J.R. Fitzpatrick Finishes 21st in Physical Camping World Truck Race at Martinsville Martinsville, Virginia, (March 30, 2009) - John Ryan (J.R.) Fitzpatrick finished 21st in today's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville ...
J.R. Fitzpatrick Finishes 21st in Physical Camping World Truck Race at Martinsville
Martinsville, Virginia, (March 30, 2009) - John Ryan (J.R.) Fitzpatrick finished 21st in today's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway. The race was run this afternoon due to rain on Saturday.
Fitzpatrick started the 250-lap race from his 28th place qualifying position. The TRG Motorsports team had a good handling No. 7 Chevrolet Silverado under the 20-year old Canadian from Cambridge, Ontario. The more laps Fitzpatrick put on the truck the faster he got. By lap 50 he had moved to 21st and by lap 71 he was headed for the top 10 in 11th. On lap 92 he had contact with the No. 4 truck in the center of turn one sending Fitzpatrick back 21st in the running order. The contact was just beginning. On lap 103 he got collected by the 11 truck which resulted in a bent wheel and a flat tire. The team made quick repairs but sent the truck down four laps to the leaders. The remainder of the race was spent logging laps and learning for the next short track race.
"We were up to 15th at the beginning and then the four truck body slammed me, which bent the toe of the truck a little bit," Fitzpatrick said. "It really didn't affect the handling that much. We fixed the little body damage and put tires on it and went back at it. I was able to run up 11th and then we split a lap truck and the 11 came down and tried to take off my left front. That resulted in the left front going flat. That screwed us up for the rest of the day.
"We had a wicked fast truck. There was no doubt we had a top 10 for sure. The team is working really well together. At the beginning we were behind from qualifying and we were able to work our way back towards the front. I am getting more comfortable in the trucks. The team is getting to know what I need from the truck and things are going good, we just need some luck."
TRG Motorsports team principal Kevin Buckler knows if the team keeps providing good equipment that the results will come.
"J.R. is doing the job behind the wheel," Buckler said. "He showed really good patience today at the beginning of the race working his way up to 11th. The communication with the spotter and team was right on and the day looked promising. Then a lap truck got in the way and the 11 came down on him, just tough racing luck. J.R. kept focused and was able to finish in 21st today. Some drivers would have hung their head and given up, but J.R. was running times that would have had him in the top 10. These short tracks are tough." The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series takes three weeks and will visit Kansas Motor Speedway on April 25th.