Fitzpatrick Finishes the Mammoet/TRG Motorsports Chevy 22nd in Atlanta Camping World Truck Race Atlanta, Georgia (March 7, 2009) - John Ryan (J.R.) Fitzpatrick soldiered through a wheel problem to finish the No. 7 Mammoet/TRG Motorsports...
Fitzpatrick Finishes the Mammoet/TRG Motorsports Chevy 22nd in Atlanta Camping World Truck Race
Atlanta, Georgia (March 7, 2009) - John Ryan (J.R.) Fitzpatrick soldiered through a wheel problem to finish the No. 7 Mammoet/TRG Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado in 22nd place in today's running of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series American Commercial Lines 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Fitzpatrick was the furthest Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate up the grid at the start thanks to a strong seventh place qualifying effort this morning. At the start Fitzpatrick was able to hold onto the lead group until lap five when he started to report a tight truck. By lap 21 the tightness turned into a vibration and the team brought him to pit road on lap 24. The culprit was a left rear wheel coming loose.
"We had a great truck at the beginning," Fitzpatrick said. "We easily had a comfortable top ten truck. The truck started to vibrate after the fifth lap and we found out the left rear wheel was loose. On that pit stop we adjusted the truck, but it was too free. We ended up going a couple of laps down as a result of the green flag stop. The truck was fast I was running top ten times. If we can put it all together I think we will be alright."
J.R. was able to keep his head in the race, keep pushing and adjusting on the truck to learn and grab every available point.
"There were a couple of miserable moments, especially when you are sitting in a much better truck than where you are running. We just had to ride it out. There were a couple of times when it got really loose on me. I am getting more and more miles under my belt and learning the limits of this truck. We will come back stronger."
TRG Motorsports team principal Kevin Buckler likes how J.R. is responding to the challenges early in the season.
"We had a fast truck for J.R. today," Buckler said. "He showed that he knows what is going on with the handling when he felt the change to the truck when the wheel was coming loose. It was tough to pit under green like that, but we are thinking full season and we need to take every green flag and every checkered flag to come out toward the front at the end of the summer."
The next round of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be the Kroger 250 at Martinsville on March 28.