CAMBRIDGE, ON – 2018 APC United Late Model Series champion JR Fitzpatrick will be one of many top-level Pro Late Model competitors in the Flamboro Speedway pit area this Sunday for this year’s running of the Grisdale Triple Crown.
The second-generation star has had a year for the ages, winning his first career APC Series title in addition to a $5,000 payday during August’s running of Flamboro Speedway’s Gold Rush 100.
“For me, there’s nothing in this world more exciting than when you roll your car out of the trailer, look around at the pit area and see a whole bunch of guys that are all working on their programs just as hard as you are,” details Fitzpatrick. “That motivates me more than anything. When we’re up against the top guys, that’s when we’re able to dig deep as a team and find that next level.”
“I know that the Triple Crown is going to bring that type of field out,” continues the former CASCAR Super Series champion. “We’re coming ready to work. It’s been an amazing year already – but that doesn’t guarantee us anything. These other guys will be more than happy to leave me behind if I come with anything less than my best.”
The event’s unique triple 50-lap format has been both praised and debated all week leading up to this Sunday’s race and Fitzpatrick is very candid when noting the proverbial curveball that the triple-feature format represents.
“It’s real hard to try and strategize for an event like this because it’s so different from anything else we do all season,” admits Fitzpatrick. “You just have to really take it one lap at a time.”
“Racing at Flamboro is as demanding as anywhere else in the province – so it can be really, really hard to save your stuff,” continues the multi-time speedway winner. “Every position counts when you’re looking ahead to the overall finish, so you have to push yourself and get every spot but try and conserve your equipment at the same time. It’s a tightrope walk, for sure.”
And, while Fitzpatrick is no stranger to competing in – and winning – ‘crown jewel’ events, the Grisdale Triple Crown is one that has managed to elude him thus far.
“The Triple Crown is always going to be a marquee event,” says Fitzpatrick. “It’s a race that everyone pays attention to. Wether you own a Pro Late Model or not – you’re going to know who won this deal. That absolutely makes it an accomplishment that our team wants to add to our record.”