Archive for Sunday, August 3, 2008

Fellows snares win in Nationwide race

August 3, 2008


— Carl Edwards used a squeegee to clean his windshield while he drove under caution. Jacques Villeneuve and Joey Logano wrecked with the yellow flag flying. And rooster tails flew off the grooved - yes, grooved - back tires.

It certainly was a history-making day at rainy Circuit Gilles Villeneuve - right down to the winner, Canadian road-racer Ron Fellows.

In the first NASCAR points race run on grooved rain tires, Fellows splashed his way to victory - his fourth road-race win in 13 Nationwide Series starts - in the event that ended 26 laps early because of heavy rain and poor visibility.

"Visibility was the big, big problem," said Fellows, the first Canadian winner in a major NASCAR race in Canada. "At over 70 mph, there was just so much spray."

The 48-year-old Ontario driver took advantage of Marcos Ambrose's pit-road speeding penalty to take the lead, and had about a half-minute advantage over fellow Canadian Patrick Carpentier when the NAPA Auto Parts 200 was red-flagged.

"It's very dangerous," Fellows said minutes before the race was called.

After just eight laps on the 2.71-mile, 14-turn road course, rain and lightning forced an eight-minute delay. The cars returned to the track with the grooved Goodyear tires and many also had a single windshield wiper.

"This is ridiculous," early leader Scott Pruett said over his radio.

Grooved tires also were used in 1999 during a Craftsman Truck Series practice on the road course at Watkins Glen. In 1997, rain tires were used in practice and qualifying for an exhibition race in Japan.


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