With each round of the APC Auto Parts United Late Models of Ontario Tour, J.R. Fitzpatrick continues to click away solid performances, and that included Saturday night as he scored a runner-up to Brandon Watson.
Starting eighth for the 100-lap feature, he would make his way forward, breaking into the top-five with just 31 laps complete, before moving into second on Lap 73. He looked set to finish there without much of a battle moving forward, until the caution came out with seven laps to go. Restarting on the outside, he was able to get a good restart and take the lead from Watson initially, before being passed back for the top spot. He would get to Watson’s bumper on the final lap, but was unable to make the pass.
The finish allowed Fitzpatrick to leave Jukasa Motor Speedway with a smile on his face as he admitted that they weren’t happy after testing there, making a whole bunch of changes before this past weekend.
“We actually made it pretty good,” he told SHORT TRACK MUSINGS. “I got by Brandon on the top on the restart, and he could just have a little more straightaway than I did because I had a little too much gear at the end. I chipped out, and he had just enough to get on me. It was a really good race. I think the fans enjoyed it, and we’re just going for points now.”
Now heading into the series finale at Delaware Speedway, Fitzpatrick leads Treyten Lapcevich by 42 points, which he says is crucial as “this APC Series is so tough, and to be able to have that kind of points lead going to Delaware is definitely big.” He has ran well at Delaware previously, too, scoring a fifth-place finish in June.
“I have a lot of laps around Delaware, but not in this style car,” he admitted. “So when we were there last, we got the pole, led laps, and we were just off a little bit. I think with the package that we have here, it’ll be better going back.”