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J.R. Fitzpatrick Set For Daytona NASCAR Nationwide Series Start

J.R. Fitzpatrick’s 2011 race season kicks off this week with the 2010 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Runner-Up confirming Monday his participation in Saturday’s opening round of the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Daytona International Speedway, the ‘DRIVE4COPD 300’, 19th February 2011.

The 22-year-old Ontario resident, the only Canadian entered for Saturday’s 300-mile event, will race the #27 Baker Curb Racing Ford Mustang with primary support from long-time partner Schick Canada, promoting the Schick Hydro brand, as well as associate support for the first time from Energizer Canada Inc.

Fitzpatrick, with two top-ten NASCAR Nationwide Series finishes to his credit from a partial 2010 schedule with JR Motorsports last year, is looking forward to joining some of NASCAR’s biggest names in competing in Saturday’s ‘DRIVE4COPD 300’, the day before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series opens with the famed ‘DAYTONA 500’.

Canada's J.R. Fitzpatrick will make NASCAR Nationwide Daytona start.

“I can’t think of a better race to start the new season with,” Fitzpatrick enthused. “Daytona boasts an atmosphere like no other and to be in a race with the opportunity to compete against guys like Dale Earnhardt Jr and Tony Stewart is fantastic. I’ve raced at Daytona before, a couple of years ago in the Truck Series, and ran well leading the most laps in that event before taking fourth.

“I’m sure that experience and knowledge will help combined with my time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series last season. This is definitely where I want to be competing on a regular basis so I’m looking to make a strong start to the year on Saturday. I’m obviously grateful to Schick Canada and Energizer Canada for their support this week and I look forward to flying the maple leaf for Canadian fans!”

“We’re really looking forward to teaming up with J.R.,” commented Baker Curb Racing’s Team President, Matt Crews. “I’ve had the opportunity to spend some time with him this off season and get to know him. His attitude and dedication to his sport is certainly very impressive and his potential is limitless!”

Fitzpatrick will be on-track on Wednesday and Thursday of this week with four NASCAR Nationwide Series practice sessions scheduled before Friday hosts qualifying at 4:10pm EST. The ‘DRIVE4COPD 300’ starts on Saturday 19th February at 1:15pm EST. Race fans in Canada can watch the ‘DRIVE4COPD 300’ live on TSN2 with broadcast coverage starting at Noon EST on Saturday.

Since winning the 2006 CASCAR title in Canada, the youngest driver to ever win the title aged just 18, J.R. Fitzpatrick has focused his sights on NASCAR. He made his NASCAR debut in 2007 and has subsequently made race starts for Kevin Harvick Inc. and JR Motorsports Inc. in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Fitzpatrick has continued to enjoy success in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, with 2010 netting two further victories, seven top-five finishes and the runner-up spot in the title chase.

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