By Patrick Jennings - Motorsport.com Watkins Glen, NY - There's no doubt about it, Ron Fellows is the master of Watkins Glen International. Fellows, fresh off a GTS-class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the Corvette C5-R, led 35 laps of the ...
By Patrick Jennings - Motorsport.com
Watkins Glen, NY - There's no doubt about it, Ron Fellows is the master of Watkins Glen International. Fellows, fresh off a GTS-class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the Corvette C5-R, led 35 laps of the 82-lap GNC Live Well 200 to record his third Busch Grand National Series victory at the Glen in the last four years. In doing so, Fellows crossed the finish line 2.427 seconds ahead of Busch Series title contender Greg Biffle. Since 1997, the Canadian road-racing ace has amassed five wins and eight top-five finishes at the historic 2.45-mile road course in 13 NASCAR starts.
"I've won a couple of Trans-Am races here, three Busch races, a couple of truck races, if we can add a [Winston] Cup win, I think I could retire," Fellows stated. "I love this place; always have. It's similar to Mosport and Mount Treblant. It makes for great racing. It was a tough, tough race all day today. We've made a pretty good living here."
Scott Pruett led the 39-car field to the green flag, but his tenuous hold on the lead evaporated four laps into the event when a hard-charging Greg Biffle wrestled the lead from him on lap 5. Biffle's lead was short-lived however, as Pruett regained the lead two laps later. Subsequently, Pruett and Fellows exchanged the lead several times over the course of the next 10 laps. For the next 20 laps, Pruett dropped back through the field as Fellows, Biffle, and Robby Gordon continued to run in the top-10. These three drivers waged a three-way battle for the lead until lap 52 when Biffle effectively took Gordon out the running for the win when he tapped him from behind as Gordon attempted to make his way on to the pit road.
"That caution flag pretty much hurt us," Biffle explained. "We had to come from the back of the pack. We really had to drive hard to get back to the front. I hated for it to happen, it hurt us both. Him spinning out there and brining the caution out."
An additional caution flag for oil on the track two laps later allowed Fellows to regain the lead for good on lap 59. By that time, Fellows faced stiff competition series points leader Kevin Harvick, while Biffle's contact with Gordon dropped him back to tenth position. As Fellows drove away from the field in the last 23 laps, Harvick and Biffle fought it out for second place. Biffle managed to pass Harvick for good on lap 70, but Fellows was untouchable by then.
"We really had to use our stuff up getting back to the front," Biffle stated. "I had to drive it real hard. Once I got up to Ron and Kevin, I really didn't have much left. I could run with Ron for a few laps, but the brakes started going off. I really abused them early trying to keep up with Ron."
But Fellows was quick to acknowledge that the win was not as easy as it appeared. "This is probably the best [win here]. I was physically difficult. I had trouble with my cool box in the car. I was just exhausted at the end of the race."
Biffle's second place finish enabled him to gain 5 points on Harvick in the race for the Busch Series championship. Harvick, who raced in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona last night, was just happy for the weekend to be over. "We had a strategy and we stuck to it," he said. But Harvick was quick to point out that making the jump from a super speedway to a road course was not that easy for him. "The beginning of the race was big transition for me. I was missing shifts and jumping curbs all over the place."
As for Fellows' dominance, Harvick quipped, "I don't know how he does it."
And Harvick was right today, because Fellows was the master of the Glen once more this afternoon. And with his win today, he has accumulated three wins in the Busch Grand National Series and two wins in the Craftsman Truck Series here at the Glen. In addition, he has a total of five pole positions, three in the truck series and two in the Busch Series.