Jacques Villeneuve has four top-10s in seven Nationwide
Series starts, all on road courses. (Getty Images)
By NASCAR Wire Service
June 22, 2012 9:42 PM, EDT
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. -- Road-course specialists Max Papis,
Jacques Villeneuve and Ron Fellows all had memorable races
at Road America last year, which ended with three attempts
at a green-white-checkered finish. On the first try,
Villeneuve tried going inside on Turn 1 but ran out of
track and caused Papis and a fellow driver to wreck.
Fellows and eventual race winner Reed Sorenson were
involved in some drama on the third and final attempt, as
well. Aric Almirola caused the seventh and final caution
when he ran out of gas in Turn 6 and eventually it was
ruled by NASCAR that Fellows passed Sorenson after the
caution was issued, giving Sorenson the win.
Most of the questions during the news conference revolved
around what could happen at Turn 1 if the race went like
last year with an overtime finish. Fellows wasn't shy
about what he predicted.
"There is going to be chaos if it goes
green-white-checker," Fellows said.
Turn 1 is nearly a 90-degree right-hander and a great
opportunity for a driver to move up a couple of spots. As
seen last year, however, it can also turn into a big mess
if a driver is overaggressive.
"We had, ultimately, quite a good weekend even though
the end of the race was a little bit too exciting,"
said Villeneuve, who managed a third-place finish.
"It's a great team and everybody is coming here to
get a good result. The plan is to keep my nose clean for
With a second-place finish last year, Fellows knows what he
needs to do in order to take the checkered flag this time
"We ran ourselves out of time," Fellows said of
last year's effort. "We got killed on the restarts
and have to have something saved for the end."
Villeneuve had the fastest time in Friday's first
practice session with a lap speed of 109.107 mph. Rounding
out the top five from the morning session were Nelson
Piquet Jr. (108.581 mph), Papis (107.763 mph), Michael
McDowell (107.502 mph) and Fellows (107.374 mph).
The afternoon practice run saw plenty of familiar faces.
Papis topped the speed charts at 109.282 mph, followed by
McDowell (108.026 mph), Piquet (107.868 mph), Villeneuve
(107.853 mph) and Sam Hornish Jr. (107.180 mph).