Young Canuck revved up for season

DEAN MCNULTY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:21 AM ET

FRASERVILLE, Ont. - J.R. Fitzpatrick has a message for his new teammate at JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Nationwide series: “If you need anything, like someone to carry your helmet or get you a bottle of water, I’m your guy.”

That teammate would, of course, be Danica Patrick.

The 22-year-old Fitzpatrick, of Cambridge, Ont., has a contract to run the three Nationwide road courses — Watkins Glen, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and Road America — in Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s

No. 7 Chevrolet, a car that Patrick has already driven three times and is scheduled to get back into at least three more time this season.

On Friday, Fitzpatrick was testing the No. 84 Schick Chevrolet at Kawartha Speedway for the Fitzpatrick Racing NASCAR Canadian Tire Series team.

He hopes to run all of the NCTS races to claim his second national stock car racing championship. But right now at the top of his to-do list is win a race in the JRM No. 7 Chevy.

“It’s real exciting that I have this chance to race such good equipment at that level,” Fitzpatrick said. “We are still talking about doing some oval races as well for JRM.”

He said that getting Schick on board was key to the deal he was able to put together with JRM team manager Kelley Earnhardt.

“Sponsorship is so important and to have Schick Canada race with us is fantastic,” Fitzpatrick said.

As for his new teammate, she welcomed the young Canadian to the squad during a teleconference call from Indianapolis where she is preparing for the Indy 500 in her other job at Andretti Autosport.

“Let’s hope he can get us some points on the road courses,” Patrick said.

Fitzpatrick, however, was quick to point out that he’s not a road-course ringer.

“I told (the JRM team) that I grew up racing on short ovals in Ontario and that my first road course race was just a couple of years ago at Mosport.”

His results on road courses have been impressive though with wins at Mosport and the aforementioned Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.


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