MEDIA CHAT WITH RON FELLOWS, NO. 96 DLP HGTV IMPALA SS ON HIS FIRST LAPS IN AN IMPALA SS: "Well, they do roll around a little bit more. Essentially it does give you a feel that we have a heavier car than we had before. But it's not that bad....
MEDIA CHAT WITH RON FELLOWS, NO. 96 DLP HGTV IMPALA SS
ON HIS FIRST LAPS IN AN IMPALA SS: "Well, they do roll around a little bit more. Essentially it does give you a feel that we have a heavier car than we had before. But it's not that bad. You get in and try to find out what it likes and doesn't like to get it to do the things you need it to do for you. That is what we are chasing right now, is trying to get it to get turn it a little bit better in the center and be able to put the power down coming off. But you chase that no matter what you are driving when you come to Infineon Raceway."
ON LIKING THE CAR: "I like it, I think it is fine, I don't have any problem with it at all. If I was in these things week in and week out, I would probably have a little bit more to compare to, but you know, I drove the C6R Corvette last weekend in Le Mans and that is way different. So what I have to do to drive the DLP Impala is slow things down for me and not be so aggressive, it just doesn't have the same kind of grip. Tremendous power. We are just kind of get together as a team, getting the communication thing down so we make decent progress in an hour and half session with all these cars so hopefully we can go get a solid lap for qualifying."
ON IF EVERYONE BEING IN THE IDENTICAL CAR SO TO SPEAK ELIMINATING ADVANTAGE AS A "ROAD RACE SPECIALIST": "Not to talk myself out of a job or anything but none of us has won. I mean, I won in Busch and Truck, but I have not won in Cup yet as a fly-in, fly-out guy. We have been close and had some solid opportunities and I consider this one to be one as well. I still think the advantage goes to the regulars. They have a better feel for these cars, they are in them week-in and week-out. The difference with me is I am a little more comfortable with turning left and right. "
ON ANY SUGGESTED CHANGES TO THE CAR HE MADE TO TEAM AFTER THE TEST: "We had a couple of different combinations to try in terms of the setup. The difficulty is when you go and test, you don't have the right tire. We quickly were struggling for grip and didn't necessarily have that same problem at the VIR (Virginia International Raceway) test. In a matter of two or three changes, we had a much better handling Impala. Their experience with the Goodyear, is solid for me. I can tell them what I need the car to do and they make the changes and we have made solid progress."
ON BEING HAPPY WITH LESS RACES ON SCHEDULE: "Well, I guess I would be a little more disappointed about not doing all the racing in the Corvette if we had some competition for those sprint races here in North America but we don't. The timing seemed right for me to step back a little bit. But I will tell you this, I had a great time at Le Mans, it was the biggest GT1 field they have ever had, we had 15 cars to race. We came up just a little short, but it is what it is. Hopefully between now and the middle of August, we will have a little more time to devote to the DLP Impala team."
ON WHICH TAKES MORE PATIENCE, INFINEON IN CUP OR LE MANS: "There is nothing patient about this deal. Between having to get out there and make quick decisions. Even in a 90-minute practice, you get what, maybe four opportunities to change the car. There is a lot of traffic, it certainly is high pressure."
ON HIS UNIQUE NICHE IN RACING: "I guess for me the opportunity to get to do some road races, is an opportunity that started 10 years ago when they started the Truck Series and we won a couple. Then a few Busch races and it kind of carried forward from there. My day job is racing the Corvette in long distance races, it is road racing. The road goes left; the road goes right. We race at a variety of different race tracks. I am pretty comfortable here at Infineon Raceway, we have raced here in the past with ALMS and Trans Am Series. That is essentially it. I do have experience, I am not a necessarily a rookie in NASCAR. I am pretty comfortable jumping in these cars and discerning quickly what I need the car to do for me with this style of racing. That comes with age."
ON CHANGING MINDSET TO RACE CUP CAR AT INFINEON: "Yes, it is different and the value is, I have done this before. Literally as soon as I got on the plane Monday morning coming home from France, I started laps in my head at Infineon in one of these cars. Try to slow down a little bit. With the Corvette, it is 1,000 lbs lighter, probably twice the downforce and has two or three inches more tire. So you can be way more aggressive stopping and cornering because they have carbon fiber brakes the use in Formula One. It is a real Thoroughbred race car and starts life as a sports car. What I have to do here is be smooth and remember things I have learned in the past that makes these things go quick.
"I just come in here comfortable and race my own race. I think we have been able to race our own race in the past. I think most of these guys know me well enough from the past that I am relatively predicable and not going to do anything silly. I don't think we have a target on our back. We are going to do the best job we can and get a solid finish on Sunday. That is why we are here. The draw for me is that Nextel Cup racing is super competitive. There are 10 or 15 guys I wouldn't hesitate to take these guys in my Corvette as teammates in long distance races. These guys are the best, pros, the thrill for me is trying to take them on."
-credit: gm racing