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January 25, 2024

NASCAR Canada Series champion Treyten Lapcevich to pursue CARS Tour title in 2024

(Photo: NASCAR)

Defending NASCAR Canada Series champion Treyten Lapcevich will chase another championship in 2024, this time on American soil.

Lapcevich, who won half of the 14 races on the 2023 NASCAR Canada Series calendar, will join Chad Bryant Racing’s Late Model Stock Car program full-time in the No. 77 Evirum/Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship Ford with the goal of adding a zMAX CARS Tour title to his burgeoning stock car resume.

Having seen the growth the CARS Tour has undergone under the current ownership group consisting of Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton and Justin Marks, Lapcevich is confident he can excel in his new environment and build upon the consistency he has enjoyed while competing in Canada.

“I’m really excited,” Lapcevich said. “I’ve been watching the CARS Tour the past few years and it’s getting really big. Everyone can see that, so this is the next big step for me. I had a lot of fun racing in Canada, but it’s time to make the jump down to the States and see what we got against some new competition.”

Lapcevich enters the CARS Tour with plenty of short track experience on his side. Of his nine career victories in the NASCAR Canada Series, six of them have occurred on paved short tracks.

RELATED: Career NASCAR stats for Treyten Lapcevich

The deal with Bryant’s team is not Lapcevich’s first venture into the United States. He has competed in a handful of American Super Late Model events during the 2020s, with his most recent start coming during the Snowball Derby last December.

Lapcevich’s bid for a victory ended with less than 20 laps remaining after he was swept up in a restart crash. Although he did not to finish that race, the maturity and composure Lapcevich showed at the Snowball Derby all week caught the attention of many in the industry, including Bryant.

Treyten Lapcevich made a strong impression at the 2023 Snowball Derby, which saw him start inside the Top 10. (Photo: NASCAR)

The deal for Lapcevich to race full-time for Bryant came together at the last minute, but the veteran crew chief has every reason to believe the efficiency Lapcevich showed in Canada and the Snowball Derby will carry over to Late Model Stock Cars.

“Treyten is a racer,” Bryant said. “The first person I called about him was Ty Majeski, who was at the [Snowball] Derby. Ty said the kid brought his own equipment with his own people from Canada. At one point during the weekend, he thought he was going to be a contender for the win. He impressed Ty and I value Ty’s opinion with our program.”

Bryant is coming off another strong campaign in the CARS Tour that saw his drivers Connor Hall and Mason Diaz score one victory apiece. With the accomplishments Lapcevich has accumulated, Bryant expects him to pick up where Hall and Diaz left off despite being a rookie.

The one aspect of Late Model Stock racing Bryant anticipates will provide Lapcevich a learning curve is navigating tracks with more abrasive surfaces, but he believes it will only take a few races for Lapcevich to adapt to the intricacies of conserving equipment.

“Tire conservation is something I want to teach Treyten,” Bryant said. “That’s the biggest part of our races. He’s used to heavy cars with inferior brakes since the Late Model Stock brake package hasn’t evolved in 30 years. You have to manage brakes, your equipment and your tires. The biggest thing is race management.”

Along with Bryant, Lapcevich plans to lean on his older brother and fellow NASCAR Canada Series champion Cayden Lapcevich for advice on how to race in the southeast. Since winning his title in 2016, Cayden has made limited appearances in Super Late Models and Modifieds around the country.

With a strong support system that includes his brother Cayden, Treyten Lapcevich is confident he can contend for a zMAX CARS Tour title. (Photo: NASCAR)

The support Lapcevich is receiving has provided some comfort ahead of his maiden CARS Tour season, but he said Late Model Stock Car success will come down to understanding his limits and earning respect amongst the veterans and other newcomers.

“You need to feel out the other drivers and figure out the style of racing here,” Lapcevich said. “By myself, it’s going to be tougher to learn the new tracks. The test day will help out quite a bit so come race day, I think we’ll be good wherever we go.”

There is no shortage of stellar competition set to formally welcome Lapcevich to the CARS Tour platform. Among the expected title contenders are defending champion Carson Kvapil, Super Late Model veteran Stephen Nasse and reigning NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series National champion Hall.

Lapcevich knows it will be a fight each week for wins on the CARS Tour, but his confidence is unwavered as he prepares to chase a second consecutive title between two different countries.

“I feel like a title is definitely possible with the partners I have and the team I’m going to,” Lapcevich said. “Chad holds such a vast book of knowledge. We’re in the right place with the right people, so it’s up to me to try and make it happen.”

Lapcevich’s bid for a CARS Tour championship begins on March 9 when the Late Model Stock Car division opens its 10th season with a trip to Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, North Carolina. The event will be available live on FloRacing.