“We won the first heat. The car was pretty much spot on right off the trailer,” Fitzpatrick said. “We more or less spent the day trying to get the carburetor running, but we could never get it right.”
Nonetheless, Fitzpatrick persevered and drove the No.84 Auto Parts Centres/ Meineke Car Care/Transaxle Heavy Truck Parts to victory lane in the 50-lap main event.
“We started fifth in the feature and it only took two laps to take the lead. I checked out and was on cruise control, but Roy (Passer) was pretty fast,” Fitzpatrick said of his teammate. “I was trying to maintain my speed and save some tires in case we ended up having a caution, which we did.”
The late caution was irrelevant, however, as Fitzpatrick was near flawless on the racetrack despite his carburetor issue.
“Everything we worked on over the winter definitely improved the car at Flamboro on a flat track, but the banked tracks, we still have some work to do,” Fitzpatrick explained.
Following the Flamboro opener, Fitzpatrick travelled the next day to Sunset Speedway for a 75-lap event in his same car. The veteran turned in a top-five time trial effort, but was battling mechanical gremlins for the second day in a row.
“I had power steering problems all day and during the race my stagger closed up in the back. I lost an inch and a quarter of rear stagger, which made the car really tight and really loose off,” Fitzpatrick explained.
Despite the issues, Fitzpatrick fought through the challenges and mustered a top-five finish in the main event.
“We didn’t really have enough car to keep up with everybody but we still managed a fourth and kept the car fairly clean,” Fitzpatrick concluded. “We’re going to go back to what we know from last year. We were pretty fast last year at Sunset, but the things we tried aren’t working.”
Regardless, Fitzpatrick and his team are satisfied with a successful opening weekend. They’ll look ahead to the next Sunset event on June 4 and then OSCAAR’s return to Flamboro on June 18 with confidence in the program they’ve built.
“We’re going to be able to contend for poles and for wins. The 84 car on flat track stuff is really fast. I want to try and go after the OSCAAR championship so we’re off to a good start,” Fitzpatrick said.
Follow JR Fitzpatrick’s 2016 journey to Super Late Model supremacy at www.jrfitzpatrick.com, by ‘Liking’ his official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/JRFitzpatrick or by following @J_R_Fitzpatrick on Twitter.
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, Clayton Johns Media and ImageFactor.ca Motorsport Designs.
Media Contact: Clayton Johns Media