The Ayr, Ont. driver used the second-place result to qualify for the championship round of the OSCAAR Race for the Cup during the Autumn Colours Classic back at Peterborough on October 7-9. While a second-place finish might make most drivers happy, Fitzpatrick wanted to be on the top step of the podium.
“Everything we tried at Flamboro (for the Gold Rush) we decided we would leave it and try it at Peterborough. Man, it was terrible. It wasn’t even close to the same,” Fitzpatrick said.
Fitzpatrick won his first heat and finished fourth in the second tune-up, but also had the exhaust fall of the car, which forced the team in to a hurry before the 50-lap feature event.
“We tried to do the best we could with what time we had. We really didn’t have a lot of time. It got ran over and completely flattened. We had to try and make it usable again so we spent the time between the second heat and the feature working on that,” Fitzpatrick explained.
Glenn Watson won the main event and will be one of Fitzpatrick’s chief competitors for the championship in a month’s time. Fitzpatrick did his best to hold off the No.22, but settled for second.
“It was okay, but it was really tight and I couldn’t get through the centre. Glenn really had his car rocking and rolling so he got by us,” Fitzpatrick said. “We had a job to do and that was to finish in the top three. We did that, so that’s all I can ask for.”
Fitzpatrick wants to return his Meineke Car Care/Auto Parts Centres No.84 to the same setup he used to dominate most of the 2015 season at Peterborough in time for the Autumn Colours Classic. He has a month to put the pieces of the puzzle in place and test.
“We really experimented a lot throughout the summer. Maybe a lot more than we should have, but we learned so much by doing that,” he said. “I’m looking forward to putting everything back the way it was last year. Last year nobody could really touch that car.”
Fitzpatrick’s plans remain uncertain for September. He is still debating on filing an entry for the Avenue Auto Parts Series finale at Sunset Speedway on September 25. His focus is intently set on the Autumn Colours Classic where he will be competing head-to-head with Watson and Gary Passer for the OSCAAR championship in a winner-take-all finale. Fitzpatrick’s strategy is simple.
“I just want to win the race. If I never see them, it doesn’t matter.”
JR Fitzpatrick – 12 Starts: 2 Wins, 10 Top-5s, 10 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