 188 (3 p.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN)

Thirty-eight cars are entered.

Andy Lally is back in the No. 02 Our Motorsports car after finishing fifth last week at Road America.

AJ Allmendinger, who finished second last week at Road America, is in the No. 16 for Kaulig Racing.

IMSA driver Earl Bamber will make his Xfinity debut this weekend in the No. 21 for Richard Childress Racing.

Brandon Gdovic will make his second start of the season, driving the No. 26 for Sam Hunt Racing.

Click here for Xfinity entry list


Truck – Sunoco 159 (Noon ET Sunday on FS1)

Thirty-nine trucks are entered in the race that will be held before the Cup event on Sunday on the Daytona road course.

Alex Tagliani will drive the No. 51 for Kyle Busch Motorsports.

Click here for Truck entry list

Silly Season Scorecard: Christopher Bell moves back to JGR

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No surprise that Christopher Bell moves over to the No. 20 at Joe Gibbs Racing next season with Leavine Family Racing being sold and Erik Jones not remaining with JGR beyond this season. Joe Gibbs Racing made the announcement Monday.

While JGR lets the 24-year-old Jones, who has 133 Cup starts go, it brings in the 25-year-old Bell who has made 22 career Cup starts. Jones said before Sunday’s race he was “blindsided a little bit” by JGR’s move.

It’s part of the building momentum of Silly Season. In the last week, Team Penske signed Brad Keselowski to a reported one-year extension and Bubba Wallace said he has an offer for next year not only from Richard Petty Motorsports but also Chip Ganassi Racing.

Here’s how the Cup Silly Season scorecard looks as of Aug. 10.


No. 00: Quin Houff enters the second year of his two-year deal with StarCom Racing.

No. 1: Kurt Busch enters the second year of a multi-year contract that Chip Ganassi Racing announced last season.

No. 2: Brad Keselowski and Team Penske announced a contract extension Aug. 3.

No. 4: Kevin Harvick signed a contract extension in February that will keep him at Stewart-Haas Racing through the 2023 season.

No. 8: Tyler Reddick said in a press conference Aug. 7 that he will be back with Richard Childress Racing next season.

No. 9: Chase Elliott is under contract with Hendrick Motorsports through the 2022 season.

No. 11: Denny Hamlin is signed with Joe Gibbs Racing through at least next year.

No. 12: Ryan Blaney and Team Penske announced a multi-year extension earlier this season.

No. 18: Kyle Busch is signed with Joe Gibbs Racing through at least next year.

No. 19: Martin Truex Jr. is signed with Joe Gibbs Racing through at least next year.

No. 20: Christopher Bell moves from Leavine Family Racing to take over this ride in 2021.

No. 22: Joey Logano is tied to Team Penske “through the 2022 season and beyond.”

No. 24: William Byron is under contact with Hendrick Motorsports through at least 2021.

No. 47: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. enters the second year of a multi-year deal with JTG Daugherty Racing.

No. 88: Alex Bowman will race for Hendrick Motorsports under a one-year contract extension announced earlier this year.


Available/possibly available rides

No. 10: Aric Almirola is in a contract year at Stewart-Haas Racing.

No. 13: Ty Dillon is in a contract year at Germain Racing.

No. 14: Clint Bowyer is in a contract year to drive for Stewart-Haas Racing.

No. 21: Matt DiBenedetto is in a contract year at Wood Brothers Racing. He said after the Aug. 9 Michigan race: “I haven’t really talked about that stuff for next year yet, but we’ve just been so focused and head down on digging and trying to make the playoffs and run well. We haven’t even really talked about it, so, hopefully, I stay here for a very long time to come and that’s what they had expressed to me when I came over here.”

No. 32: Corey LaJoie is in a contract year at Go Fas Racing.

No. 42: Matt Kenseth told NBC Sports on Aug. 8 in regards to talks with Chip Ganassi Racing for next year: “We really haven’t had any very meaningful discussions really about any of that to be honest with you.

No. 43: Bubba Wallace said Aug. 9 he has an offer from Richard Petty Motorsports and an offer from Chip Ganassi Racing to drive the No. 42 car next season.

No. 48: With Jimmie Johnson retiring from full-time competition, Hendrick Motorsports has this seat to fill.

No. 95: Leavine Family Racing announced it was selling its assets earlier this week. The buyer has not been announced. Christopher Bell will move to the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team for 2021.

Christopher Bell to drive for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2021


Christopher Bell will drive for the No. 20 next season for Joe Gibbs Racing, the team announced Monday, a decision that was expected with Erik Jones’ contract expiring after this season and it not being renewed. 

“I’m so appreciative of the opportunity I have this year with LFR and I want to finish this season strong for Bob (Leavine) and everyone there,” Bell said in a statement from the team. “At the same time, I’m extremely excited to return to Joe Gibbs Racing starting in 2021. It’s an organization I’m very comfortable with and have had a lot of success with.”

Said car owner Joe Gibbs: “We are excited to bring Christopher into our Cup Series program starting in 2021. He obviously had tremendous success in the Xfinity Series with us and we look forward to his return to JGR.”

Bell drove for JGR in in the Xfinity Series in 2018 and 2019, winning 15 races, before moving to the Cup Series and Leavine Family Racing this season. Leavine Family Racing announced last week that it has been sold.

Entering Sunday’s race at the Daytona International Speedway road course (3 p.m. ET on NBC), Bell is 19th in points. His best finish this season is fourth at the first Pocono race in late June.

Xfinity playoff grid after Road America

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Brandon Brown extended his hold on the final spot in the Xfinity playoff grid last weekend at Road America after struggles early in the race.

Brown needed to be pushed back to pit road before the field took the green because of a mechanical issue. He fell a lap down as his crew diagnosed the issue, got his lap back, scored four stage points in the second stage and finished 12th, one spot off his best career finish on a road course.

MORE: Brandon Brown wants to reward father with a special celebration

MORE: Austin Cindric wins at Road America 

Brown’s effort and Jeremy Clements misfortune in being collected in a crash to finish 29th led to Brown extending his lead on Clements for the final spot in the Xfinity playoff grid to 53 points. Myatt Snider is 73 points behind Brown. Eight races remain until the Xfinity playoffs begin Sept. 26 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Here is a look at the playoff grid. Drivers shaded in green are locked in the playoffs. Those shaded in yellow are in a playoff spot based on their point total. Drivers shaded in red are outside a spot in the Xfinity playoff grid.