Sports car racing legend and one of Canada’s most recognizable drivers, Ron Fellows, has long been regarded as one of the best – if not the best – of the NASCAR “road race ringers.”
But unfortunately, barring any last-minute adjustments, we won’t be seeing the 54-year-old Fellows at either Sonoma Raceway (NASCAR Sprint Cup) or Road America (NASCAR Nationwide Series) this weekend.
On the Cup side, Fellows’ place in the No. 33 Circle Sport Racing Chevrolet that he had last year will be taken by Alex Kennedy. Meanwhile, his JR Motorsports Nationwide deal is a no-go for 2014 because of a sponsor conflict.
“I’m heavily involved with Canadian Tire, and JRM has NAPA this year (for Chase Elliott, who, incidentally, won the first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last year), so it doesn’t work,” Fellows told MotorSportsTalk at Le Mans this week. “It’s unfortunate, but that’s the way it is.”
He has three top-five and five top-10 finishes in 25 career Cup starts; he also has four Nationwide Series wins in 25 starts. He didn’t start a Cup race in 2012 but started at least one every year from 1998 through 2011; he’s also raced in the Nationwide Series at least once per year every year since 2005.
Fellows still remains heavily involved with Corvette Racing as a brand ambassador, having been an integral part of the team’s success at Le Mans and in North American sports car racing for a decade.
He’s also part of the ownership group at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, outside Toronto. Fellows, Carlo Fidani and Al Boughton took over the track a couple years ago.
Preparations are well underway for CTMP’s IMSA (July 10-13) and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (August 29-31) race weekends.
Fellows now has shifted from the driver side to the promoter side rather well.
“A lot of it is working with sponsors, and trying to enhance their experience,” Fellows explained. “As a race fan and as a kid, you’re always searching for where you want to watch and what’s important to be able to see. There are some things we’ve done have been done to improve viewing areas. Now having the outfield side of Turn 1 for corporate hosting available too has enhanced the overall experience.”