A ninth-place finish last night at Kawartha Speedway in Ontario enabled L.P. Dumoulin to win the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series championship over J.R. Fitzpatrick by a mere three points despite Fitzpatrick winning the 250-lap season finale.
The sports car racing veteran claims Canada’s top stock car championship in just his third full season in the series.
This season, Dumoulin earned two wins (Saskatoon, Trois-Rivieres), nine Top-5s, and 11 Top-10s in 12 events.
“My team this season has given my the best cars week after week and I can’t say enough about what (crew chief) Mario Gosselin has done for me,” Dumoulin said to the Toronto Sun.
“Anytime you win a championship it’s great, but to win one in a NASCAR series as competitive as the Canadian Tire Series is extra special.”
Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick, a part-time Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series competitor from 2007-2012, narrowly missed out on the title after leading 171 laps at Kawartha and withstanding a late restart with seven laps to go.
“We had a couple of races this year where we had great cars and the results didn’t come,” he also said to the Sun. “We finished every race. Overall, it’s been a good year…It’s just some little things that did us in; didn’t put us out of race but just put us out of contention.”
Last year’s series champion, Scott Steckly, finished second behind Fitzpatrick in the Pinty’s 250. Jason Hathaway, Mark Dilley, and D.J. Kennington rounded out the Top 5. In the standings, Kennington will finish in third place while Steckly will claim fourth.
Dumoulin will be feted in December as part of a special ceremony honoring all of NASCAR’s touring series champions in Charlotte, North Carolina.