CAMBRIDGE, ON – Flamboro Speedway announced this past weekend that their crown jewel ‘Gold Rush 100’ event would revert back to a Pro Late Model invitational in 2018 after having been contested as a Super Late Model race for the previous three seasons.
And while the news is less than 72-hours old – it’s already started to snatch the attention of Pro Late Model races across Ontario.
For fan favourite JR Fitzpatrick – a victory during the Gold Rush 100 has already ascended to the top of his ‘most wanted’ list entering the 2018 season.
“As soon as Flamboro put the word out that the Gold Rush was going back to Pro Late Models – it immediately went to the top of my list,” says Fitzpatrick. “We’re months away from it but I already can’t wait. It’s going to be a huge show. Pro Late Models are white-hot right now. They’re the most exciting division in Ontario.”
After having departed the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series in 2015, Fitzpatrick’s focus has been solely on Super Late Model and – most recently – Pro Late Model competition.
“Races like the Gold Rush that bring together the best-of-the-best are the exact reason I built a Late Model team,” explains the well-spoken veteran. “I believe our program can stand toe-to-toe with anyone. I hope they pack the pits for this race because we want to race against the top guys out there. Line them all up – we’ll take them on.”
The second-generation star seems very much at home in the flourishing Pro Late Model division and credits Crown Jewels events like the Gold Rush for helping to strengthen the division as a whole in recent seasons.
“I can’t think of a time in the last ten years where the [Pro] Late Models have been in a better place than they are right now,” opines Fitzpatrick. “Look at the results from the last two years. Look at the kind of talent the APC [United Late Model] Series and the Flamboro [Speedway] weekly division are pulling right now.”
“When you unload at a Pro Late Model race these days, you just know that you’re in for a war,” continues the Cambridge, ON native. “And that’s exactly the kind of competition that I live for. I can’t wait to come back out in 2018 and win some races.”