JR MOTORSPORTS TEAM PREVIEW
No. 88 TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet / No. 7 AER Manufacturing Chevrolet
EVENT – Bucyrus 200 (50 laps / 202.4 miles)
TRACK – Road America (4.048-mile 14-turn road course)
DATE – Saturday, June 25, 2011
TV / RADIO – ESPN (coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. EST) / MRN (broadcast begins at 5 p.m. EST)
No. 88 TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet
“This is going to be my first trip to Road America and I’m excited to see what it has in store for our TaxSlayer team. I’ll be honest, road racing certainly isn’t my specialty. But I think it’s going to be a good learning experience for me. Plus, I’ve got one of the most talented road racers as a teammate in Ron Fellows. He’s a great guy, and he’s always willing to help out and share techniques with me.
“The three road races on our schedule could become game changers when it comes to the Nationwide Series championship. It may be a feast or famine type scenario with the Nationwide regulars. Most of us don’t have a lot of experience road racing, so it could get interesting. My goal is to start by keeping our TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet on the course. It sounds easy enough, but it can be extremely difficult. It’s important to get your braking done in a straight line before you enter the corner and be able to roll through the corners with enough speed. It’s easy to overdrive the corner and just as easy to underdrive it, too. It’s a delicate balance.”
No. 7 AER Manufacturing Chevrolet
“Road America is one of my favorite road courses. It’s long and fast, and great for racers. And the setting, in amongst lots of trees and rolling hills, is typical of a few great tracks built in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Watkins Glen (International) and Mosport (International Raceway) come to mind as similar tracks.
“I have really enjoyed driving for JR Motorsports. It’s a privilege to be back with AER Manufacturing as well. They’ve been a phenomenal supporter of my racing over the years. There are great people on this 7 team and there has always been a strong sense of family at JRM. I like that. Although this is my fourth season with the organization and we’ve only done six races together, I think we have some pretty good results to show for it.
“When we finished second at Road America last year, we all felt pretty fortunate to have finished with clean fenders. It was all about survival in the closing laps. We had a strong car, but needed a little something extra to have a chance to win. We’ve talked about what we need to better this time around and will give it our best shot come Saturday.”
JR MOTORSPORTS NOTEBOOK –
FELLOWS REUNITES WITH TEAM JRM – Ron Fellows, a native of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, reunites with JR Motorsports for this weekend’s Bucyrus 200 at Road America. Known for his road-course talents, Fellows drove to a runner-up finish in this event last year with JRM. He owns six career starts with the organization, earning one win (Montreal ’08), three top-fives and four top-10 finishes. Fellows has piloted the No. 5 and No. 88 Chevrolets in previous races, but this marks his first time driving the No. 7.
DEBUT FOR ALMIROLA – Aric Almirola will see action for the first time at the massive four-mile road course in Elkhart Lake, Wis. this weekend. Although he owns over 160 starts between NASCAR’s top-three series, Almirola has only competed in two road course races through his career (NNS at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve ’07 and NSCS at Watkins Glen International ’08).
AER MANUFACTURING RETURNS – AER Manufacturing, a world leader in the engine remanufacturing industry for more than 60 years, will serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 7 Chevrolet this weekend. The company has been a supporter of Fellows for 22 years in the Trans Am Series, NASCAR and the American Le Mans Series. Fellows drove an AER Manufacturing branded JRM Chevrolet at Road America in 2010.
TEAM JRM AT ROAD AMERICA – JR Motorsports scored a top-five and two top-10 finishes in last year’s race at Road America. Ron Fellows drove the No. 88 Chevrolet to a second-place showing, with fellow Canadian J.R. Fitzpatrick racing his way to a seventh-place finish in the No. 7 Chevrolet.
FELLOWS IN NNS – Fellows’ Nationwide Series history goes back 14 years to 1997. In his 18 career races, he scored four wins, eight top-five, and 10 top-10 finishes. Fellows earned two poles, led 200 laps, and had an average finish of 16.3 with an average start of 8.1.
NO. 88 SEASON STATS -The No. 88 team owns one top-five, seven top-10 and 12 top-15 finishes this season. Almirola is currently ranked fifth in the championship driver points (-54). The No. 88 team is 11th in owner points.
NO. 7 SEASON STATS – The No. 7 team holds one top-five, five top-10 and eight top-15 finishes in 2011. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Danica Patrick and Josh Wise have shared driving duties in the No. 7 Chevrolet throughout the year, each scoring a top-10 finish. The team occupies 14th position in owner points.
JACK-OF-ALL-TRADES – A longtime sports car and road-racing veteran, Fellows is credited with three class championships in the American Le Mans Series, two class wins in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and 19 overall victories in the Sports Car Club of America’s Trans-Am Series as a member of the Corvette Racing Team. His NASCAR credentials include six overall wins (two in the Camping World Truck Series), and two runner-up finishes in Sprint Cup competition.
JRM AUTOGRAPH SIGNING – Almirola and Fellows will attend an autograph signing at the JR Nation merchandise hauler in the fan concourse area on Saturday, June 25, from 11:30 a.m. – 12 noon CST.
WIN DALE JR.’S RIDE – There is still time to win the keys to Dale Jr.’s Camaro. The Dale Jr. Foundation is giving fans the chance to win one of three prizes with the purchase of a $25 raffle ticket, including a shot at Earnhardt Jr.’s own 2011 Chevrolet Camaro. The contest will run through Sept. 1, 2011, with all proceeds benefitting The Dale Jr. Foundation. For complete details visit http://www.windalejrsride.com/ www.windalejrsride.com.
WATCH THE “JRM 360” VIDEO SERIES – In a continued effort to be at the forefront of web-based content through its website https://exchange.dalejr.com/owa/redir.aspx?C=73a5c020d25f48758ee817c3c4f816 72&URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.jrmracing.com> www.jrmracing.com, the team has added a video series entitled “JRM 360”. It’s a light-hearted look at the inner workings and extraordinary personalities at JRM’s shop in Mooresville, N.C. A daily briefing column that gives fans the scoop on day-to-day activities at the shop is also part of the line-up this season.