Canadian Tire Opener Goes To Fitzpatrick
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario – J.R. Fitzpatrick entered the weekend with a 15-race winless streak, but he’ll head home having added to his NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 all-time wins lead at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
Fitzpatrick picked up his first win since Aug. 18, 2012, in an exciting green-white-checkered finish to the Pinty’s presents the Clarington 200 on Sunday. It was the ninth career series win for the 26-year-old out of Ayr, Ont., and fourth at the Bowmanville 2.459-mile road course. Fitzpatrick also picked up his second win in a Canadian Tire Series season-opening event. He also won the 2012 opener at CTMP.
Jeff Lapcevich challenged Fitzpatrick late in the race, but was unable to overtake the driver of the No. 84 Equipment Express Chevrolet, settling instead for his second-consecutive runner-up finish in a season opener at this track. It’s his third top five at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park and 13th overall in the series. Lapcevich was followed across the line by Robin Buck, 2013 event winner L.P. Dumoulin and two-time series champion D.J. Kennington.
Kerry Micks, Hugo Vannini, Luc Lesage, Peter Klutt and Ray Courtemanche Jr. completed the top 10 in the first of 11 events on 2014 calendar, with Vannini and Courtemanche both picking up career best finishes.
Two-time series champion Andrew Ranger collected his 13th career series pole award in qualifying for the event, but began the race from the 24th position after unapproved impound adjustments. He worked his way into the top 10 early in the race, but ignition problems ultimately derailed his afternoon. Ranger ended the day 21st on the grid, his worst finish at the track. His previous worst Canadian Tire Motorsport Park finish was sixth.
The field was slowed due to caution five times, including a red-flag for track cleanup after Noel Dowler’s No. 5 machine leaked oil across several areas of the track.
J.R. Fitzpatrick, Jeff Lapcevich, Robin Buck, L.P. Dumoulin, D.J. Kennington, Kerry Micks, Hugo Vannini, Luc Lesage, Peter Klutt, Ray Courtemanche Jr., David Thorndyke, Matthew Scannell, Stefan Rzadzinski, Jocelyn Fecteau, Bob Attrell, Matt Pritiko, Joey McColm, Russ Bond, Marc-Antoine Camirand, Derek White, Andrew Ranger, Noel Dowler, Steve Mathews, Jason Hathaway, Scott Steckly, Ryan Klutt, Jason White, Anthony Simone.