Ron Fellows Wins Lysol 200
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (AP) _ Ron Fellows, making just his second start in the NASCAR Busch Series, captured the Lysol 200 at Watkins Glen International on Sunday.
Fellows qualified second, but found himself in the lead seconds after the green flag when polesitter Boris Said spun off course and slapped the guardrail in Turn 1.
From then on, with very few exceptions, the race was Fellows’ to lose, and he led four times for 54 of the race’s 82 laps.
``I love this place,″ said Fellows, who also won last year’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on Watkins Glen’s 2.45 miles of twisting turns. ``I’ve been saying it for a while, but this is the kind of track they just don’t build any more. I wish they did.
``It’s just a terrific road course. Anybody can go fast in a straight line. Fast corners are where it’s at.″
Fellows was timed in 2 hours, 51 minutes, 45 seconds for an average speed of 70.183 mph. There were eight lead changes among five drivers.
Mike Cope spun in the backstretch inner loop to bring out the first caution flag of the day, on the 27th lap. When several drivers elected not to pit with the rest of the lead pack, Fellows had dropped to 10th when the race was restarted at lap 31.
Eight laps later, Fellows passed Matt Kenseth to retake the lead. Only Dale Earnhardt Jr. passed Fellows for the lead on the race track, doing so going into the backstretch inner loop on lap 64.
``He (Earnhardt) was obviously very good,″ Fellows said. ``We were in the conserve mode as well. I wanted to see what he had, and he was plenty strong. We were concerned about tires, so there really wasn’t any point in going any faster than we needed to.
``He got a good jump going down the backstraight and got the lead for a few laps. Fortunately, we were able to get back by him again.″
Fellows was back in front when Scott Lagasse spun in the inner loop to bring out the yellow flag on lap 78. The quickie caution ended two laps later, just before Earnhardt went wide into the grass in Turn 1.
Mike McLaughlin finished in second place, with Ashton Lewis, who started next to last in 42nd, finishing third.
David Green and Mike Dillon took fourth and fifth, respectively. Jack Sprague, Tim Fedewa, Earnhardt, Ricky Craven and Jason Keller rounded out the top 10.
McLaughlin’s effort allowed him to take a 53-point chunk out of Kenseth’s lead in the NASCAR Busch Series standings. Kenseth finished 17th after spinning in the inner loop at lap 69 while running sixth, and he’s now just 20 points in front of McLaughlin.
``The cautions helped us, because the car seemed to be better on the shorter runs,″ McLaughlin said in referring to the event’s record eight yellow flags. ``I’m happy, and everybody worked hard today. There are so many good race teams out there that I don’t think anybody’s going to run away with the points lead.″