Brian Simo will return to NASCAR Nextel Cup racing this week, driving the No. 33 Chevrolet in association with nine-time NASCAR champion Richard Childress Racing. Simo, of Carlsbad, Calif., will attempt to qualify for the June 26 Dodge/Save Mart 350 race at Infineon (Sears Point) Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. With 36 of the 43 starting positions earned by series regulars, Simo will be aiming for one of the remaining seven slots.
"RCR has been great to work with and I'm really looking forward to racing with [crew chief] Bobby Leslie and [engine-builder] Danny Lawrence. I appreciate what Richard Childress and RCR have accomplished, and it's great to have the opportunity to run with them," Simo said. "There are only seven spots, so we'll try to first make it into the field, then worry about the race. We can't afford any mistakes in qualifying, so we probably need a less-than-fast run, but solid enough to get in the show."
Simo competed in three previous Cup races. With no testing or advance seat time, he qualified 15th of 48 drivers in only his second attempt at single-lap qualifying and raced as high as fifth place in his third race. He has also contested several NASCAR Busch Series races, where he led on two occasions before retiring with mechanical failures.
He won the highly competitive Trans-Am Series championship in 2000 and was first or second in the series for five consecutive years. In sports cars, he has achieved success in every race he has entered -- a 10-lap GTS win and a GTS1 podium finish in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, two IMSA GTS victories and two GT podiums in the 1000-mile Petit Le Mans.