John Ryan "J.R." Fitzpatrick will make his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut in the No. 12 TRG Motorsports Chevrolet at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday. He'll be in a third truck, with teammates T.J. Bell, who helped him during his two day test at Iowa Speedway, and Ben Stancill.
He did make two Nationwide race starts in 2007, on the road course races at Mexico and Montreal. But the opportunity TRG Motorsports, gives him a better opportunity to get into NASCAR landing a full-time ride.
J.R. is a 20 year old Canadian, who has spent the last four years competing in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, driving for his father's race team: Fitzpatrick Motorsports.
In 2006, he became the series youngest Champion at eighteen. He's been mentored by teammate Don Thomson, Jr., who once won five straight titles in the series.
Here are his stats since 2007, when NASCAR purchased the old CASCAR the series, making it part of NASCAR: 25 starts, 3 poles, 3 wins, 9 top fives and 13 top tens.
Fitzpatrick is extremely talented, has a fiery streak of competitiveness, but also has the prudence of a veteran. TRG Motorsports may have found a gem that they could develop into a decent driver with seat time, with patience and experience.
I really hope this turns into more than just one race and into a full-time ride in 2009. It will be exciting to see how well he drives.
I always read the local racing page on NASCAR.com, their local racing page and from what I read, really feel he'll make a great driver in the truck series and Cup someday.
It's always been J.R.'s dream to make it to NASCAR and he picked a great team in TRG Motorsports to debut with.
His goal at Martinsville will be keep the fenders on, don't affect the points battle, log laps, and mange his tires. We may get to see him racing for a great finish in his CTS debut.
This is the third installment of my "The Next Joey Logano" series. I have featured both Brian Ickler and Austin Dillon in my previous articles.
Sources: scenedaily.com, NASCAR.com and fitzpatrickmotorsports.com