Sunday, February 8, 2009

World Series After 2: Laperle Looking Good, Chase Struggles Early

Reigning American-Canadian Tour Champion Patrick Laperle (#91, left) is looking strong at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway's World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing with the Crate Late Model division's first two events now complete. Laperle, from St-Denis, Que., started and finished finished third on Saturday night to follow up his seventh-place finish in the Friday opener.

Eric Chase of Milton has struggled a bit to open the 43rd annual World Series, having finished 16th on Friday after being involved in a multi-car crash early in the race. Chase ran as high as 13th with two laps remaining on Saturday night before retiring with a fuel problem. He was scored 23rd, unofficially. Jimmy Weller of Hubbard, Oh. was victorious on Friday.

Laperle raced hard with Hendrick Motorsports development driver Landon Cassill of Cedar Rapids, Ia. and Clarence, N.Y. driver David Rigan throughout the 25-lap race, but was unable to complete a pass for second place in the closing laps. Cassill, the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year, held on for the win.

If Laperle or a rebounding Chase prove to be championship challengers over the final five events, it's likely that their toughest competition will come from Cassill, Rigan, and Dave Wagner of Akron, Oh. The latter three drivers each have a pair of top-five finishes in two starts. The Crate Late Model division has Sunday night off at the World Series, and will finish out its seven-race schedule on each night from Monday through Friday.
(Photo courtesy

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