J.R. Fitzpatrick entered the weekend with a 15-race winless streak, he'll head home having added to his NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 all-time wins lead at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Fitzpatrick picked up his first win since August 18, 2012, in an exciting green-white-checkered finish to the Pinty's presents the Clarington 200 on Sunday. It was the ninth career series win for the 26-year-old out of Ayr, Ont., and fourth at the Bowmanville 2.459-mile road course. Fitzpatrick also picked up his second win in a Canadian Tire Series season-opening event. He also won the 2012 opener at CTMP.
Jeff Lapcevich challenged Fitzpatrick late in the race, but was unable to overtake the driver of the No. 84 Equipment Express Chevrolet, settling instead for his second-consecutive runner-up finish in a season opener at this track. It's his third top five at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park and 13th overall in the series. Lapcevich was followed across the line by Robin Buck, 2013 event winner L.P. Dumoulin and two-time series champion D.J. Kennington.
Kerry Micks, Hugo Vannini, Luc Lesage, Peter Klutt and Ray Courtemanche Jr. completed the top 10 in the first of 11 events on 2014 calendar, with Vannini and Courtemanche both picking up career best finishes.
Two-time series champion Andrew Ranger collected his 13th career series pole award in qualifying for the event, but began the race from the 24th position after unapproved impound adjustments. He worked his way into the top 10 early in the race, but ignition problems ultimately derailed his afternoon. Ranger ended the day 21st on the grid, his worst finish at the track. His previous worst Canadian Tire Motorsport Park finish was sixth.
The field was slowed due to caution five times, including a red-flag for track cleanup after Noel Dowler's No. 5 machine leaked oil across several areas of the track.
The Pinty's presents the Clarington 200 will air on TSN on Sunday, May 25 at 12:30pm et/9:30am pt. It will air on RDS2 on Friday, June 13 at 10:30pm et.
The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 will return to action on June 14 for the inaugural Budweiser 300 at Autodrome Chaudiére in Vallée-Jonction, Que. It will mark the series' first visit to the quarter-mile oval located 40 miles southeast of Quebec City.