DOUBLE DUTY FOR MISSISSAUGA RACER AT THE GLEN; PEP RALLY PLANNED
Mississauga racing driver Ron Fellows, who also happens to own – with partners – Canada’s most famous racing circuit, Mosport International Raceway, will be doing double duty at Watkins Glen International this weekend.
Fellows will be partnered with five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson on the JR Motorsports team in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race and then on Sunday he will be behind the wheel of the Tommy Baldwin No. 36 Golden Corral Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup race sponsored by New York’s Helluva Good! cheese company.
Since his debut in 1995, Fellows has made 56 starts in NASCAR's top three series and has scored four Nationwide Series and two Truck Series wins. Fellows - whose most famous gig was leading GM's Corvette Racing team to multiple victories in the American Le Mans Series for 10 years - has also finished second twice and recorded five top-10 finishes in his 22 Cup starts.
He calls not winning a Sprint Cup race "unfinished business" and is determined to cross that item off his Bucket List before he retires.
Fellows will also drive for JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series race at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve a week from this Saturday.
This is a bit of a giggle.
A press release from JR Motorsports was sent out to the media last week announcing that Fellows would be sponsored by Canadian Tire for the race at Watkins Glen this weekend and then again at Montreal the following Saturday.
The problem? A full-page Canadian Tire ad in the American Le Mans Series race program at Mosport two weekends ago had already "broken the news."
Here’s something different.
The NASCAR weekend at Watkins Glen, featuring the Sprint Cup and Nationwide cars as well as the Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series, gets under way on Friday with practice for all classes. Racing takes place Saturday in the Nationwide Series at 2 p.m. and the Grand Am Rolex at 6 in the evening. The Cup race goes Sunday.
Now, as everybody knows, Ron Fellows (see above) is running in the Nationwide race for JR Motorsports. His frequent teammate with Dale Jr.’s team is J.R. Fitzpatrick of Cambridge but because Johnson is driving for that team this weekend, Fitpatrick is racing his new ride, the No. 67 GO Canada Racing Ford.
AIM Autosport of Woodbridge has entered its Daytona Prototype in Saturday’s Grand Am Rolex race with Mark Wilkins of Toronto and American Burt Frisselle driving.
Now, the GO Nationwide and the AIM Autosport Grand Am teams will be heading for the border Wednesday but plan to stop off in Fort Erie at 3 West Sports Bar & Grill, 1884 Garrison Rd., for a pep rally between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and all racing fans in the Niagara region (and elsewhere) are invited to stop in.
In addition to the cars and drivers, the Budweiser girls will be there to hand out swag and there will be a barbecue. Funds raised will go to the Lupus Foundation.
The"Go Canada Go" theme is geared to recognize some of the up-and-coming stars of NASCAR who happen to be Canadian. As one of the organizers, Ed Moody, says: "We can’t keep thinking of Jim Bray (the second Canadian to race in the Daytona 500 in 1964) and Earl Ross (the first Canadian to win a NASCAR Winston Cup race in 1974) as our NASCAR stars."
Moody adds that Ron Fellows has a prior commitment but sends his best wishes.
Another Canadian who won’t be in Fort Erie but who will be front-and-centre at the Glen will be Andrew Ranger of Roxton Pond, Que., who will drive the No. 32 car in the Sprint Cup race for Frank Stoddard’s Fas Lane Racing.
It will be Ranger's first Cup start and he will be looking to impress people.
Let’s hope the folks at 3 West include him when they start the Hip, Hip, Hooraying.