J.R. Fitzpatrick, winner of the last two NASCAR Canadian Tire Series races, edged points leader Andrew Ranger for the pole for tomorrow's race at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
In other action in Montreal, Patrick Carpentier was fastest in the fourth Busch Series practice session, while fellow Canuck Ron Fellows was fourth. Click here for a full listing from Busch Practice Session #4. NASCAR has an article on the many Canadians who turned out for this historic race here.
Below is a copy of Shon Sbarra's NASCAR press release following NCATS qualifying:
MONTREAL (Aug. 3, 2007) – J.R. Fitzpatrick (No. 84 Milwaukee Electric Tools Chevrolet Monte Carlo) was the fastest qualifier for the NAPA AUTOPRO 100 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. He turned a lap on the 2.71-mile permanent street course in 106.755 seconds which translates to an average lap speed of 91.387 mph. As a result, he will lead the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Sirius Satellite Radio field to the green flag for Saturday’s race scheduled to get under way at 10:20 a.m.
Fitzpatrick is coming off consecutive Canadian Tire Series wins and has now earned two straight Bud Pole Awards. It has been a busy couple of days for the 19 year-old driver out of Cambridge, Ont. He is also entered in the NASCAR Busch Series which is making its Canadian debut this weekend. It will be his second career start in that series.
“The car felt pretty good and I was pushing it pretty hard,” said Fitzpatrick. “I kind of wanted to see how it would react, but I don’t see the race being run at the pace we did today. I expect it to be a hard fought race.”
Point standings leader Andrew Ranger (No. 27 Wal-Mart/Tide Ford Fusion), who, at 20 years of age, is developing quite a rivalry with Fitzpatrick, was second quick with a lap time of 107.452 seconds (90.794 mph). The Roxton Pond, Quebec native took the pole position in the season’s first two road course events and won the first. Fitzpatrick, meanwhile, has the other road course win and started alongside Ranger on the front row of the previous two.
The third-fastest time was posted by Kerry Micks (No. 02 Beyond Digital Imaging Ford Taurus) at 108.304 seconds (90.080 mph). Micks won the former CASCAR Super Series event at this track a year ago.
Current CHAMP Car World Series star Alex Tagliani (No. 8 Gain Chevrolet Monte Carlo) showed his experience and knowledge of the Montreal track by being fourth fastest in qualifying despite it being his first time in a stock car. His best lap was timed at 108.477 seconds (89.961mph).
Fitzpatrick believes the race will come down to brake and tire management. The rate of speed that the 3,000-lb. cars carry into the corners has the drivers on the brakes hard and often on the demanding street course.
It’ll be about who can get the most out of their brakes and their tires,” said Fitzpatrick. “These cars get around this place pretty good, but it’s going to take a little discipline tomorrow in the race.”
NAPA AUTOPRO 100
NASCAR CANADIAN TIRE SERIES presented by SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve August 3, 2007
1. 84 J.R. Fitzpatrick, Cambridge Ontario Milwaukee Electric Tools Chevrolet Monte Carlo 106.755 91.387
2. 27 Andrew Ranger, Roxton Pond Quebec Wal-Mart/Tide Ford Fusion 107.452 90.794
3. 02 Kerry Micks, Mt. Albert Ontario Beyond Digital Imaging Ford Taurus 108.304 90.080
4. 8 Alex Tagliani, Lachenaie Quebec Gain Chevrolet Monte Carlo 108.447 89.961
5. 88 Robin Buck, Campbellville Ontario Ron's Burner Service/Jennifer Ashleigh Charity Ford 108.496 89.920
6. 17 D.J. Kennington, St. Thomas Ontario Castrol/Krispy Kreme Dodge Charger 108.513 89.906
7. 39 Dave Whitlock, Petrolia Ontario Dickies/Hamilton Tiger-Cats Dodge Charger 109.014 89.493
8. 22 Scott Steckly, Milverton Ontario Erb Group Dodge Charger 109.164 89.370
9. 23 Jeff Lapcevich, Caistor Centre Ontario Tim Hortons/EMCEA Chevrolet Monte Carlo 109.401 89.177
10. 4 Don Thomson, Jr., Ayr Ontario Home Hardware Chevrolet Monte Carlo 109.504 89.093
11. 69 Trevor Seibert, Williams Lake British Columbia Lake Excavating Ford Fusion 109.670 88.958
12. 9 Mark Dilley, Barrie Ontario Dodge/Leland Industries Dodge Avenger 110.003 88.688
13. 60 Ron Beauchamp, Jr., Windsor Ontario Mopar/Mobil 1 Dodge Avenger 110.158 88.564
14. 77 Derek Lynch, Warksworth Ontario Canadian Shield Dodge Charger 110.823 88.032
15. 19 Brad Graham, Glencoe Ontario Full Throttle/Challenger Dodge Charger 110.829 88.028
16. 1 Peter Gibbons, Stouffville Ontario Canadian Tire/Mastercraft Chevrolet Monte Carlo 110.892 87.977
17. 29 Pierre Bourque, Ottawa Ontario DRIVING.CA/Conservative Party Dodge Charger 111.013 87.882
18. 12 John Gaunt, Barrie Ontario Centennial Chrysler Dodge Avenger 111.788 87.272
19. 50 Joey McColm, Ajax Ontario ATTO Insurance Dodge Charger 111.811 87.254
20. 11 Ron Van Es, Stoney Creek Ontario Van Es Motorsports Chevrolet Monte Carlo 112.078 87.047
21. 35 Kevin Dowler, Sherwood Park Alberta EMCO Ford Fusion 112.320 86.859
22. 82 Dave Connelly, Arnprior Ontario Samsung Chevrolet Monte Carlo 113.235 86.157
23. 10 Doug Brown, Brantford Ontario Haldex/UAP NAPA Dodge Charger 113.861 85.683
24. 53 Peter Klutt, Halton Hills Ontario Legendary Motorcar/G-Force Pontiac Grand Prix 114.947 84.874
25. 09 Kent Nuhn, Williamsford Ontario Fuel Genie/Nuhn's Auto Recylers Pontiac Grand Prix 116.669 83.621
26. 67 David Thorndyke, Oshawa Ontario Thorsons Chevrolet Monte Carlo 116.901 83.455
27. 5 Andre Coursol, St. Jerome Quebec Carquest Canada Chevrolet Monte Carlo 119.384 81.719
28. 18 Richard Durivage, Montreal Quebec Habitation Eric Alary/CHOM-FM/Six Flags LaRonde 123.590 78.938
29. 46 Michel Disdier, Nice France Trident Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo 160.000 60.975
30. 3 Jason Hathaway, Appin Ontario Snap-on Tools/Super 8 Dodge Charger No Time
31. 25 Jim Lapcevich, Hamilton Ontario EMCEA/Tim Hortons Chevrolet Monte Carlo No Time