CAMBRIDGE, ON – Since embarking on his APC United Late Model Series championship run in 2018, JR Fitzpatrick has been one of the hottest drivers in all of Ontario racing.
The former CASCAR Super Series champion has won at speedways across the province and, this Saturday, will week to add another victory lane visit to his always-expanding resume as his team enters Round 3 of the APC Series season at Jukasa Motor Speedway as part of the facility’s ‘Prelude to the Nationals’ weekend.
“This program has been in a real good place for the last year and a bit,” Fitzpatrick expressed. “We hit such a stumbling block in 2017 that we knew we had to step back and reevaluate. Once we did that, I feel like we hit the ground running in 2018 and our program has been in a really good place ever since.”
“It hasn’t happened by accident – I can promise you that – we’ve worked nonstop to get our stuff turned around and find our comfort level as a team. But, once we started winning races on the tour, it generated a ton of momentum for us and it’s been all positives ever since.”
On the topic of finding success at Jukasa, Fitzpatrick makes sure to clarify just how important it is to find speed and balance early in the day.
“Jukasa is just about the last place on the schedule that you want to be chasing your tail all night,” says the defending series champion. “You have to find that speed right off the trailer or you’re going to be in for a long night.”
“It’s a special place that can do a lot for your season, though,” adds Fitzpatrick. “I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. If we can get this car working there and come out with a win I think it could be a game-changer for our season. We’re in the middle of this title defense and every big moment goes a long way.”
The 100-lap contest will also mark Fitzpatrick’s first start at ‘Canada’s Crown Jewel’ behind the wheel of his freshly built VanDoorn Racing Development chassis – after having just won his third weekly event of the season at Flamboro Speedway on June 15th.
“We have a lot of confidence in this new car after the speed it showed at Sunset and Flamboro,” says Fitzpatrick. “The goal is to just keep digging in on this chassis and finding the combination that will work for Jukasa. When you have something brand new, like we do, your work is never really done.”
“This is going to be the same car that we run at the (Canadian Short Track Nationals) in September, so there’s some extra motivation to get this car pointed in the right direction this Saturday. Our schedule is really starting to heat up right now and a win at Jukasa could give us a lot of confidence when we need it the most.”