AYR, ON – Although JR Fitzpatrick has not had the results he had intended on through the opening two rounds of the APC United Late Model Series season, much can be said about the resolve shown by the veteran – and his Marvin Freiburger Racing squadron – entering Round 3 of the schedule at Peterborough Speedway on Saturday, June 17th.
“I don’t think it’s exactly a secret that we haven’t had the start that we wanted for this car,” shrugs Fitzpatrick. “But that doesn’t change our goal. It doesn’t change how badly we want to assert this team as one of the best in the province. And it doesn’t mean we’re spending any less time in the shop”.
A longtime veteran of Ontario short track competition, Fitzpatrick has carved out memorable moments at Peterborough Speedway behind the wheel of everything from a CASCAR Super Series entry to an OSCAAR Super Late Model.
“I can’t think of another speedway anywhere that can change your day from good to bad as quickly as Peterborough can,” explains the 2016 OSCAAR Super Late Model champion with a smirk. “The place challenges you from the time you roll out for pace laps until you’re rolling across the scales at the end of the night. You never stop working there”.
“The race on Saturday won’t be locked up until the very last lap,” continues Fitzpatrick. “It’s a one groove track, which means everyone is going to be in a fist fight to get to the bottom all night. That means opportunities and chances to make mistakes depending on where you are”.
Chief among the Ayr, ON native’s list of triumphs at the lauded 1/3-mile is a 2015 Autumn Colours Classic victory that counts as one of the second-generation star’s four career OSCAAR Super Late Model Tour wins.
“Peterborough’s been good to me in the past,” smiles Fitzpatrick. “It’s one of my favourite places to race. When we won the [Autumn Colours] Classic here – it was one of the best nights of my life. With all the strong runs we’ve had there, it’s tough not to walk into the pits feeling confident”.
Now, having transitioned from the OSCAAR ranks to the hotly contested APC United Late Model Series, Fitzpatrick appears more than comfortable with the step-up in competition.
“I’m not surprised in the least bit by how tough the racing has been on the tour so far,” insists the fan favourite. “I mean, the level of talent here is the exact reason I’ve wanted to run with the APC Series for the last two years”.
“These guys are all the best of the best as far as [Ontario] Late Model racing goes,” adds Fitzpatrick. “We’re ready to get out there at the front with them on Saturday. We’re ready to turn things around”.