J.R. Fitzpatrick knew he was going to have his hands full keeping Andrew Ranger behind him on Saturday’s final lap.
Turns out, he didn’t have to worry as a final lap caution allowed the Ayr, Ontario, driver to sail across the finish line under a yellow-checkered to claim the NAPA Auto Parts 100 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil.
Ranger settled for second, followed by Campbellville’s Robin Buck. Scott Steckly and points leader D.J. Kennington rounded out the top five.
Topping the Golden Horseshoe area drivers in addition to Buck was Peter Klutt of Halton Hills. He moved his Chevrolet into 11th after starting from the No. 23 spot. Jeff Lapcevich of Grimsby finished 19th in his Dodge, falling from the No. 15 pole start. In 22nd was Oakville’s Larry Jackson, also in a Dodge while Howie Scannell Jr., of Milton was 24th.
Seven of Fitzpatrick’s eight wins have come on road courses, including his 2009 victory at Montreal. He won the pole position in Friday’s qualifying and led 22 of 23 laps Saturday. A late-race caution set up a two-lap shootout to the finish with Ranger, who was on his back-bumper. A multi-car wreck in Turn 14 after the leaders took the white flag, however, brought an end to the event.
Kennington continues to lead the points by 33 over Ranger. Fitzpatrick moved up a spot to third, two points behind Ranger.
NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers Timmy Hill and Austin Dillon, both making their series debut to gain more experience on a road course, finished sixth and seventh, respectively. Trevor Seibert, rookie Xavier Coupal and Kerry Micks completed the top 10.
The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series returns to the track for the Wahta Springs 300 at Barrie (Ont.) Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 8.