The reigning champion of the NASCAR Canada Series is making his way stateside.
After winning literally half the races on the 14-event schedule in 2023, Treyten Lapcevich will seek more of the same in the CARS Late Model Stock Tour in 2024. Paired with Chad Bryant Racing and with support from ALLREM Sports and Entertainment, Lapcevich will drive the No. 77 that has enjoyed so much success over the past two seasons.
For Lapcevich, at 19-years-old, making waves down south was the obvious goal. With wins on dirt, short tracks and road courses north of the border, there was nothing else to prove and the time was right to make the move.
He explored joining the ASA STARS series but ultimately, the logistics of racing the NASCAR hotbed of the Carolinas and for a series with such momentum with its superstar ownership group and with the availability of Bryant all coalesced into an obvious choice.
“It would be huge for me, if we can run good in the CARS Tour, to be a step towards where we want to be,” Lapcevich said. “So, it was a toss-up between this or ASA and while I have more experience in a straight rail Late Model, I also think I’m up to the challenge of these cars.
“This series is growing huge, with all the teams that have signed up, the competition and it feels like a big opportunity and step.”
Lapcevich is likely a good bet to win races and contend for the championship.
And if that sounds unlikely, consider that this was the same narrative surrounding him as a teenager racing in NASCAR Canada against the likes of LP Dumoulin, Marc Antoine Camirand, Andrew Ranger, Alex Tagliani and Kevin Lacroix.
He beat them too.
“It’s not going to be easy,” Lapcevich said. “The guys here have been doing this for a long time and there are a lot of smart racers that have been with these cars and tracks for a long time.
“But that’s part of why we chose CARS Tour because we wanted to put ourselves in a position where we could win races and it really means something when we do.”
He also cited Bryant, and his history of mentoring Chase Briscoe, Ty Majeski and Connor Hall, racers who all swear by the crew chief and team owner to this day.
“Having that relationship with him and having him teach me these cars will be a lot of fun and he’s part of why I feel like we can go out there and compete for wins,” Lapcevich added.
The connection was made through Lorin Ranier, who said Bryant was where Lapcevich needed to go, something Bryant is grateful for too. Bryant also did his homework, calling Majeski, who raced against Lapcevich in the Snowball Derby in December.
The eventual winner was very complementary of Lapcevich, that they looked like legit contenders for the win, and with a group of Canadians crewing the cars. Bryant was sold.
This is also the first part of an expanded Chad Bryant Racing over the next weeks and months. He said there are things to be decided and announced but that the team was growing.
“Last year, when we expanded to Mason (Diaz) and Connor, any future expansion was going to be beyond my financial limitations but we want to build an empire here,” Bryant said. “We want to be looked at in the same light as some of the other teams we all know about.
“Bringing in Treyten was key and he represents our brand well and we’re excited about some of the other partnerships we’re bringing in to expand. I could see us eventually move into other series as we grow the organization more and more but right now the only missing link is a manufacturer.
“We’re looking for that last piece of the puzzle to really take off.”
Lapcevich, a third-generation racer, is going to compliment well with Bryant. He’s a fellow gearhead and a racer that came up the right way with a father and brother both teaching him race craft and the mechanical side.
He is just as excited to learn the Late Model Stock as he is to drive it.
“We don’t really have anything like this in Canada so I’ve had to explain to people that you take a straight rail car and a Pinty’s Series car and you smash them together and you get a Late Model Stock,” Lapcevich said. “I’m excited to drive one. I think it’s gonna be cool because you have like the Late Model geometry in the front end but the truck arm suspension in the perimeter car so that just seems like a lot fun.
“And the bad brakes like we have too. It just seems like a lot of fun and should be really exciting.”