Fitzpatrick's Final Lap Heroics Win Dickies 200 From NASCAR PR
NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Puts on a Road Course Show at Mosport
J.R. Fitzpatrick (No. 84 Fitzpatrick Motorsports Chevrolet) used his one and only chance to get to Victory Lane for the first time since Edmonton last July. The chance came on the final lap of the Dickies 200 presented by Lucas Oil at Mosport International Raceway when he had to work past two cars on a wet race track. On that final lap, the Cambridge, Ont., driver overtook D.J. Kennington (No. 17 Castrol/NPP Dodge) and teammate Don Thomson Jr. (No. 4 Home Hardware Chevrolet).
“The last two laps are sort of blur. Everything was happening so fast even though we weren’t carrying the same speeds,” said the jubilant winner. “I just decided to go for it. I was either going to win or stick it in the fence.”

Fitzpatrick took the opportunity to wish his father, who missed all of the 2007 season recovering from serious injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident, a happy Father’s Day.

“My dad is back at the track and this one is for him. Happy Father’s Day! It’s great to have you back with us,” he exclaimed.

He had contact late in the race with Alex Tagliani (No. 7 Wal-Mart/Ubisoft Ford), as well as, having some problems with the jack while switching to rain tires.

“I was a little upset about some of the stuff that happened out there, but I just kept my focus,” he said. “That was the key, really. I get upset sometimes, but I’m trying to not let those things get in the way as much.”

Rain began to fall on the track during lap 41. Once the skies began to darken, Thomson and Kent Nuhn (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet) were the first two competitors to make the move to the grooved rain tires. Race leader Peter Gibbons (No. 1 Canadian Tire/Mobil Super
Ford) remained on the track on race slicks even after the track was entirely wet. Thomson closed to within a few car lengths of Gibbons on lap 47. The caution flag  waved on lap 48 after a spin by Ron Beauchamp Jr. (No. 60 Mopar/Mobil 1 Dodge) giving every driver the opportunity to change over to rain tires. However, Gibbons decided to roll the dice and not forfeit the track position.

Once racing resumed on lap 51 for a green-white-checkered finish, Thomson was easily able to work past Gibbons, who was a sitting duck on slick tires. Thomson’s gamble to change tires early on almost resulted in a win, but Fitzpatrick had other ideas.

“I thought (changing tires) was going to pay off, but (Fitzpatrick) drove the wheels off that thing considering the conditions,” said Thomson.

Kennington had to start at the tail of the field after assuming the reigns from Kenny Forth, who qualified his car on Saturday. Kennington was at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday night to compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series event. He made the nine-hour drive north arriving at the track early Sunday morning. It took Kennington just eight laps to get just outside the top 10.

“This was a brand new racecar, so we weren’t totally sure what we were going to get
, but it did great,” said Kennington. “I’m pretty tired, but happy with the results.”

Kerry Micks (No. 02 Beyond Digital Imaging Ford) beat polesitter Scott Steckly (No.
22 Tow Truck in a Box/Erb Group Dodge) around the 2.459-mile road course to lead
the first lap. Micks led the first six laps before succumbing to Peter Gibbons (No. 1
Canadian Tire/Mobil Super Ford), who paced the field until lap 22 when he made a
scheduled green flag pit stop.

Once the field cycled through green flag stops, Gibbons, once again, assumed the
lead on lap 30 with Steckly on his rear deck lid. However, the caution flag waved on
lap 35 due to fluid on the track in Turn 1 and erased a large lead by Gibbons.

The veteran Gibbons has yet to win a Canadian Tire Series race despite having the
dominant car on more than a few occasions. Whether it was a mechanical problem or contact with another car, something always happened to squelch his hopes and today was no exception. Gibbons led 38 of the 53 laps and seemed to have an answer for every challenge except the rain.

The Canadian Tire Series is back on the track on June 28 at Barrie (Ont.) Speedway for the A&W 300.

NASCAR CANADIAN TIRE SERIES presented by SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO-Dickies 200 presented by Lucas Oil
At Mosport International Raceway
Bowmanville, Ontario
Lap length: 2.459 miles (road course)
(Start position in parentheses)

1. (3) J.R. Fitzpatrick, Cambridge, Ont., Chevrolet, 53 laps, 81.511 mph, $5,789.
2. (27) D.J. Kennington, St. Thomas, Ont., Dodge, 53, $6,542.
3. (13) Don Thomson, Jr., Ayr, Ont., Chevrolet, 53, $3,212.
4. (1) Scott Steckly, Milverton, Ont., Dodge, 53, $4,084.
5. (10) Alex Tagliani, Lachenaie, Que., Ford, 53, $2,456.
6. (5) Andrew Ranger, Roxton Pond, Que., Ford, 53, $1,653.
7. (20) Pierre Bourque, Ottawa, Ont., Dodge, 53, $3,559.
8. (22) Peter Klutt, Halton Hills, Ontario, Pontiac, 53, $1,511.
9. (4) Peter Gibbons, Stouffville, Ont., Ford, 53, $1,441.
10. (17) Doug Brown, Brantford, Ont., Dodge, 53, $1,870.
11. (14) Derek Lynch, Warkworth, Ont., Dodge, 53, $1,431.
12. (16) Jeff Lapcevich, Grimsby, Ont., Chevrolet, 53, $1,157.
13. (12) Jason Hathaway, Appin, Ont., Dodge, 53, $1,134.
14. (7) Dave Whitlock, Petrolia, Ont., Dodge, 52, $1,110.
15. (9) Brad Graham, Glencoe, Ont., Dodge, 52, $1,086.
16. (24) Bryan Cathcart, Peterborough, Ont., Dodge, 52, $1,063.
17. (8) Ron Beauchamp, Jr., Windsor, Ont., Dodge, 51, $1,039.
18. (26) Jason White, Sun Peaks, B.C., Chevrolet, 51, $1,015.
19. (21) Kent Nuhn, Williamsford, Ont., Chevrolet, 50, $992.
20. (11) Jim Lapcevich, Hamilton, Ont., Chevrolet, 44, accident, $968.
21. (2) Kerry Micks, Mt. Albert, Ont., Ford, 42, $960.
22. (15) Anthony Simone, Holland Landing, Ont., Chevrolet, 33, $955.
23. (29) Jarrad Whissell, Calgary, Alb., Ford, 28, $950.
24. (18) John Gaunt, Barrie, Ont., Dodge, 17, $920.
25. (28) Robin Buck, Campbellville, Ont., Ford, 15, mechanical, $915.
26. (23) Joey McColm, Ajax, Ont., Dodge, 7, off track, $900.
27. (25) David Thorndyke, Oshawa, Ont., Chevrolet, 5, suspension, $895.
28. (19) Trevor Seibert, Williams Lake, B.C., Ford, 2, mechanical, $890.
29. (6) Mark Dilley, Barrie, Ont., Dodge, 0, clutch, $885.

Race Statistics
Time of Race: 1 hour 35 minutes 56 seconds
Margin of Victory: 0.427 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: S.Steckly (103.688 mph, 85.375 seconds)
Caution Flags: 2 for 6 laps.
Lead Changes: 6 among 5 drivers.
Lap Leaders: K.Micks 1-6; P.Gibbons 7-22; K.Micks 23-24; R.Beauchamp,Jr. 25-29; P.Gibbons 30-51; D.Thomson,Jr. 52; J.Fitzpatrick 53.
Standings: 1. S.Steckly, 350; 2. P.Gibbons, 308; 3. J.Fitzpatrick, 303; 4. D.Thomson,Jr., 302; 5. D.Lynch, 285; 6. K.Micks, 280; 7. D.Kennington, 272; 8. D.Whitlock, 271; 9. A.Ranger, 265; 10. A.Tagliani, 258.

J.R. Fitzpatrick (#84) crosses the finish line at Mosport.  (NASCAR / Chris Coughlin Photos)
Fitzpatrick celebrates win his team after the race.