Fitzpatrick 'pumped' about qualifying for Nationwide race

J.R. Fitzpatrick 'can't wait' for Saturday's NNS race.

J.R. Fitzpatrick 'can't wait' for Saturday's NNS race.

Dean McNulty, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:32 PM ET

It has not been a very productive season for J.R. Fitzpatrick in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series.
That is why the 23-year-old from Cambridge, Ont., is so pumped about getting a good result driving the No. 67 Go Canada Racing Ford Mustang in the NASCAR Nationwide Series ZIPPO 200 at Watkins Glen International.
“I can’t wait to get out there,” Fitzpatrick said before NNS practice on Friday. “It seems like that every race in Canada this season a back marker or part-time driver has either spun us out or taken us out.”
It will be Fitzpatrick’s third Nationwide race on the Glen’s 3.92 km, 11-turn road course and that experience should serve him well in qualifying early Saturday.
And he will need all the help he can get with 48 cars attempting to fill the 43-car grid. Throw in six NASCAR Sprint Cup regulars trying to qualify, including five-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson making a rare Nationwide start in the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, and Fitzpatrick has an uphill battle ahead of him.
“Normally I would say we would be happy with a Top 10 starting position here,” he said. “But with all the Cup guys and the road race specialists like Ron Fellows in the field I will be very happy with a Top 15.”
Fitzpatrick admits that he has contributed to some of his own misfortunes in the NCATS this season by getting frustrated.
“I am trying  to keep my emotions in check,” he said. “I know that sometimes I can let things that happen on the race track get to me.”
Fitzpatrick said he hopes to be able to chat with Fellows — who is parked next to him in the Nationwide paddock — to get some advice on how best to tackle the Glen.
“He was won here a bunch of times so maybe he can help me out.”It has not been a very productive season for J.R. Fitzpatrick in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series.

That is why the 23-year-old from Cambridge, Ont., is so pumped about getting a good result driving the No. 67 Go Canada Racing Ford Mustang in the NASCAR Nationwide Series ZIPPO 200 at Watkins Glen International.

“I can’t wait to get out there,” Fitzpatrick said before NNS practice on Friday. “It seems like that every race in Canada this season a back marker or part-time driver has either spun us out or taken us out.”

It will be Fitzpatrick’s third Nationwide race on the Glen’s 3.92 km, 11-turn road course and that experience should serve him well in qualifying early Saturday.

And he will need all the help he can get with 48 cars attempting to fill the 43-car grid. Throw in six NASCAR Sprint Cup regulars trying to qualify, including five-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson making a rare Nationwide start in the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, and Fitzpatrick has an uphill battle ahead of him.

“Normally I would say we would be happy with a Top 10 starting position here,” he said. “But with all the Cup guys and the road race specialists like Ron Fellows in the field I will be very happy with a Top 15.”

Fitzpatrick admits that he has contributed to some of his own misfortunes in the NCATS this season by getting frustrated.

“I am trying to keep my emotions in check,” he said. “I know that sometimes I can let things that happen on the race track get to me.”

Fitzpatrick said he hopes to be able to chat with Fellows — who is parked next to him in the Nationwide paddock — to get some advice on how best to tackle the Glen.

“He was won here a bunch of times so maybe he can help me out.”


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