NOT ENOUGH HORSES FOR J.R. FITZPATRICK September 28, 2008. After a very successful test session at Iowa Speedway with TRG Motorsports NASCAR Truck program, John Ryan (J.R.) Fitzpatrick was hoping to wrap up the 2008 NASCAR Canadian Tire ...
NOT ENOUGH HORSES FOR J.R. FITZPATRICK
September 28, 2008. After a very successful test session at Iowa Speedway with TRG Motorsports NASCAR Truck program, John Ryan (J.R.) Fitzpatrick was hoping to wrap up the 2008 NASCAR Canadian Tire series season with a strong showing. Unfortunately his #84 Fitzpatrick Motorsports Chevrolet was a little lacking in horsepower hampering his overall finishing position.
It was a cloudy and damp day at Kawartha Speedway this past weekend as teams began the afternoon practice session. To no one surprise the #84 Fitzpatrick Motorsports Chevy was consistently quick. "We learned a lot of things at the test session at Iowa that we immediately applied to our car here" said the 20 year old driver. "And we could see improvements right away" he added.
Fitzpatrick would qualify the #84 machine fourth overall and begin the 250 lap feature event on the outside of row two. "Our plan was the same as usual, try and run up front, maybe lead a lap and then settle into a good pace and save our stuff for the end" said the driver. For several reasons going the 250 lap distance would prove to be a challenge.
With the start of the race the #84 Chevrolet was decent but not performing to the expectations of the driver. "The car just seemed to be flattening out" said Fitzpatrick who provided good information to the team. "We decided to make a pit stop and make some adjustments, switched ignition boxes. We thought we were playing it smart to come in early and make changes". The problems for the Fitzpatrick Motorsports team were just beginning.
After the changes the #84 Chevy still was not performing at peak level. "The guys in the back of the field were just out powering me" said a frustrated driver. "We knew there must be some kind of problem deep inside the motor. It seemed to be hurt pretty bad".
Despite the underpowered race car Fitzpatrick maneuvered the #84 Chevrolet surprisingly well, especially in the damp conditions. "We figured that we were running on only six cylinders" said the driver. "I tried to drift it out a bit and I said to the guys, if we had some power it would be a lot of fun to run out here sliding around".
The #84 Fitzpatrick Motorsports team soldiered on as best they could until damp conditions forced NASCAR officials to conclude the event on lap 174. "I'm actually kind of glad we finished it early" said J.R. "It wasn't a lot of fun being down on power and running around out there".
The #84 Fitzpatrick Motorsports Chevy would be classified nineteenth at the conclusion of the race.
Despite the disappointing finish in the final event, J.R. Fitzpatrick finished the season seventh in the overall championship standings.