AYR, ON – Midway through one of his most frustrating seasons to date, fan-favourite JR Fitzpatrick will turn to Saturday’s Canada Day 100 at Delaware Speedway as the potential stage to turn his APC United Late Model Series campaign in the right direction.
Thus far, Fitzpatrick has yet to finish a 2017 series event inside of the top-10 – however the well-spoken veteran is not quite ready to give up his hopes for a strong first venture into the province’s top tour.
‘’I don’t see any sense in pretending that this season has started out the way we had all imagined it would,’’ shrugs the no-nonsense dilettante. ‘’Why lie to ourselves? It’s been a rough go so far. But, I think this team is mature enough and realistic enough to admit that we’ve been disappointing these first three races and find a way to learn from it”.
“Nobody out here is really concerned with how hard you’re trying or how good your intentions are,” continues the longtime Late Model standout. “This industry is about results more than anything else. It’s about what you’ve done lately and how good you’ve looked doing it. So far – we haven’t looked great”.
Fresh off of a 2016 OSCAAR Super Late Model Series championship, Fitzpatrick partnered with business owner Marvin Freiburger to contend for the 2017 APC United Late Model Series title. To date, the newly minted team has brought home finishes of 20th at Sunset, 13th at Flamboro and 21st at Peterborough.
‘’I’m fortunate enough to have been in this sport long enough to understand that there are always going to be peaks and valleys as far as performances go,” explains Fitzpatrick. “Last year we were on top of the world. This year we’ve had a tough time getting rolling”.
“It’s not because my guys have forgotten how to give me a good piece or because I’ve forgotten how to drive a car – it’s just the way things play out in this sport. And getting down on yourself can only serve to make it worse”.
Saturday’s event will no doubt draw some of the best talent the APC Series has to offer – in addition to a number of regional Delaware supporters that will provide significant additional challenges for the tour regulars.
‘’I’ve always had a lot of love for Delaware,’’ says the Ayr, ON native. ‘’We’ve ran well there with our [NASCAR Pinty’s Series] car and I’m excited to get there in the Pro Late [Model]. There always seems to be a real tough group of local guys that enter those Delaware APC races, so that’ll make things even more interesting. We’ll be ready for whoever shows up”.
‘’We’re headed to Delaware to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and get back to the podium,’’ insists the former CASCAR Super Series titlist. “No matter what the results sheets have shown so far, this is an outstanding team with really, really good equipment. We’ve got a program here that can really give the rest of this roster fits. We’re just one big performance away from turning it all around”.