Fitzpatrick’s usual Auto Parts Centres/Meineke Car Care No.84 is out of commission after Fitzpatrick discovered an issue with the chassis last week. The good news is he’ll drive his backup No.4 car at Peterborough, an equally well-prepared machine.
“I’m excited and nervous at the same time. I haven’t really been in that car since we changed everything over the winter. It’s got my shocks on it from last year, my engine and we were pretty much the car to beat at Peterborough last year. I can’t see why we wouldn’t be good this year,” Fitzpatrick explained.
Fitzpatrick won two out of three races at Peterborough in 2015. The only race he didn’t win was a second-place finish. Although Fitzpatrick will be racing a car he hasn’t sat in since last season, there’s still plenty of familiarity with the No.4 ride. Fitzpatrick rebuilt the car himself over the winter and knows every square inch.
“We’ve spent two nights scaling it to get it where I want it. It’s proven. At Delaware when Darrell Lake drove it, he was fast until he had a parts problem. Danny’s (Bois) been fast in it at Sunset every week, so I can’t see why I can’t be fast in it,” Fitzpatrick explained.
Saturday’s race is important on a couple of fronts for Fitzpatrick. It’s the first of three Super Late Model events at Peterborough this season, but also the Chase for the Colours, which offers a front row starting position to the top two finishers for the prestigious Autumn Colours Classic on Thanksgiving weekend. The Autumn Colours race also crowns the OSCAAR champion each year.
“It’s going to be an important race for sure. I’m using it as a test because obviously the most important race of the year is at Peterborough in October,” Fitzpatrick said assuredly. “We’re definitely trying some stuff on the No.4 car and, who knows, maybe if I like it most, I’ll end up taking it to all the Peterborough races.”
Fitzpatrick has felt as though he lacked the horsepower to be a top contender at Delaware last week, where he still finished an impressive fifth. He enters Saturday’s race as the point leader, with a 23-point cushion over teammate Roy Passer. Perhaps more important is the fact Fitzpatrick knows he’ll be in competition for a win.
“Now that we’re on all the little bullrings, everybody’s going to be on a much more even playing field. If it comes down to handling, our car is pretty much on rails right now,” Fitzpatrick said.
If Fitzpatrick’s No.4 is even close to as good as it was during his dominance at Peterborough one year ago, he’ll be a force to be reckoned with on Saturday night. For event information, visit www.oscaar.ca and www.peterboroughspeedway.com.
JR Fitzpatrick – 7 Starts: 2 Wins, 6 Top-5s, 6 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