Ron Fellows Flies Through Field To Finish Second in NASCAR Event Watkins Glen, NY - American Le Mans Series GTS champion Ron Fellows overcame starting last in the field and finished a close and competitive second in Sunday's Sirius at the Glen...
Ron Fellows Flies Through Field To Finish Second in NASCAR Event
Watkins Glen, NY - American Le Mans Series GTS champion Ron Fellows overcame starting last in the field and finished a close and competitive second in Sunday's Sirius at the Glen NASCAR Nextel Cup race at the Watkins Glen International circuit.
Fellows, driving a Chevrolet Monte Carlo fielded by the Dale Earnhardt, Inc., team, matched his best previous finish in NASCAR's top series with the runner-up effort. He finished 1.5 seconds behind race winner Tony Stewart.
"I'm disappointed," said Fellows, who finished second to Jeff Gordon at WGI in 1999. "Second again. I've finished second before; I wanted to win. I just didn't have anything left for Tony at the end. All I could do was match his lap times."
The popular Canadian racer, who was driving for DEI in a one-race arrangement, was fortunate to even be in the race after Friday's qualifying was canceled due to wet track conditions. NASCAR set the starting lineup based on a formula that includes team owner points and qualifying attempts, and the #1 Chevrolet had been in enough races this season with driver John Andretti that Fellows was granted the 43rd and final starting spot.
Once racing began on Sunday, Fellows used his years of road racing experience to carefully work his way through the field. He passed 20 cars in the first 10 laps on the 2.45-mile circuit and was in the top 10 by lap 30.
With 34 laps remaining in the 90-lap race, Fellows made his final pit stop, being serviced by the crew that normally pits DEI driver Martin Truex, Jr., in the NASCAR Busch Series. He was in ninth place after the pit stop cycle had completed but continued his march forward.
Fellows was in fourth place when Brendan Gaughan slid off the track to create the race's final full-course caution with 18 laps to go. Casey Mears and Dave Blaney were ahead of Stewart and Fellows on the track, but both were trying to stretch their full mileage and neither could match the lap times of Stewart and Fellows. After getting past the two quicker than Fellows, Stewart stretched into a two-second lead and once free of traffic Fellows could get no closer than the final margin.
"This is one of the best teams in NASCAR and it's a privilege to be able to drive for them," said Fellows, who has five career NASCAR wins in the Busch and Truck Series and is in high demand among NASCAR teams for the two annual road racing events on the Nextel Cup schedule because of his prowess. "I hope I can do this again next year. I really want to win one of these Nextel Cup races before I get too old and too slow."
Fellows will return to the factory Chevrolet Corvette team in the American Le Mans Series for this weekend's Road America 500 at Elkhart Lake, Wis. He and co-driver Johnny O'Connell have won the GTS class in four of the six ALMS races held this season and lead the class driver championship standings. Fellows is trying to win what would be a record third consecutive title.