Sunday, May 20, 2012

Fitzpatrick Wins NASCAR Canadian Tire Series 2012 Season Opener

A 51-lap around the 2.46-mile road course now known as Canadian Tire Motorsport Park kicks off the 2012 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series season. Formerly known as Mosport International Raceway, the prestigious venue dropped the green flag for the Vortex Brake Pads 200 on Sunday afternoon becoming the first time the series would open a season on a road course.

Taking pole on Saturday, Reigning NASCAR Canadian Tire Series champion Scott Steckly driving hte #22 Canadian Tire Dodge recorded a speed of 105.484 miles per hour to take the preferred starting spot from a hungry, young JR Fitzpatrick. Taking green during a very hot but dry noon, the #84 Chevrolet of Fitzpatrick immediately set out on a mission to control the Vortex Brake Pads 200. JR Fitzpatrick was followed by Scott Steckly, Andrew Ranger, DJ Kennington and Rob Beauchamp Jr on the opening lap of the road course event that would quickly present troubles for some competitors. The #29 Dodge of Ray Courtemanche Jr was into the turn 2 wall on the second lap while the #50 Dodge of Joey McColm  trailed off the race track to draw the race's first caution on lap 4.

Going back to green flag green, Scott Steckly battled hard with JR Fitzpatrick's #84 Chevrolet. So hard fighting was Steckly that he acquired battle-scarring to the nose of his #22 Dodge early. While Steckly made a scheduled pit stop on lap 15, Andrew Ranger in the #27 GC Motorsports Dodge battled Fitzpatrick. Ranger would find a way around the #84 in turn 9 just before both race contenders darted to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park pit lane for their service. A full caution yellow on lap 18 would come out as Ron Beauchamp Jr and Jason Hathaway were leading the Vortex Brake Pad 200 field.

Robin Buck and Peter Klutt would stay out on the race day to lead the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series cars back to green on lap 22. Battling after the restart, Andrew Ranger fight with Kerry Micks resulted with both cars spinning in turn 8. At the front, JR Fitzpatrick reeled-in and Robin Buck and retook the lead on lap 24. JR Fitzpatrick's #84 Chevrolet would progressively pull away from second-place Buck in the following laps building a 3-second cushion by lap 30. A caution on lap 33 would erase the leading interval and give all competitors a breather.

For what would be an important race restart that would settle the outcome of the Vortex Brake Pads 200, 2010 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series champion DJ Kennington sailed past the #84 car while Fitzpatrick and Steckly once again fought for position at the road course. Regathering himself with 6 laps remaining in the event, Fitzpatrick took back the lead in a decisive fashion.

Winning the Vortex Brake Pads 200 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, JR Fitzpatrick ends a winless drought stretching back to the Edmonton City Center Airport circuit race in 2010. Rounding out the top-5 for the Vortex Brake Pads 200 is DJ Kennington, Scott Steckly, Andrew Ranger and Louis-Philippe Dumoulin.

The next race for the 2012 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series will take place on June 3rd at Circuit iCAR.

2012 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series
Vortex Brake Pad 200
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
Race Results

Pos # Car # Driver Sponsor/Car Make
2 84 JR Fitzpatrick Equipment Express Chevrolet
4 17 DJ Kennington Castrol Edge/Mahindra Tractors Dodge
1 22 Scott Steckly Canadian Tire Dodge
3 27 Andrew Ranger Dodge/GC Motorsports Dodge
10 47 Louis-Philippe Dumoulin WeatherTech Canada/Bellemare Dodge
6 3 Jason Hathaway Snap-on Tools/Vortex Brake Pads Dodge
7 2 Kerry Micks Leland/BDI/PartSource Ford
9 23 Jeff Lapcevich Tim Hortons Dodge
11 66 Robin Buck Quaker State Dodge
8 42 Peter Klutt Legendary Motorcar Chevrolet
5 60 Ron Beauchamp, Jr. Mopar/Mobil 1 Dodge
13 21 Jason White A&W/Bower & Wilkins Dodge
17 56 Howie Scannell Jr. Trailers by Jim Bray Dodge
22 10 Derek White Burger Barn Chevrolet
23 94 Dave Coursol Carquest Canada Dodge
20 81 Larry Jackson B&B Decals/Speedy Auto Service Dodge
26 67 David Thorndyke Thorsons EVT Chevrolet
16 90 Martin Roy Veloce/Gamache Truck Center Dodge
14 44 Jarrad Whissell SMS Equipment/Komatsu Ford
18 15 Steven Mathews Bill Mathews Motors Ford
19 7 Isabelle Tremblay Frank Lyman Design Dodge
12 99 Steve Cote White Motorsports Chevrolet
27 97 Hugo Vannini Vannini Motorsports Ford
24 11 Michael Scholz Jiffy Car Wash/ Chevrolet
25 50 Joey McColm @JoeyMcColm Dodge
15 5 Noel Dowler EMCO-Kohler/Rheem Dodge
21 29 Ray Courtemanche Jr. Construction Danam Bonzai Dodge


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