@J_R_Fitzpatrick •@FlamboroSpdwy •AYR, Ont. – August 23, 2016 – JR Fitzpatrick’s effort to win the inaugural Super Late Model Gold Rush 100 at Flamboro Speedway on Monday night was derailed by a $10 part. Fitzpatrick was running second with 16 laps to go when a pin hole in flex hose in the left front ended his night.
“The car was really good and kept getting faster and faster with more grip as were going. Believe it or not it was like a $10 flex line on the left front that blew a pin hole in it. It was one of those fluke things that could never happen again,” Fitzpatrick said following the race. “We’ll just move along to our next OSCAAR race and see if we can win the points.”
Fitzpatrick qualified eighth in time trials, a result he wasn’t particularly happy with, but come feature time he realized the car was simply better on the longer green flag runs.
“It was real loose. I needed a long run to get going. After we had a bout 10 or 12 laps on the car it just came to life,” Fitzpatrick explained. “That showed in the feature and it was a pleasure to drive.”
Fitzpatrick raced to second on a lap 40 restart following a competition fuel stop. From there he chased leader Andrew Gresel, keeping his distance to preserve the car, but also remaining close enough to jump at an opportunity. He got that chance on another restart with 55 laps complete and early beat Gresel off turn two to claim the lead.
“That time I just about had him cleared is when my (brake) pedal started going down. I went in to (turn) three pretty hard and the pedal started going down so I washed up a bit. I couldn’t keep him pinned down,” Fitzpatric said of his battle with Gresel. “All in all it was a lot of fun. I think we would have had something for him, but if not we would have been right on his tail.”
He remained in second until he was forced to pull off on lap 84. While he was disappointed he wasn’t able to finish the race, Fitzpatrick was happy with the progress he made in his fourth start this year at Flamboro.
“We tried a bunch of new stuff for this race specifically and I just got the car back from being repaired. To have a good run like that means a lot to all of us. We put a lot of hours in to it and having my family supporting me, Alaura and Emma-Lee, means a lot,” Fitzpatrick said following the race.
The 100-lap distance was closer to Fitzpatrick’s roots in what is now the NASCAR Pinty’s Series where he routinely raced 200 or more laps.
“I’m sweating less now than I am after a 50-lapper. I’m so used to the longer races and pacing myself. I get in to a good rhythm the longer I go and I think that made a big difference for us. I wish all of the races were like this,” he explained.
The first time event for the Super Late Models was a strong one that left drivers, organizers and fans all eager for more next year. Fitzpatrick included.
“All in all it was a great effort. It was a good show and I wish they would do more stuff like this,” Fitzpatrick said. “It was great for the first time.”
Fitzpatrick will fix the flex line and tinker with the car before hitting the track again next Saturday, August 27 for the first round of the OSCAAR Super Late Model Race for the Cup at Sauble Speedway.
JR Fitzpatrick – 11 Starts: 2 Wins, 9 Top-5s, 9 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