Fitzpatrick Uses Late Pass To Win in Edmonton EDMONTON, Alberta (July 15, 2007) - For the second consecutive race, J.R. Fitzpatrick used a last lap pass to win a race. This time the victim was Andrew Ranger, who led the first 31 laps of the...
Fitzpatrick Uses Late Pass To Win in Edmonton
EDMONTON, Alberta (July 15, 2007) - For the second consecutive race, J.R. Fitzpatrick used a last lap pass to win a race. This time the victim was Andrew Ranger, who led the first 31 laps of the 32-lap event at the Rexall Grand Prix Edmonton in front of 60,132 fans. Fitzpatrick dove to the inside when Ranger slid up the track in turn 12 of the 14-turn street course as the field was coming to take the checkered flag.
A week ago at Sunvalley Speedway in Vernon, B.C., Fitzpatrick, 19, passed Scott Steckly on turn four coming to the checkered flag.
Ranger, the pole sitter, dominated the race in the early going and built a five-second lead in just nine laps. Fitzpatrick did not allow himself to get discouraged at that point and was firm in sticking with his strategy of patience. Despite starting alongside Ranger on the front row, Fitzpatrick surrendered the second-place position to Kerry Micks over the middle portion of the race. Micks retired his car after 21 laps due to rear suspension problems.
Fitzpatrick's patience paid off as his car got better as the race wore on, while Ranger was battling a transmission problem.
"I could tell he was getting really loose a few times and I wanted to be there when he slid up the track," said Fitzpatrick. "I missed a couple of chances, but going through turn 12 I was able to get him on the inside."
Ranger, although a little disappointed, was happy with the results considering he was struggling with second gear near the end of the race.
"Every time I downshifted into second gear, the car was very loose," said Ranger. "(Fitzpatrick's) car was really fast at the end. He made a great pass and he deserves all the credit."
For Fitzpatrick, out of Cambridge, Ontario, he is the first two-time winner in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Sirius Satellite Radio. The series began operation just this year.
Road course specialist Robin Buck worked his was up from the ninth starting position to finish third. D.J. Kennington and Don Thomson Jr. finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Jim Lapcevich, Peter Gibbons, Dave Whitlock, Brad Graham and Jason Hathaway rounded out the top 10.
The race was slowed by just three caution periods covering 12 laps.
In the championship point standings, Ranger was able to extend his lead from just 12 points coming into the race to 30 points over Fitzpatrick, who took over the second spot in the rankings. Peter Gibbons slid from second to third, but is just six points behind Fitzpatrick and 36 off Ranger's pace.
The Canadian Tire Series takes a well-deserved weekend off before heading back east on August 4 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. The race will be in combination with the NASCAR Busch Series' debut in Canada.