Fellows and Ruhlman take on the hills of Infineon Raceway in the #40 Preformed Line Products Daytona Prototype
Sonoma, Calif.(Aug. 28, 2006) – Ron Fellows and Randy Ruhlman took on the hilly road course at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California on Saturday, August 26th against a full field of 26 Daytona Prototype and 14 GT cars. The #40 Preformed Line Products Pontiac Riley ended the day in fourteenth, after losing a lap early after they were forced to pit a second time to retighten the driver safety harnesses. With twelve cars managing to stay on the lead lap of the 99-lap, 250-mile race, the fourteenth place finish was a disappointing, but respectable, showing for the Derhaag Motorsports Daytona Prototype at the 2.52-mile Infineon Raceway.
The #40 Preformed Line Products car was able to move up from the twenty-first starting spot, but it proved to be a difficult task for both drivers. Randy Ruhlman brought the car through traffic after a good start, and began the move forward in the opening laps of the race. But, the car quickly began to loose its grip on the track, making progress slow. Fellows took over at the first pit stop and, while he too had a fast early stint in the car, he encountered the same handling difficulties with the car.
Immediately after the pit stop, Fellows had his hands full trying to keep from being overtaken by the leaders. The first pit stop sent him out with loose and tangled safety harnesses, and he was forced to come back in to have them tightened while still under caution. The team did an excellent job of fixing the problem and getting the car back out before the pace car came around. Unfortunately before Fellows had any chance to catch up to the field, the green flag came back out and the leaders were quickly challenging to put the #40 car a lap down. Fellows held them off for numerous laps, but eventually the car lost its only lap of the race. With twelve cars on the lead lap the chances of making it into the top ten became slim and the car finished immediately behind the #60 MSR car of Oswaldo Negri and the #39 Crown Royal car of Fittipaldi and Cheever.
"We've been fighting this car all weekend. Infineon is a really difficult track. The conditions change dramatically here from session to session depending on the sun and temperature, so getting a good read and set up is always hard. The car felt great in the opening laps of the race, but it just deteriorate pretty fast for me. As it got a bit cooler and later in the race, it might have been a bit better for Ron for awhile, but overall neither of us was happy with the handling on the long runs," said Ruhlman after the race.
For this weekend's Grand American race, both Fellows and Ruhlman brought a wealth of experience to the road course at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California. Fellows and Ruhlman both ran sedans in the Trans-Am Series at the track, while Fellows recently competed here in June at the NEXTEL Cup Dodge/SaveMart 350, as well as in American LeMans. Randy Ruhlman began his driving career here and has extensive experience and numerous sedan victories at Infineon Raceway.
Fellows is recognized the world over as one of road racing’s most accomplished and talented drivers. A factory Chevrolet driver, Fellows is currently a Championship favorite in the American LeMans Series GTS Corvette. An overall winner at the Daytona24 and at the 24 Hours of LeMans, the Canadian driver has wins in Trans-Am and ALMS, as well as NASCAR Busch and Craftsman Truck series. Ron is a regular driver in NASCAR, in both the BUSCH and NEXTEL Cup Series on the road courses, and recently ran Watkins Glen and Infineon in the NEXTEL Cup Series.
Ruhlman was named the 2005 BBS "Most Improved Driver of the Year", won the 2005 Cleveland Grand Prix Trans-Am race and Long Beach Grand Prix, and was runner up for the 2005 Trans-Am Drivers' Championship. Ruhlman makes the record books as fourth in Top Ten finishes in Trans-Am history. Ruhlman from Greensboro, NC has been a professional race car driver since his Rookie year in Trans-Am in 1990 and has extensive racing experience, predominantly in road racing in the Trans-Am Series, as well as in IMSA, ASA and the NASCAR short track series.
The teams head immediately to the Salt Lake City, Utah area and the final race of the 2006 season. The Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve Discount Tire Sunchaser at Miller Motorsports Park gets underway on Saturday, September 2nd at noon MT for a nine-hour race. Ruhlman will be paired up with his co-driver from Watkins Glen, Paul Dallenbach, and Rolex 24 At Daytona and Homestead co-driver Justin Bell. That race begins at noon MT on Saturday, September 2nd and will be broadcast LIVE on SPEED.
The Derhaag Motorsports Pontiac Riley carries primary sponsorship from Preformed Line Products with additional sponsorship logos of Coyote Closures®, Park Place Ltd, KeyBank and McDonald Financial Group.
Preformed Line Products (PLP) is an international manufacturer and supplier of hardware and support systems for the communications and energy industries. Products include the COYOTE® Closure and GUY-GRIP® Dead-End used in the telecommunications, cable and energy industries. Manufacturing facilities are located worldwide in the USA, Canada, China, Brazil, Mexico, England, Spain, South Africa, Australia and Thailand.
Cleveland-based KeyCorp is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $92 billion. Key companies provide investment management, retail and commercial banking, consumer finance, and investment banking products and services to individuals and companies throughout the United States and, for certain businesses, internationally.
McDonald Financial Group offers comprehensive financial services to affluent individuals from 87 offices in 15 states. As part of Cleveland-based KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY), McDonald Financial Group combines the capabilities of McDonald Investments Inc.'s Private Client Group, member NASD/NYSE/SIPC, and Key PrivateBank. McDonald Financial Group offers banking, estate planning, financial planning, retirement planning, brokerage, trust, individual asset management, insurance advice and services, and charitable giving counsel.
For further information about the drivers, sponsor, team, please visit the following links:
Derhaag Motorsports http://www.derhaag.com/
Randy Ruhlman http://www.randyruhlman.com//
Ron Fellows http://www.ronfellows.com
Preformed Line Products http://www.preformed.com/
McDonald Financial Group http://www.key.com/mfg