Fitzpatrick Speeds To NAPA AUTOPRO 100 Pole MONTREAL (Aug. 3, 2007) -- J.R. Fitzpatrick (No. 84 Milwaukee Electric Tools Chevrolet Monte Carlo) was the fastest qualifier for the NAPA AUTOPRO 100 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. He...
Fitzpatrick Speeds To NAPA AUTOPRO 100 Pole
MONTREAL (Aug. 3, 2007) -- J.R. Fitzpatrick (No. 84 Milwaukee Electric Tools Chevrolet Monte Carlo) was the fastest qualifier for the NAPA AUTOPRO 100 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. He turned a lap on the 2.71-mile permanent street course in 106.755 seconds which translates to an average lap speed of 91.387 mph. As a result, he will lead the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Sirius Satellite Radio field to the green flag for Saturday's race scheduled to get under way at 10:20 a.m.
Fitzpatrick is coming off consecutive Canadian Tire Series wins and has now earned two straight Bud Pole Awards. It has been a busy couple of days for the 19 year-old driver out of Cambridge, Ont. He is also entered in the NASCAR Busch Series which is making its Canadian debut this weekend. It will be his second career start in that series.
"The car felt pretty good and I was pushing it pretty hard," said Fitzpatrick. "I kind of wanted to see how it would react, but I don't see the race being run at the pace we did today. I expect it to be a hard fought race."
Point standings leader Andrew Ranger (No. 27 Wal-Mart/Tide Ford Fusion), who, at 20 years of age, is developing quite a rivalry with Fitzpatrick, was second quick with a lap time of 107.452 seconds (90.794 mph). The Roxton Pond, Quebec native took the pole position in the season's first two road course events and won the first. Fitzpatrick, meanwhile, has the other road course win and started alongside Ranger on the front row of the previous two.
The third-fastest time was posted by Kerry Micks (No. 02 Beyond Digital Imaging Ford Taurus) at 108.304 seconds (90.080 mph). Micks won the former CASCAR Super Series event at this track a year ago.
Current CHAMP Car World Series star Alex Tagliani (No. 8 Gain Chevrolet Monte Carlo) showed his experience and knowledge of the Montreal track by being fourth fastest in qualifying despite it being his first time in a stock car. His best lap was timed at 108.477 seconds (89.961mph).
Fitzpatrick believes the race will come down to brake and tire management. The rate of speed that the 3,000-lb. cars carry into the corners has the drivers on the brakes hard and often on the demanding street course.
It'll be about who can get the most out of their brakes and their tires," said Fitzpatrick. "These cars get around this place pretty good, but it's going to take a little discipline tomorrow in the race."