L.P. Dumoulin had a simple goal to win his first NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 championship, to finish 11th or better. He finished eighth while J.R. Fitzpatrick did everything he needed to do to catch Dumoulin.
But Fitzpatrick came up three points short.
Fitpatrick won the Pinty’s 250 season finale event at Kawartha Speedway in Fraserville, Ontario, Canada. He held off a late challenge from Scott Steckly to get the win.
Along with the win, Fitzpatrick won the pole and led the most laps, but came up three points short to win the title.
“We came here and tested a couple of weeks ago and we knew we had a good car. We really didn’t have to make any adjustments all day because we knew the car was good on a long run,” Fitzpatrick said after the race. “We fell back a little bit, but I came in on that last stop and my crew did a great job and got me out first and that is what won us the race.”
Fitzpatrick is the all-time lap leader at Kawartha but never won at the 0.375-mile oval. He became the fifth different winner in eight starts
“We have always ran good here, but hands down that was the best car I have had here,” Fitzpatrick said. “The 22 team (Steckly) is always fast here and to go out and beat them is an accomplishment.”
Even though he came up three points short of winning the title, he was still satisfied with his 2014 season.
“Considering we had a couple of things go wrong this year, it was good overall year,” Fitzpatrick said. “L.P. and his team did a great job. They finished every race and had a top-ten finish in every race and good for them.”
Dumoulin finished ninth to grab his first NASCAR Canadian Tire Series championship.
“It feels incredible, this is the best feeling you can get,” Dumoulin said. “We have been running for a long time and we finally got it.”
Dumoulin struggled in qualifying and started 14th, but felt he had a car to get the job done.
“We knew the car was fast enough to finish in the top ten,” Dumoulin said. “The strategy was good and I knew I had to bring the car back home and claim the championship.”
Dumoulin almost didn’t have his crew chief at the event. Mario Gosselin was at Kentucky Speedway on Friday night for the ARCA Racing Series event helping Josh Williams. After the race, he learned that his flight from Indianapolis to Toronto was cancelled. He drove five hours to Chicago to catch an early flight and arrived at the track moments before the first practice session.
Jason Hathaway finished third with Mark Dilley in fourth. D.J. Kennington rounded out the top five
NASCAR Race Central Live Powered by Speed51.com replay can be found at: http://hometracks.nascar.com/ncats_race-central_092014_Kawartha
NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Presented by Mobil 1
|8||56||Matthew Scannell *||250|
|11||14||James Van Domselaar||249|
|17||99||Marc-Antoine Camirand *||247|
|19||72||Erica Thiering *||246|
|22||61||Gary Klutt *||179|
– Kevin Ramsell, Speed51.com Director of Business/Midwest Editor. Twitter: @KevinRamsell
Photo Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR