Donlavey Tabs Simo for Both Winston Cup Road Course Events RICHMOND, Va. (May 8) - Hills Bros Coffee Racing team owner Junie Donlavey has tabbed Trans-Am Series champion Brian Simo (SIM o) to run the Hills Bros Coffee Ford at both Sears Point ...
Donlavey Tabs Simo for Both Winston Cup Road Course Events
RICHMOND, Va. (May 8) - Hills Bros Coffee Racing team owner Junie Donlavey has tabbed Trans-Am Series champion Brian Simo (SIM o) to run the Hills Bros Coffee Ford at both Sears Point Raceway in June and Watkins Glen International in August.
"We had a good time working with Brian last year at Sears Point and Watkins Glen," Donlavey said. "He's a great racer and has the road-course experience. He can give us a little bit of an advantage that we would not have with Hut (Stricklin)."
"With our position in the current drivers standings, it was a 'no-brainer' to put Brian back in the car for those events," Stricklin said. "I'm not going to gain anything in the driver's standings at those tracks, so let's continue to make this team better."
"Junie Donlavey is the nicest man in racing," Simo said. "I appreciate the opportunity he's given me to get back in a Winston Cup car and I'm looking forward to working with the Hills Bros Coffee crew again. I think it's great that we'll be doing some testing prior to the Sears Point race. Hopefully, that will translate into a solid starting position, and then we'll just work it from there."
Donlavey Racing is hoping to get the team's road-course car ready to test at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) in Alton, Va., prior to making the trip to Sears Point in June.
"We're working ahead so we can get better prepared for the upcoming events," Donlavey said. "Testing at VIR will help Brian get a better feel for the heavier car."
"Obviously, a Winston Cup car is heavier than a Trans-Am car and the handling is quite different," Simo said. "But with testing and some road-course engineering work, I know we can get a good setup and be ready for the race."
Simo competed in the NASCAR Busch Series events at Watkins Glen International in 1997 and 1998. Both times, he was leading the race before suffering engine failure. His first NASCAR Winston Cup start came at Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., last June. He qualified 34th and finished 36th, despite a long pit stop to replace a broken gear.