Sears Point: Derhaag Motorsports race report

Fellows and Ruhlman take on the hills of Infineon Raceway in the ...

Fellows and Ruhlman take on the hills of Infineon Raceway in the #40 Preformed Line Products Daytona Prototype

Sonoma, Calif. (Aug. 28, 2006) -- Ron Fellows and Randy Ruhlman took on the hilly road course at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California on Saturday, August 26th against a full field of 26 Daytona Prototype and 14 GT cars. The #40 Preformed Line Products Pontiac Riley ended the day in fourteenth, after losing a lap early after they were forced to pit a second time to retighten the driver safety harnesses. With twelve cars managing to stay on the lead lap of the 99-lap, 250-mile race, the fourteenth place finish was a disappointing, but respectable, showing for the Derhaag Motorsports Daytona Prototype at the 2.52-mile Infineon Raceway.

The #40 Preformed Line Products car was able to move up from the twenty-first starting spot, but it proved to be a difficult task for both drivers. Randy Ruhlman brought the car through traffic after a good start, and began the move forward in the opening laps of the race. But, the car quickly began to loose its grip on the track, making progress slow. Fellows took over at the first pit stop and, while he too had a fast early stint in the car, he encountered the same handling difficulties with the car.

Immediately after the pit stop, Fellows had his hands full trying to keep from being overtaken by the leaders. The first pit stop sent him out with loose and tangled safety harnesses, and he was forced to come back in to have them tightened while still under caution. The team did an excellent job of fixing the problem and getting the car back out before the pace car came around. Unfortunately before Fellows had any chance to catch up to the field, the green flag came back out and the leaders were quickly challenging to put the #40 car a lap down. Fellows held them off for numerous laps, but eventually the car lost its only lap of the race. With twelve cars on the lead lap the chances of making it into the top ten became slim and the car finished immediately behind the #60 MSR car of Oswaldo Negri and the #39 Crown Royal car of Fittipaldi and Cheever.

"We've been fighting this car all weekend. Infineon is a really difficult track. The conditions change dramatically here from session to session depending on the sun and temperature, so getting a good read and set up is always hard. The car felt great in the opening laps of the race, but it just deteriorate pretty fast for me. As it got a bit cooler and later in the race, it might have been a bit better for Ron for awhile, but overall neither of us was happy with the handling on the long runs," said Ruhlman after the race.

For this weekend's Grand American race, both Fellows and Ruhlman brought a wealth of experience to the road course at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California. Fellows and Ruhlman both ran sedans in the Trans-Am Series at the track, while Fellows recently competed here in June at the NEXTEL Cup Dodge/SaveMart 350, as well as in American LeMans. Randy Ruhlman began his driving career here and has extensive experience and numerous sedan victories at Infineon Raceway.

The teams head immediately to the Salt Lake City, Utah area and the final race of the 2006 season. The Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve Discount Tire Sunchaser at Miller Motorsports Park gets underway on Saturday, September 2nd at noon MT for a nine-hour race. Ruhlman will be paired up with his co-driver from Watkins Glen, Paul Dallenbach, and Canadian sedan and Formula car Champion Kenny Wilden. That race begins at noon on Saturday, September 2nd and will be broadcast LIVE on SPEED.

-credit: derhaag motorsports

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ron Fellows , Randy Ruhlman , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , Paul Dallenbach