MONTREAL – JR Fitzpatrick showed up to win—no question about it. He won the NAPA Autopro 100 in NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 action from Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in dominating fashion.
The 21-year-old out of Cambridge, Ont., took control of the race when he slipped inside of Kerry Micks in the hairpin turn on the ninth lap of the race. From there, he went on to build a lead of more than five seconds in his Schick-sponsored Chevrolet before the caution flag waved on lap 22 to set up an attempt at a green-white-checkered finish.
On the restart, the front of the field got stacked up as they entered Turn 3. As a result, the car of Scott Steckly ended up on its roof after making contact with Hamilton’s Don Thomson Jr. Thomson would finish 18th, after starting at the No. 6 spot. Grimsby’s Jeff Lapcevich would finish eighth, having earned the No. 13 pole spot.
Once the dust cleared, the cars were brought down pit road and the red flag was displayed which ended the event. The race was scheduled for 23 laps or 75 minutes leaving just the one opportunity to finish the race under green.
It was Fitzpatrick’s first win of the season and the fourth in his series career. He last won on June 15, 2007 at Mosport International.
Points leader Andrew Ranger was able to clear the incident in Turn 3 to finish second. DJ Kennington, who held down second place in the closing laps, was not as fortunate. He got turned around in the fray and blended back into the field in the fourth position which is where NASCAR officials determined his finishing position to be.
After winning the first three road-course events of the year, Ranger was foiled in his bid to win all four road-course races on the 2009 slate. A season ago in this event, Fitzpatrick led much of the race before a late-race bobble allowed Ranger to take the win.
Kerry Micks led the first eight laps of the race and closed out the race in third place. Mark Dilley finished fifth equaling his season-high finish.
Ron Beauchamp Jr., Pierre Bourque, Jeff Lapcevich, Daryl Harr and Jarrad Whissell rounded out the top 10.
The race was slowed three times due to caution for a total of six laps. The race lead changed just one time between two drivers.
In the point standings, Ranger expanded his lead on Kennington by 10 points and now has a 134-point lead heading into the final three race of the season. Beauchamp and Steckly, in third and fourth, respectively, are right on Kennington’s heels.
In qualifying on Saturday, Alex Tagliani picked up his second straight series pole award after winning the pole two weeks ago at Quebec’s Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres. In today’s race, Tagliani was knocked out of the race after just 11 laps due to mechanical problems.
The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 takes a weekend off before heading to Barrie Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 12 for the Torbram Electric 300 presented by The Source.