Thursday, August 16, 2012

@JRMotorsports in Montreal for NASCAR

It's a stock car weekend with @DanicaPatrick at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve racetrack for the NASCAR Nationwide NAPA Auto Parts 200 on Saturday August 18, 2012. Joining Danica from the JRM stable is Canadian racing legend Ron Fellows and Cole Whitt. Also on the weekend slate of races is the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series NAPA AUTOPRO 100 race.

Ron Fellows won the 2008 NASCAR race in Montreal - becoming the first Canadian to win a NASCAR event in Canada. He has also finished twice in the top-five in previous Montreal races on the 2.71 mile, 14 turn road course.

I really missed Danica Patrick at the last Honda Indy Toronto race (photo at top). She made the move to a full time ride with NASCAR for the 2012 season and GO Daddy has continued with her sponsorship, as well as picking up Canadian driver James Hinchliffe who took over her car in IndyCar. Car problems in 2011 left Danica in 24th position.

Danica drives the Chevrolet and talks about Ron Fellows “It’s been great working with Ron as a teammate. He has been nice to me from the start. I have a lot of respect for him, and I feel like I get the same in return. He is very generous with information when I ask him questions. It’s always nice to have somebody on the team with such a great amount of experience. When I feel something on the track, I’m not always sure of it, especially at this point in time running road courses in these cars. It’s good to be able to have Ron’s terminology and experience to lean on with that.”

Ron Fellows in the Canadian Tire Chevrolet said of the race in Quebec “It’s always interesting going from Watkins Glen to Montreal in the span of a week. Yes, they’re both road courses, but it’s a night-and-day difference one week apart. The minimum corner speed at The Glen is upwards of one of the fastest corners in Montreal. They’re just very different tracks. Montreal is heavy braking from high speed for slow 45 mile-an-hour chicanes. It’s also a very different setup. At Montreal, low speed to aero is not much of a factor like at Watkins Glen. It's more about mechanical grip, and that means getting as much load into the tire."

And Cole Whitt of the TaxSlayer Chevrolet says “Montreal should be fun. This will be my first trip up there, and all the guys have been telling me what a great city it is, and what a great venue it is. It’s definitely not like a normal race weekend for us, being right there in the city and everything."
The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series driver and Quebec fan favourite Andrew Ranger is almost a no-brainer for winner of the AUTOPRO 100, pictured above with a victory flag. He already has won three races at the track, including the last two years. JR Fitzpatrick and Kerry Micks are also in contention for the top spots. One of my favourite drivers - Scott Steckley has a harder time on the road courses but I hope he can pull off a win at the track this year.

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