Canadians J.R. Fitzpatrick and Derek White Look To Impress at Daytona

[media-credit id=4 align=”alignleft” width=”266″][/media-credit]Canadians J.R. Fitzpatrick and Derek White have both have success in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series (NCTS), and are now going south to Daytona International Speedway for the Camping World Truck Series season opener.

Fitzpatrick announced that he had struck a deal with Turn One Racing to compete with them full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2012. The 2006 CASCAR Super Series Champion will drive the No. 60 Chevrolet, replacing Cole Whitt. Last year, Whitt finished ninth in the series standings and will move up this year to compete with JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series.

“I am so pumped to be getting this chance to race with Turn One Racing,” Fitzpatrick said. “I love the Truck Series and the guys here seem really cool so it feels like a good place for me to be right now. The fact that I get a chance to put an entire season together in the same series and with the same group is really going to help my NASCAR career.”

Fitzpatrick has competed in the truck series before, driving for Kevin Harvick Incorporated. At Daytona in 2009, the 23-year-old drove the truck home to a fourth place finish.

“I have had good runs before,” the Cambridge, Ontario native said. “I actually led the most laps and finished fourth in my first Daytona start and I also have some top-fives in the Nationwide Series, but for me to be able to go to the track every week is going to be huge.”

Fitzpatrick made seven Nationwide Series starts last season, scoring a fifth place finish on the Montreal road course.

“We are really looking forward to working with J.R., his management team and sponsors,” team owner Stacey Compton said. “J.R. is a proven talent that has only gotten a few opportunities to race in NASCAR. We are excited to put a program together for him that will allow him to showcase his talents here in the states. Although we are still working to finalize sponsorship for a handful of races, we hope to have those details ironed out in the coming weeks.”

Meanwhile, White will team up with Hackett Racing to drive the No. 76 Warrior Gaming Associates Ford in the NextEra Energy Resources 250.

“It’s been great to work with the team and my Crew Chief Kevin Eagle,” White said.  “I got to know everyone at Hackett Racing last year and they’ve all worked really hard to get ready for this race.”

This will mark the first start at Daytona for the winner of the 2010 NCTS Rookie of the Year award.

“This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” the Kahnawake, Quebec resident said.  “When I hit the track for practice I’ll be smiling, but I’ll also be 100 percent focused on the job of getting ready for qualifying to make the race.”

Last season, White ran a limited schedule, scoring a career best of seventh after starting 21st at Trois Rivieres. This season, White is fielding a full-time ride for Steve Cote, while running some races himself.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

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