FELLOWS MAKES IT TWO-STRAIGHT ON THE STREETS OF DALLAS; FORD CLINCHES MANUFACTURERS' TITLE DALLAS, Texas -- Ron Fellows used patience and took advantage of Tom Kendall and Dorsey Schroeder's hard luck to take a 11.509-second Trans-Am win over...
FELLOWS MAKES IT TWO-STRAIGHT ON THE STREETS OF DALLAS; FORD CLINCHES MANUFACTURERS' TITLE
DALLAS, Texas -- Ron Fellows used patience and took advantage of Tom Kendall and Dorsey Schroeder's hard luck to take a 11.509-second Trans-Am win over Kendall on the Reunion Arena street circuit, his second-straight Dallas victory, dating back to 1994.
Kendall's second-place finish gave Ford a 103 to 94 lead over Chevrolet in the Manufacturers' Championship point standings, clinching Ford's sixth Trans-Am Manufacturers' title with one race to go in the 1996 season.
Fellows, driving the #3 Sunoco/AER Manufacturing Chevrolet Camaro, started first after qualifying fifth-fastest, but fell back to second, behind Boris Said, on lap three. Moments after Said made his move for the lead, Schroeder dove under Paul Gentilozzi for third place at turn seven of the nine-turn, 1.3 temporary circuit. As Schroeder made his pass, Kendall, running in fifth, went to the inside of the corner to follow Schroeder, but was hit by his teammate Jon Gooding, spinning Kendall and bringing out the first of three full-course cautions.
"After the spin, I really had to put my head down and go to work," said Kendall. The car wasn't quite right--the steering wheel was off--but it was good enough today. I went through a whole career's worth of emotions during this race."
Once the race resumed, Schroeder, in the #12 Raybestos Ford Mustang Cobra, quickly made it past Fellows for second while Said, in the #14 Grainger Mustang Cobra, began pulling away in first, using his softer tires to full advantage.
As Said, Schroeder and Fellows pulled away from the field, Kendall made his way back through the pack, moving up to fourth, nearly half a lap behind, on lap 39 of the 77- lap, 100.1-mile race.
On lap 52, Schroeder's second-place run came to an abrupt end as he went wide trying to pass lapped traffic, sliding in the "marbles" and smacking the wall at turn four, ending his day in 16th with a broken right-rear suspension.
Five laps later, Said's tires began to fade while Fellows, with harder-compound rear tires, made his charge and took over a lead he would carry to the end. Kendall, in the #11 All Sport Body Quencher Ford Mustang Cobra, caught up to his Said and passed with three laps to go, finishing second while Said finish third, his third-consecutive podium finish.
"This is a tight, tough track--the most difficult street circuit we run on all year," said Fellows. "With the 600s (harder compound tires) on the back I was all arms and elbows during the first half of the race. I feel bad for Dorsey, but we've been there before. I'm just happy to be here (in winners' circle) again."
Finishing a career-high fourth to earn the DynoMax Turn On The Power Award was Jon Gooding, in the #16 Mountain Dew Mustang Cobra, followed by Jamie Galles, in the #2 ICI/Glidden Chevrolet Camaro.
Max Lagod, in the #83 Hypermax Camaro, finished eighth to earn the Raybestos Rising Star of the Race Award and Bob Ruman, in the #23 Cenweld Camaro, finished 12th from a 19th-place start to earn the Optima Batteries Quick Charger Award.
After 13 of 14 races complete of the 30th anniversary 1996 Trans-Am Championship, Kendall leads the Drivers' Championship point standings with 352, with Schroeder the only other driver in contention at 336. Fellows' win moves the Canadian up to third, with 252 points, followed by Galles, 247; Scott Sharp, 243; Brian Simo, 239; Greg Pickett, 234; Said, 227; Bill Saunders, 218; and Gooding, 208.
The Trans-Am concludes the year on the streets of Reno for the Reno Grand Prix at the Reno Hilton, Presented by MegaBucks, September 22.