Fellows disagrees with ruling

Reed Sorenson (No. 32) and Ron Fellows (No. 7) cross the finish line under a checkered-yellow flag...

Reed Sorenson (No. 32) and Ron Fellows (No. 7) cross the finish line under a checkered-yellow flag at the NASCAR Nationwide series Bucyrus 200 at Road America on Saturday in Elkhart Lake, Wisc. (AFP)

DEAN McNULTY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:25 PM ET

TORONTO - It was — by far — the most entertaining race of the weekend — and nearly 48 hours later Ron Fellows still can’t understand how he lost the NASCAR Nationwide Series Bucyrus 200 at Road America.

This country’s most accomplished road course racer finished second behind winner Reed Sorenson after NASCAR officials ruled Fellows had passed the No. 32 Chevrolet under yellow flag conditions on the final of three green, white, checkers re-starts.

It was the second consecutive year that Fellows had to settle for runner-up status driving the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet at the legendary Elkhart Lake, Wis., road circuit.

But Fellows said he didn’t see the yellow flag until after he had passed Sorenson.

“The first (yellow) flag I saw was beyond the bridge coming out of Turn 3,” he said.

In fact, he was convinced that Sorenson had run out of gas, just like the previous leader Michael McDowell had earlier on the same lap.

“So on the way to (Turn 3) the No. 32 was out of fuel so I went past him,” Fellows said. “Then I heard (over the car radio) there was a caution and I saw a yellow flag on driver’s left.”

He said he then pulled in behind the pace car at the next corner.

“The pace car was at the kink and I just pulled in behind him,” Fellows said.

So why was it that Fellows thought Sorenson was out of fuel? Well, it was because the No. 32 driver was showing all the classic signs of being out of gas.

“(Sorenson) pulled to the left and was doing a bit of a wiggle like everyone does when they are ready to run out of gas,” Fellows said.

In the immediate aftermath of the finish NASCAR appeared to declare Fellows the winner, but only a minute later, reversed the decision and awarded the win to Sorenson.

“I don’t agree with the ruling but it is what it is,” Fellows said.

Trying hard to keep his emotions in check, Fellows said that all he could do was accept the fact that NASCAR made a ruling it thought was right.

“I am obviously disappointed at the result,” he said. “We had plenty of fuel and the two cars in front of us ran out.

“At the end of the day NASCAR is entertaining. You don’t have to like it sometimes but it is entertaining.”

Fellows said that while he still hasn’t been given a satisfactory explanation for the decision to hand the win to Sorenson, he was satisfied with his own performance in his first race in almost a year.

“We are still looking for a full interpretation (of the ruling),” he said. “But at the end of the day, not having raced since last August (in the Nationwide NAPA 200 at Montreal) I guess it is not a bad day after all.”

Fellows admitted that the set-up on the Dale Earnhardt-owned No. 7 Chevrolet was such that on the crucial final re-starts he was a sitting duck, easily passed until he finally found some grip on his rear tires.

“We got ourselves in a little bit of trouble anyway on those final re-starts,” he said. “For whatever reason I just couldn’t get any forward traction compared to those guys around me and I tried everything from short shifting to less throttle and we were just a sitting duck.”

Without those hiccups, Fellows was convinced he would not of even had to deal with the yellow-flag incident.

“That was costing us track position all the way to Turn 3 on every re-start,” he said.

Starting on the outside of Row 1 also didn’t help his cause.

“Quite frankly being on the outside (on re-starts) sucks, but that is the way it is,” Fellows said.

Finish lines

Seven time world champion Michael Schumacher rarely makes a mistake on the race track and when he does it is even rarer for him to admit to it. But Sunday at the European Grand Prix at Valencia, Schumacher fessed up to being in the wrong in a crash involving Renault driver Vitaly Petrov. Schumacher said: “I saw Petrov quite late, even though I was aware that he was coming, and tried to brake as late as possible and go round the corner with him. But I locked the front wheel and slipped into him, which was clearly my mistake.

Jacques feels bad

Jacques Villeneuve says he’s sorry.

The one-time Formula One world champion finished third in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series Bucyrus 200 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., but not before taking out contenders Brian Scott and Max Papis on the first of three green-white-checkers re-starts.

Villeneuve attempted to pass a number of cars using the inside line at pit-road exit but before he could complete the task he ran out of track.

“I’m sorry for those guys,” he said of Papis and Scott. “I didn’t want to make them angry or anything.”

Villeneuve then admitted that maybe it was — sort of — on purpose.

“You’re racing. You don’t do it on purpose,” he said. “Well, sometimes you do it on purpose.”

He described what happened from his view from inside the No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge.

“When I put two wheels in the grass there, I really didn’t want to be there,” he said. “When I pulled out from behind the 11 (Scott), that’s when I realized the track was suddenly narrowing, but everybody started braking at the same place and I couldn’t get back in line.”

Villeneuve explained that everything happened so fast all he could do was hope Scott would move out of the way. Unfortunately for Scott and Papis there was no room to move anywhere at that point.

Villeneuve ended up behind race winner Reed Sorenson and Toronto’s Ron Fellows.

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NASCAR Sprint Cup

Kurt Busch won his first race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season Sunday dominating the Save Mart 350 at the Infineon Raceway road course in northern California.

The No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge didn’t have a mark on it at the end of a race that was filled with beating and banging among championship contenders.

Jeff Gordon finished second with points leader Carl Edwards third.

Formula One

Reigning Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel put his loss at the Canadian Grand Prix in his rear view mirror Sunday by resuming his domination of the 2011 at the European Grand Prix in Valencia.

By winning in a wire-to-wire effort Vettel further cemented his chances to repeat the championship for Red Bull.

He was only challenged early by the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso but ended up beating the home town favourite by a whopping 10.8 seconds.

Mark Webber finished third in the second Red Bull car with Lewis Hamilton fourth for McLaren and Felipe Massa rounding out the top five in a Ferrari

IZOD IndyCar Series

Marco Andretti passed Tony Kanaan on Lap 232 to win the Iowa Corn Indy 250 at Iowa Speedway Saturday — his first victory in five seasons.

“We had some good racing with T.K.,” Andretti said. “It was good fun.”

Scott Dixon finished third with rookie JR Hildebrand fourth and Dario Franchitti, who led the most laps, fifth.

As for the Canadians in the race, Oakville’s James Hinchcliffe finished ninth and Montreal’s Alex Tagliani was 16th.

Next stop for the IndyCar series is July 10 for the Honda Indy Toronto.


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