WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. — Ron Fellows, if he didn’t know before, was taught the definition of irony on Saturday: Being penalized in a NASCAR race for speeding.
Fellows was running in third place in the NASCAR Nationwide Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International behind eventual winner Marcos Ambrose and Kyle Busch when his No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet was caught speeding on pit lane and forced to come in for a drive through penalty that put him back in the middle of the pack of 43 cars.
That he was able to come all the way back to finish sixth is a testament to Fellows’ talent on a road course.
He admitted afterward that he may not have had enough car to challenge Ambrose for the win, however, he would have liked to have the opportunity to try.
Fellows was even more disappointed when he was told by NASCAR officials that he was caught going just above the 35-mile-per-hour speed limit.
“If the transponder had been in the front of the car instead of at the back I would not have been speeding; that’s how close it was,” he said.
But Fellows said he had to give credit to Ambrose — who won his third consecutive Nationwide race at the Glen in the No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota.
Race of his own
“I had nothing for the No. 47 even without the penalty,” he said. “Marcos was in a race of his own.”
Fellows felt, though, that he would have been in tight for a second- or third-place finish without the drive-through penalty.
“We were going to be in that mix for second and third,” he said.
“The penalty cost at least three spots at the end.”
What happened was that by being forced back into the middle of the grid Fellows was forced to be much more aggressive, therefore using up the tires and brakes on his JRM Chevrolet.
By the time he got back within striking distance of the leaders he had nothing left for the challenge.
“We were racing so hard to get back up to the front we used up our tires so I had nothing left when I was fighting with Kyle for fifth place,” he said.
Joey Logano finished second in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota and Kevin Harvick was third in the No. 33 Kevin Harvick Incorporated Chevrolet.