AYR, Ont. – July 30, 2016 – A backup plan didn’t affect JR Fitzpatrick in the slightest as the Super Late Model sophomore drove to a pair of podium finishes with the OSCAAR Super Late Model tour on Saturday night at Peterborough Speedway. Fitzpatrick was forced to go to plan B for the first of three series races at the eastern Ontario track after discovering chassis issues on his No.84 last weekend.
The scheduled 50-lap distance was altered to two 20-lap features. Fitzpatrick turned in a third-place finish in the opener and followed with a second-place finish to his teammate and father-in-law Roy Passer.
“To be honest I was surprised. It was pretty good right off the trailer. In the first main event it got real loose on me. We adjusted it and it was a complete rocket in the second one .I was being a nice son-in-law instead of the aggressive JR I normally drive like. I wasn’t forcing the issue,” Fitzpatrick laughed.
Fitzpatrick certainly did not want to take the backup No.4 car, but if there was a place to do it Peterborough was certainly the best opportunity. Despite the track being build as Canada’s toughest short track, Fitzpatrick is incredibly comfortable on the 1/3-mile bullring.
“That’s my favourite racetrack. Ever since I’ve been going there, since I was about 13, it’s been a place I really like. I really don’t know why, but we’ve run well there all the time and every time I go there in a Super Late Model, I run really well,” Fitzpatrick explained.
“I knew even going in a Crate car we would be fine. Guys having all that power, it wouldn’t take them long to burn their tires up. It only took me eight laps to catch them and once I got to them, I was a lot faster than them,” he added.
The No.4 car may have been a backup for Fitzpatrick, but it’s still a strong ride in its own right. Daniel Bois has driven the car to multiple top-10 finishes at Sunset this season.
“We rebuilt that whole car and made it a competitive piece. It wasn’t necessarily the best piece last year, but we made a lot changes and fixed to make it what it is now,” Fitzpatrick explained. “I had no problem taking it to Peterborough and being competitive.”
After the pair of starts in the car at Peterborough, Fitzpatrick is comfortable taking it to Flamboro as well this week while his No.84 car pays a visit to the McColl Racing Enterprises hospital. Fitzpatrick will be back in his own car at the end of August, but stressed he wasn’t going to rush the repairs ahead of OSCAAR’s Race for the Cup championship chase that begins on Labour Day weekend.
“We’re taking our time and getting it done right. I want to be 100% prepared for those races. Thankfully, for me, two races that are in the chase are Peterborough events and Sauble. We’re really good at those tracks,” Fitzpatrick explained.
Fitzpatrick will be back in action on Saturday, August 6 in the Auto Parts Centres/Meineke Car Care sponsored No.4 when the OSCAAR Super Late Model tour resumes action at Flamboro Speedway. For event details on the series’ third and final visit to the Hamilton area track, please visit www.oscaar.ca and www.flamborospeedway.ca.
JR Fitzpatrick – 9 Starts: 2 Wins, 8 Top-5s, 8 Top-10s
JR Fitzpatrick’s 2016 OSCAAR Super Late Model season is presented by a number of dedicated sponsors, including: Auto Parts Centres, Meineke Car Care, Transaxle Heavy Truck & Trailer Parts, Cambridge Rigging, Equipment Express, Jenco Equipment, McColl Racing Enterprises, Creative Edge Signs, Wix Filters, Permatex, Driven Steering Wheels, Spray Nine, Deon Racecars, APX Racewear, Clayton Johns Media and ImageFactor.ca Motorsport Designs.
Prepared By Clayton Johns Media
Photo attachment: JR Fitzpatrick drives his No.4 Auto Parts Centres/Meineke Car Care Chevrolet during OSCAAR Super Late Model action at Peterborough Speedway. (Debbie Spence photo).