Team 3 Red/Ed Hakonson Racing announced that Don Thomson Jr. would be joining their team. According to team officials, the new deal will allow for some great opportunities for Thomson with his wealth of knowledge, driving ability and experience as a seven-time Canadian stock-car champion.
“The group at Team 3 Red/EHR is a great group of guys and I am looking forward to working with Jason and the rest of the company,” said Thomson in the team’s press release. “This move puts me in a great position, opens doors for me and I am excited to be a part of the plan for T3R/EHR in 2011.”
“Don has a great history of being a superb contender in racing here in Canada,” team owner Ed Hakonson said. “We are looking forward to the new opportunities that lie ahead for Don and our team in the coming season. His knowledge and ability is unmatched in the industry and we are proud to have him a part of our organization.”
In 51 career NASCAR Canadian Tire Series starts Thomson has six wins, 27 top-five and 38 top-10 finishes. He also holds the series record with 11 career poles. Thomson spent last year at Fitzpatrick Motorsports, finishing fourth in points with one win, nine top fives and 11 top 10s in 13 starts. Thomson and Fitzpatrick Motorsports split ways at the end of the 2010 season as a result of Fitzpatrick Motorsports changing their team outlook.
“Fitzpatrick Motorsports was originally founded for (team-owner) John to have some fun,” JR’s business partner, Jason Sharpe, told Inside Track Magazine. “When John became involved with the CASCAR Super Series, he wanted to bring the level up in shop, to turn it into a professional operation, and that’s when Don Thomson came on board.
“The most recent objective of this team has been to develop J.R.’s career. We’ve enjoyed our time in the CASCAR and the Canadian Tire Series, but it’s time to put all of our resources behind J.R. and go to the States. We’ve developed relationships with JR Motorsports and Harvick Motorsports, we’ve put the pieces in place, now we need to make the move south.”
“It’s the right time to go there,” Fitzpatrick told Inside Track. “I’m not saying we won’t run in the Canadian Tire Series next year, we’re not shutting down the Canadian side, but we’ve got nothing left to prove here. We’ve been in talks with a lot of different teams and we’re working hard on finalizing our sponsorship package. Nationwide is the goal for 2011.”
“We had a great 13-year run with Fitzpatrick Motorsports,” Thomson said. “We parted on good terms, we’re just going in different directions. I’m 48 years old and been doing this a long time. I believe I can still get the job done behind the wheel, but to be successful, it requires ’24/7′ dedication.”
Thomson’s new teammate Jason Hathaway says he looks forward to working with Thomson.
“Donnie and I have always respected each other on and off the track so I am excited that he has joined our team,” Hathaway said. “His knowledge and our joint efforts will help our organization on a number of levels.”
Final plans are in the works for the season and will be released shortly.