Familiar road for Fellows

DEAN MCNULTY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:18 AM ET

Fresh from a second-place finish in the GT class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Ron Fellows heads to Sonoma, Calif., today to prepare for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Toyota Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway.

The Toronto native will be back with some familiar faces as he drives the No. 01 Principal Financial Group Chevrolet for Dale Earnhardt Inc.

Fellows last hooked up with DEI at Infineon in 2003 when he took the then No. 1 Chevrolet to a seventh-place finish and followed that up the next season with a second-place showing in the same car at Watkins Glen.

"Ron has a successful history with DEI and he certainly knows his way around Infineon," DEI motorsports boss John Story said.

Fellows is also scheduled to drive the No. 5 JR Motorsports Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nationwide series race in Montreal on Aug. 2. That car, coincidentally, is owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr.

TRACY STILL TRYING

Paul Tracy is ramping up his efforts to land a racing job this season and he is hoping a live appearance on ESPN's NASCAR Now tonight will fuel his progress.

Tracy hasn't driven a race car in competition this season since his swan song with Forsythe Championship Racing in April at the Grand Prix of Long Beach.

He tested recently with the No. 30 Germain Racing Craftsman Truck team at Chicagoland Speedway where his lap times were only a few tenths off of series champion Todd Bodine.

Tracy is also rumoured to be close to coming to terms with a sponsorship deal that would see him race in the Indy Racing League at the Rexall Edmonton Indy in July for Derrick Walker Racing.

EARNHARDT FURORE

Let the conspiracy theories begin. In the aftermath of Earnhardt's win last weekend at Michigan International Speedway, more than one Sprint Cup driver went crying to race officials claiming the No. 88 car was given special treatment to keep it from running out of gas.

The contention is that Earnhardt was allowed to pass the pace car under yellow, giving him enough momentum to coast to victory. Matt Kenseth, who finished third in the No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, was livid.

"I just didn't know you could pass the pace car," he said. NASCAR does not allow anyone to pass the pace car during a caution, but Earnhardt was allowed to pull in front of the pace car at least twice to save fuel.

NASCAR officials finally issued him a warning after the damage had been done.

Even Earnhardt was aware his move might have been against the rules. "I got a little greedy," he said. "I can understand how it looked. But I got the trophy; I got the points."

TAGLIANI LOOKS AHEAD

For his first time in a stock car on a road course, it didn't take long for Montreal's Alex Tagliani to show he hasn't forgotten what it takes to run up front.

Tagliani had the No. 7 Dave Jacombs Racing Wal-Mart Ford in contention for a win at Mosport International Raceway on Sunday until the rain ruined a perfectly good NASCAR Canadian Tire Series race.

But his performance certainly boosts his chances at securing a ride when NASCAR's Nationwide series is in Montreal. Tagliani is banking that a good performance at Montreal will put him on a career path similar to his old Champ Car World Series pal Patrick Carpentier, who turned a second-place finish there in 2007 into a full time Sprint Cup ride this season.

FINISH LINES

Creepiest news of the week in the world of racing was the wedding of Formula One Renault boss Flavio Briatore to Italian pin-up girl Elisabetta Gregoraci. The 28-year-old Gregoraci has been a fixture at the side of the 58-year-old Briatore this season ... Word this week is that Jacques Villeneuve is close to inking a deal to race in Montreal in the Nationwide series.


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