Ron Fellows to Pilot No. 01 at Sonoma
Veteran road course specialist Ron Fellows will pilot the Dale Earnhardt Inc. No. 01 Chevrolet in the Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway on June 22 with a goal of scoring maximum car owner points in the event. Leading rookie-of-the-year candidate Regan Smith will be back in the car the following week at Loudon.
“We’re very proud of the job Regan is doing and our commitment to him has not changed,” said John Story, Dale Earnhardt Inc. vice president of motorsports. “The progress of the No. 01 team has been significant. We have a team around Regan now that communicates well together and we expect to see more of the improvement they’ve already made in the second half of the season.
“Our goal for Regan remains winning the rookie of the year title and building momentum that we hope will carry us into 2009. Ron has a successful history with DEI and he certainly knows his way around Infineon. The opportunity to capitalize on his experience and abilities against some of the other road course experts is our objective.”
‘I’m confident in my abilities on a road course, but it’s hard to question the success Ron has had around the world in road racing,” said Smith. “Obviously you always want to be in the race car, but I see the big picture and understand the common goal here. Ron is one of the best road course racers in the business and is clearly in a different class than all but a few who will be racing at Infineon.
“Not only can he help us secure a solid finish in the race, but there is a great deal that we can learn from his expertise that we can use across the board as a company. I will be there at the race and I’ll be the team’s No. 1 supporter all weekend. After that my focus will be back on getting the best finish we can the next week at New Hampshire and going forward.”
Fellows, who ran road courses for Dale Earnhardt Inc. in 2003-04, boasts 17 Cup starts in his career, with the majority coming on road courses. He finished second at Watkins Glen in 2004 and seventh in 2003 at Infineon, both in the DEI No. 1 car. The specialist ran both road courses last season, finishing inside the top 15 in both outings, including a fourth-place finish at Watkins Glen.
Included as part of his esteemed career in road racing, Fellows boasts three wins in 12 starts in the Nationwide Series and two wins in the Craftsman Truck Series.
Smith and the No. 01 team have shown significant progress in the past few races. He posted a season-high qualifying effort at Pocono last weekend (4th), en route to a 28th-place finish. He finished 21st in the team’s debut with new crew chief Dan Stillman two weeks ago at Dover and 19th the previous week at Charlotte.