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FRASERVILLE, Ont. – There was a changing of the guard at Kawartha Speedway on Sunday after the running of the Kawartha 250.
Jason Hathaway, a veteran who has started every race in the history of the NASCAR Pinty’s Series (121), closed out his career as a full-time driver winning the season finale, while 16 year-old rookie Cayden Lapcevich celebrated winning the series championship.
Lapcevich, who initially planned to compete part-time this season, finished the year with three wins and was the only driver to finish in the top-10 in all 12 events.
The Grimsby, Ontario, teenager finished the season 54 points over veteran Andrew Ranger in the largest margin of victory in the standings since 2011.
Lapcevich's championship title also broke the all-time NASCAR record as the youngest champion in any NASCAR national or touring series, which was set by 2015 Daytona 500 winner Joey Logano (Logano was 17 years, 3 months, 28 days when he won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East title in 2007).
Lapcevich is 16 years, 10 months, 16 days.
While Lapcevich celebrated his championship with his family, including his parents Jeff and Sherri Lapcevich, Hathaway was celebrating an emotional victory.
Hathaway, who joins D.J. Kennington as the only driver to start every NASCAR Pinty’s Series race since the inaugural season in 2007, scored his last win as a full-time competitor at the same track he scored his first NASCAR Pinty’s Series victory back in 2008.
Hathaway qualified seventh – for a race that was postponed due to heavy rain on Saturday – and quickly moved through the field and into the lead on Lap 65.
He remained at the point until pitting under caution on Lap 147. Hathaway returned to the track in eighth-place and started making his way through the field once again to retake the lead with 75 laps remaining when he passed Mark Dilley and never looked back.
It was Hathaway’s ninth career NASCAR Pinty’s Series win and his third at Kawartha Speedway.
For Lapcevich, it was a mere formality that he start the race to secure the title, but he finished second to Hathaway for his eighth podium finish of the season.
Alex Labbe finished third with Kennington and L.P. Dumoulin completing the top five.
Dilley, Kerry Micks, Alex Tagliani, Gary Klutt and Derek Lynch rounded out the top 10.
In addition to winning the driver’s championship, Lapcevich also secured the Josten’s Rookie of the Year title and the owner’s title for his mom, Sherri, who serves as the car owner for the No. 76 Fastline Motorsports Dodge.
The Kawartha 250 will air on TSN Sunday, Oct. 2 at 12:30 p.m. ET, and on RDS2, Friday, Oct. 21 at 9:30 p.m. ET.
Lapcevich is the first champion to be crowned in the NASCAR Touring division and he’ll join the other six touring and weekly series champions from across the globe on Saturday, Dec. 10 in Charlotte for the NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Awards celebration. The event will be held at the NASCAR Hall of Fame at the Charlotte Convention Center for the seventh consecutive year.