J.R. Fitzpatrick did everything that he could on Saturday night at Kawartha Speedway to try and get the championship, however it wouldn’t be enough as L.P. Dumoulin held on to finish ninth and take home the championship by three points.
“It just feels incredible,” he commented. “It’s the best feeling that you can get. We’ve been working hard on that program for a long time. We’ve had Weather Tech for three years and to win the championship this year, it’s awesome. Thanks to my whole team, King Autosport, Mario Gosselin, my family for helping me and here we are winning the championship in the Candian Tire Series. It’s a very coveted series. Congratulations to all those guys – congrats to Fitzpatrick on the win.”
It marks Dumoulin’s first career championship as he joins Andrew Ranger, Scott Steckly and DJ Kennington as past champions of the series.
Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick led 171 laps en route to his third victory of the 2014 season after sweeping both races at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. Fitzpatrick took the lead for the final time with 78 laps to go and then held off Scott Steckly on a final restart with seven laps to go to take home the victory.
“It was really good,” Fitzpatrick commented. “We came here and tested and had a really good car. We didn’t do many adjustments throughout the day because we knew the car was good on a long run. We got the pole and started off really good. We lost the set-up a little when it started getting slick in three, fell back to third and I got into a battle with the 15 (Mathews) – he’s a complete moron if you ask me. We came in, pitted and the guys got me out first. The 22 (Steckly) was a tad bit better than we were, but my pit stop got me out first and gave me track position and I just held him off.”
After winning last year’s event, Steckly ended off his semi-frustrating season on a good note with a solid second place finish, ahead of Barrie winner Jason Hathaway, Mark Dilley and D.J. Kennington. Kennington was forced to rent Fitzpatrick’s back-up car for this race after his own No. 17 Castrol Edge Dodge did not pre-race technical inspection.
Jeff Lapcevich would finish second, followed by Steve Mathews, Matthew Scannell, Dumoulin and James White.
James Van Domselaar finished 11th, followed by Riverside winner Donald Chisholm, Anthony Simone, Joey McColm and Larry Jackson. Simone led three laps, though fell out of contention after contact from Hathaway. McColm also had another solid run going, though he would find the wall after contact from Dilley. Jackson had to make an unscheduled green flag pit stop after his window net came down.
Noel Dowler finished 16th, followed by Marc-Antoine Camirand, Trevor Monaghan, Erica Thiering and Dwayne Baker. Baker, in his first career start, struggled with the handling throughout the night. Alex Tagliani finished 21st after mechanical issues, followed by Gary Klutt and Andrew Ranger. Ranger qualified second and was having a good run, though fell out with mechanical issues.