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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Cayden Lapcevich's impressive season continued as he earned another honor.
The NASCAR Pinty's Series champion is also the Josten’s Rookie of the Year for the series. He becomes the first driver to win both awards in the same year.
The 16 year-old high school senior outdistanced Kevin Lacroix to win the prestigious honor and felt he was able to get the award based his improvement on road courses.
“The way I raced on road courses last year winning this honor really surprised me,” said Lapcevich, who has already been recognized as the youngest champion in NASCAR history in the national or touring series. “I was afraid I was lose points to Kevin (Lacroix) on the road courses but we were able to be consistent on them this year and that really made the difference for our team.”
Lapcevich won Josten’s Rookie of the Race honors this season at eight of the 12 events on the 2016 schedule.
The Grimsby, Ontario native won top rookie honors at the season opener at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for his only award on a road course, but he felt the key to his season was at ICAR in Quebec after the fourth race of the season.
“Getting off to a good start at CTMP was important, but I think being able to come from 22nd to 8th at ICAR really gave me the confidence I needed to perform on the road courses against Kevin and the other great drivers in the series,” he added.
Although Lapcevich won the remaining seven rookie awards on oval tracks – including all three of his wins this season – he was happy with his improvement on the road courses.
“Realizing that I could perform on the tracks with tight turns and challenging layouts made a big difference for me the entire season, “Lapcevich added. "I also want to thank Jostens for sponsoring this award and giving new drivers in the division a goal to aim for when they compete in the NASCAR Pinty's Series."
Lapcevich was the only driver to finish in the top-10 in every race on the 2016 schedule with his lowest finish an eighth at Honda Indy Toronto in July.
He picked up his first win at Wyant Group Raceway in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in July and also scored victories at Nova Scotia's Riverside Speedway and Quebec's Autodrome St. Eustache in August and September.
Lapcevich topped Lacroix 116-100 in the final Jostens Rookie of the Year Award standings as the two rookies combined to win five races. Lacroix earned wins at Quebec's Circuit de Trois-Rivieres and the second stop at Canadian Tire Motorport Park.
Lacroix finishe fourth in the overall championship standings, just three points out of third place. The St. Eustache, Quebec native also won his first pole award on an oval track this season in Edmonton in July.
Adam Martin, 19, from Ayr, Ontario, finished third in the Jostens Rookie of the Year standings, followed by Patrick Dussault and Josh Collins.
Rookie points are earned on a 10-to-1 system with the highest-finishing first-year driver in a race scoring 10, the second nine, and so on down to one point for the lowest finishers.
Lapcevich will receive the Jostens Rookie of the Year Award on Dec. 10 as part of the NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Series Awards at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The season finale Kawartha 250 from Kawartha Speedway will debut on TSN in Canada on Oct. 2 at 11 a.m. ET, while the NASCAR Pinty's Series Year In Review show will air on the same network on Nov. 26 at Noon ET.