BOWMANVILLE, Ont. – By Jason Cunningham, NASCAR — Getty Images for NASCAR photo — J.R. Fitzpatrick didn’t need much time to get up to speed in season-opening practice for the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 on Saturday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Fitzpatrick, from Ayr, Ont., toured the 2.459-mile road course in 82.628 seconds (107.136) mph in Saturday afternoon’s final practice session in advance of the Pinty’s presents the Clarington 200 on Sunday. The lap was well ahead of the series’ qualifying record he set in this event last year of 83.286 (106.289).
A three-time winner at CTMP, Fitzpatrick also paced Saturday’s first practice session at 83.768 (105.678). He turned only four laps in the first practice and seven in the second.
Following Fitzpatrick on the speed chart in the first 30-minute practice session of the day was Jason Hathaway at 84.336 (104.966) and Andrew Ranger at 84.453 (104.820). In the second session, also 30 minutes, Jeff Lapcevich was second at 83.202 (106.396) followed by reigning series champion Scott Steckly at 83.225 (106.367).
Defending Pinty’s presents the Clarington 200 winner L.P. Dumoulin ranked seventh in first practice at 83.550 (105.953) and fifth in the final session at 84.630 (104.601).
Qualifying is slated for 4:05 p.m. ET today and the race will go green on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.