CAMBRIDGE, ON – With a frustrating 2017 season now behind him, fan favourite JR Fitzpatrick is already planning what guarantees to be an extensive schedule of Pro Late Model competition in 2018.
In addition to a second consecutive fulltime effort with the APC United Late Model Series, Fitzpatrick has announced that his family-run team will also compete for the 2018 Flamboro Speedway weekly Pro Late Model championship as well.
“Anyone that runs these cars will tell you how important it is to stay sharp,” explains Fitzpatrick. “The more laps you’re logging on a regular basis – the better you’re going to be. We’re excited to have such a full schedule for 2018. My goal was to limit our off-nights to as few as possible.”
And while his 2017 season ended on a high note with podium finishes at Peterborough’s Autumn Colours Classic and Flamboro’s Grisdale Triple Crown, Fitzpatrick’s APC Series campaign was largely disastrous – with mechanical woes and on-track incidents contributing to just a single top-10 finish in eight series appearances.
“Being able to work through a season as frustrating as what we had this year really taught me a lot about myself and how far I’ve come as a competitor,” says the young veteran. “It really wasn’t that long ago where I had a real hard time shaking off bad performances. I would carry that frustration with me – and that ended up doing far more harm than good.”
“There were a lot of frustrating nights this summer – but we knew if we kept working at it things would turn around,” adds Fitzpatrick. “We went into every single race night with a positive attitude and that’s what made all the difference in the world for us.”
Still, instead of dwelling on what could have been in 2017, Fitzpatrick elects to instead draw confidence and inspiration from his final two finishes of the year as he looks ahead to what promises to be his most aggressive campaign in recent memory.
“Those two finishes were like therapy for us,” says Fitzpatrick with a smile. “We needed those finishes more than I could explain. This is the best car and the best team that I could ever ask for.”
“I’m real excited to get back to work in the Spring and see just where we stack up next to the best guys in Ontario,” continues the Cambridge, ON racer. “We’ll absolutely be looking to build on our two finishes from the end of 2017. We’re going up against the elite of the division every single night and we couldn’t be more excited about that. We’re ready for a huge season in 2018.”