One is known worldwide for his road-racing prowess. The other has raced in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series but is still looking for a full-time ride.
Ron Fellows, who won the Montreal race two years ago with JRM, will drive the No. 88 car while J.R. Fitzpatrick will drive the No. 7.
“Montreal is a great event, not only for the Quebec-based fans, but for the teams, too,” said Fellows, a Toronto native who has four career Nationwide victories and two NASCAR Truck Series wins, all on road courses. “It’s such a change of pace from what we typically deal with.
“Most of the tracks we visit in the states aren’t in the middle of the city like Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. So it’s definitely a unique weekend.”
Fellows finished second in the NASCAR road race at Road America and sixth in the Nationwide race at Watkins Glen earlier this year driving for JRM. He will have sponsorship from Canadian Tire in Montreal.
“As far as the track goes, you need the best of both worlds – you need good brakes and a lot of power,” Fellows said. “The track has some very long straightaways followed by high-braking corners. … [We] will need a lot of horsepower to get off the corners and onto the straights with speed, but we’ll have to have a good brake package in order to get slowed down enough to make those sharp corners.
“It’s a fast, fun track and you get to do a lot of shifting.”
His teammate is also a previous winner at Montreal – Fitzpatrick won the 2009 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series race at the track. Fitzpatrick, who is from Cambridge and won the CASCAR title in 2006 in the series’ final year before NASCAR took over that circuit, leads the current Canadian Tire Series standings.
Fitzpatrick – who finished fourth in the 2009 truck race at Daytona and drove truck races for TRG Motorsports, Kevin Harvick Inc. and Brad Keselowski Racing – will run a doubleheader Sunday as he will try to increase his points lead in the Canadian Tire Series event in the morning prior to the Nationwide event in the afternoon.
“Running the Canadian Tire Series race on Sunday morning before the Nationwide race is a good thing,” Fitzpatrick said. “Not only have we been running great in that series, but as a driver any time you can get more laps at a track you’re going to take advantage of it.
“Plus, we’re running full time in that series and have the championship points lead right now. It’s a thrill to have the potential to win that race and the Nationwide Series race. I’m really looking forward to that chance.”
This will be Fitzpatrick’s third start with JRM. He finished seventh in the road races at Road America and 11th at Watkins Glen. He will have sponsorship from Schick.
“It’s been a good experience for me to work with [crew chief] Tony Eury Jr. and all the guys. … We’ve had one top-10 effort in my two races with the team, but now I want to go out there and get a top-five run at Montreal,” Fitzpatrick said. “I know we’re a good enough team to do it. We just need to stay focused and stay out of trouble, which at Montreal can be a tough thing to do. Sometimes trouble just seems to find you there.”
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