Delaware Speedway

J.R. Fitzpatrick Comes Out of Late-Race Contact with Victory at Delaware

LONDON, Ontario — Following close racing including contact in the final laps, it’d be J.R. Fitzpatrick coming out victorious in the APC Auto Parts United Late Model Series feature at Delaware Speedway on Saturday.

Danny Benedict started pole in front of Jake Sheridan, Kyle Steckly, Rick Spencer-Walt, Andrew Gresel, J.R. Fitzpatrick, Treyten Lapcevich, Jordan Sims, Ray Morneau, DJ Kennington, Cole Powell, Jordan Howse, Matt Pritiko, Josh Stade, Ryan Kimball, Gord Shepherd, Dale Shaw, Jesse Kennedy, Mat Box, Erik Dalla Riva, Shae Gemmell, Billy Schwartzenburg, Connor James, Travis Hallyburton, Tom Gibbons, Shawn Chenoweth, Jade Franklin, Billy Zardo, Coltin Everingham, Blair Wickett, and James Horner.

Jake Sheridan broke out to the early lead with Benedict second in front of Spencer-Walt, Fitzpatrick, Steckly, Gresel, Sims, Lapcevich, Morneau, Kennington, Powell, and Howse. However, the race quickly found itself under caution with Billy Zardo making contact with the wall off of turn four.

Jake Sheridan got a good restart to maintain the advantage with Fitzpatrick up to second in front of Benedict, Spencer-Walt, Gresel, Steckly, Sims, Kennington, Lapcevich, Morneau, Powell, Pritiko, Howse, Stade, Shepherd, Gemmell, and Shaw. Steckly would get alongside and pass Gresel for fifth on Lap 21, as Kennington made his way down pit road with a mechanical issue. Gemmell would then get alongside Shepherd for 14th on Lap 21, completing the pass a couple laps later, bringing Shaw through with him. The second caution would then come out at Lap 32 for Stade having issues.

The restart saw a battle for the lead between Sheridan and Fitzpatrick, with Sheridan maintaining his advantage as Spencer-Walt moved back up to third in front of Benedict, Lapcevich, Gresel, Steckly, Sims, Powell, Morneau, Pritiko, Gemmell, Shaw, Howse, and Box. Morneau would challenge Powell for ninth on Lap 43, though was unable to complete the pass. He would try again a couple laps later, taking over ninth with 54 laps to go. The third caution then came out four laps later for Horner stalling off of turn two.

Sheridan got another good restart ahead of Fitzpatrick, with Benedict retaking third, but the yellow flag would immediately return. Sims would get sideways off of turn two up into the backstretch wall, coming back across the track, collecting Pritiko and James with him.

The second attempt at a restart would go cleaner, with Sheridan holding serve in front of Fitzpatrick, Benedict, Spencer-Walt, and Gresel. Spencer-Walt would then past Benedict back for third on Lap 55, as Lapcevich ran fifth in front of Steckly. Shaw would then take over the fifth spot two laps later, bringing Morneau through with him.  Gresel would then challenge Benedict for fourth on Lap 71, as Steckly ran seventh in front of Shaw and Gemmell. Gresel took the spot three laps later, with Lapcevich looking to follow him through.

With 24 laps to go, Sheridan led Fitzpatrick, Spencer-Walt, Gresel, Lapcevich, Benedict, Shaw, Steckly, Gemmell, Morneau, Box and Stade. Shaw would challenge Benedict for sixth on Lap 80, as Everingham headed into the pits, done for the event. Shaw would get the spot with 17 laps to go, with Lapcevich getting alongside Gresel for fourth a lap later. Behind them, Gemmell would make the move on Steckly to take over eighth. Lapcevich moved into fourth on Lap 87 in front of Gresel and Shaw, as Gemmell battled Benedict for seventh in front of Steckly, Morneau, Box, and Shepherd. Gemmell took over seventh on Lap 90, with the caution coming out two laps later for Shaw having a flat tire.

The restart saw the top-four battle hard for their spots, including a couple taps from Fitzpatrick to Sheridan. Through turn three and four with four laps to go, Fitzpatrick gave Sheridan a tap, sending the No. 52 up the track. As he tried to stay off the outside wall and came back down, Lapcevich made contact with the back of his car, turning him down across, collecting Spencer-Walt in the process as they both hit the inside frontstretch wall.

J.R. Fitzpatrick led the field to the restart, leading the rest of the way en route to winning in front of Kyle Steckly, Shae Gemmell, Andrew Gresel, and Danny Benedict.

Finish Car # Driver Name
1 84 J R Fitzpatrick
2 22 Kyle Steckly
3 3 Shae Gemmell
4 81 Andrew Gresel
5 54 Danny Benedict
6 27 Mat Box
7 3 Ray Morneau
8 8 Jordan Howse
9 10S Gord Shepherd
10 73 Cole Powell
11 83 Dale Shaw
12 74 Erick Dalla Riva
13 17 Josh Stade
14 10 Tom Gibbons
15 39 Travis Hallyburton
16 10k Jesse Kennedy
17 32 Treyten Lapcevich
18 52 Jake Sheridan
19 31W Rick Spencer-Walt
20 97 Blair Wickett
21 48 Coltin Everingham
22 29 Ryan Kimball
23 89C Shawn Chenoweth
24 86 Billy Schwartzenburg
25 47 Jordan Sims
26 21 Matt Pritiko
27 4 Connor James
28 79 James Horner
29 31 Jade Franklin
30 28 DJ Kennington
31 46 Billy Zardo


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