Brian Simo Sears Point preview

Road-racing champion Brian Simo of Carlsbad, Calif., will compete in his second NASCAR Winston Cup event this weekend. He will substitute for Hut Stricklin, driving the No. 90 Hills Bros Coffee Ford for Donlavey Racing, at Sears Point Raceway...

Road-racing champion Brian Simo of Carlsbad, Calif., will compete in his second NASCAR Winston Cup event this weekend. He will substitute for Hut Stricklin, driving the No. 90 Hills Bros Coffee Ford for Donlavey Racing, at Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. Simo raced the same car at Sears Point last year, but the track layout was different.

"We're hoping that Sears Point will be good to us this year," he said. "We haven't been on the track in this new configuration, but hopefully the changes will make it even better. Our goal is to move forward from where we were last year, to qualify well and then drive a solid race and have a strong finish."

Simo acknowledged last year's race experience will be valuable.

"Learning to manage the mass of a Winston Cup car versus other types of sports car is key, so any track time is valuable," he said. "Last year's race at Sears Point gave us a good understanding of what's needed for the car setup, so we're hoping that will contribute to our performance this year.

"The Winston Cup drivers have a tremendous amount of experience in these big cars, so anybody coming in has a bit of a handicap because of the obvious lack of seat time. But we have experience on road courses, so we're looking for a balance between inexperience with the mass and experience on road courses. We'll work with it and look for a good race."

-Sylvia Proudfoot

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Series NASCAR-CUP