After having victory lane elude him all season last year, J.R. Fitzpatrick would dominate the Pinty’s presents the Clarington 200 on Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park to kick off the 2014 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series season.
“It was pretty good – obviously,” Fitzpatrick commented. “We just focused on trying to stay up front. The biggest strategy that I had was to save my stuff for the end and it seemed the longer we went, the stronger the car got so it was a really good feeling. It was exciting how it all worked out.”
After qualifying second, Fitzpatrick wasted no time grabbing the race lead behind the wheel of his No. 84 Equipment Express Chevrolet. Fitzpatrick looked to have victory easily in hand when the caution flew, followed by a lengthy red flag to clean up oil all around the track after Noel Dowler lost a motor. The restart would come with a couple laps to go and Fitzpatrick was able to hold off a final charge from Jeff Lapcevich.
“The last few laps were pretty hairy running out on all that oil as we were talking on the way up here whether it’s better to be running first, second or third as whoever hits it first is in trouble,” Fitzpatrick commented. “I think they had a good idea what we were running through after I hit it. It was a scary moment for me, but glad it worked out.”
For Fitzpatrick, it marks his ninth career victory and his first victory since winning at CTMP on August 18, 2012. The dominance by the Cambridge, Ontario native is no surprise, though, as it marked his fourth career win at CTMP.
Jeff Lapcevich would finish second for his second straight runner-up finish at CTMP after finishing second to L.P. Dumoulin last season. It marks the 13th career top-five finish for the driver of the No. 76 Tim Hortons Dodge. Robin Buck would finish third, followed by L.P Dumoulin and D.J. Kennington.
Kerry Micks, Hugo Vannini, Luc Lesage, Peter Klutt and Ray Courtemanche Jr. completed the top 10. Pole sitter Andrew Ranger would finish 21st after having to drop the rear of the field at the start of the event for unapproved adjustments.
Unfortunately, a pair of pre-season championship favourites did not have hte day that they were expecting. Jason Hathaway finished 24th after blowing a motor at lap 35, while defending series champion Scott Steckly finished 24th after getting into the wall after trying to get into turn three too aggressively.
The Pinty’s presents the Clarington 200 will air on TSN on Sunday, May 25 at 12:30 p.m. ET. It will air on RDS2 on Friday, June 13 at 10:30 p.m.
The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 returns on June 14th for the inaugural Budweiser 300 at Autodrome Chaudiére in Vallée-Jonction, Que.
|1||2||84||J.R. Fitzpatrick||Equipment Express Chevrolet||54||48||5||Running|
|2||3||76||Jeff Lapcevich||Tim Hortons Dodge||54||42||Running|
|3||7||66||Robin Buck||Quaker State Dodge||54||41||Running|
|4||5||47||L.P. Dumoulin||WeatherTech Canada/Bellemare Dodge||54||40||Running|
|5||13||17||D.J. Kennington||Castrol Edge/Mahindra Tractors Dodge||54||39||Running|
|6||12||02||Kerry Micks||Johnsonville/Leland/BDI Ford||54||38||Running|
|7||20||97||Hugo Vannini||VTI Motorsports Ford||54||37||Running|
|8||8||24||Luc Lesage *||Sportchief Dodge||54||36||Running|
|9||6||42||Peter Klutt||Legendary Motorcar Chevrolet||54||35||Running|
|10||22||29||Ray Courtemanche Jr.||La Cité de Mirabel Inc./Blackshape Dodge||54||34||Running|
|11||26||67||David Thorndyke||LubeSource/Thorsons EVT Chevrolet||54||33||Running|
|12||16||56||Matthew Scannell *||OMVIC/K&K Auto/Trailers by Jim Bray Dodge||54||32||Running|
|13||11||18||Stefan Rzadzinski *||EpiPen/Dicom Express Dodge||54||31||Running|
|14||28||77||Jocelyn Fecteau *||Octane Dodge||54||30||Running|
|15||25||83||Bob Attrell *||Castrol/Jumpstart Dodge||53||29||Running|
|16||19||99||Matt Pritiko *||Global Warranty Chevrolet||53||28||Running|
|17||17||25||Joey McColm||PartSource/Toronto Maple Leafs Dodge||53||28||1||Running|
|18||23||9||Russ Bond *||Door Doctor/Motoring TV Ford||52||26||Running|
|19||9||88||Marc-Antoine Camirand *||Headrush Chevrolet||52||26||1||Running|
|20||27||0||Derek White||Headrush/99 Resto Bar Chevrolet||52||24||Running|
|21||1||27||Andrew Ranger||Mopar/Exide Dodge||51||23||Running|
|22||15||5||Noel Dowler||EMCO/Rheem Dodge||41||22||Oil Line|
|23||21||87||Steve Mathews||TSC Stores/CBSF/Bill Mathews Ford Ford||37||22||1||Oil Leak|
|24||4||3||Jason Hathaway||Rockstar Energy Drink/Roto Static Chevrolet||35||20||Engine|
|25||10||22||Scott Steckly||Canadian Tire/Sylvania Dodge||23||19||Accident|
|26||14||59||Ryan Klutt *||K-Line/Legendary Motorcar Chevrolet||23||18||Vibration|
|27||24||28||Jason White||Bowers & Wilkins Dodge||21||17||Running|
|28||18||95||Anthony Simone||Innovative Plumbing & Mechanical Dodge||4||16||Suspension|