JR Motorsports is Fired up for 3 teams at Watkins Glen

JR Motorsports will unload three cars this for this weekend's Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International Speedway in Upstate NY. The race is this Saturday, 8/13/2011 at 2PM and will be aired on ESPN.

Aric Almirola is once again piloting the No. 88 Ragu Chevrolet in his first start at Watkins Glen for the JRM team. His first start at 'The Glen' was in 2010 in the Sprint Cup Series. In the past five weeks Almirola has finished in the top 5, and this past weekend he moved up one position in the points to fourth.  Tony Eury will be Almirola’s crew chief this weekend.

Ron Fellows is back in a JRM car, the No. 5 Canadian Tires Chevrolet for the first of two starts in the next two races. Fellows last race was on Road America in Wisconsin and after a confusing end, he finished second while piloting the No. 7 car. Because of the caution and Reed Sorenson slowing down, Fellows had proceeded to race until he met with the pace car and was the first to cross the finish line. However, NASCAR’s rules to not pass during a caution came into play and Sorenson was declared the winner. This will be Fellows seventh career start with JRM; he won once in 2008 in Montreal and has a career finish of four top-5s and five top-10s. Tony Eury Jr. will be Fellows' crew chief.

Jimmie Johnson is racing for JR Motorsports in his first Nationwide race since 2008, where he competed in four events for JRM. Johnson has one win in 91 Nationwide Series starts, eight top-5s and 23 top-10s. The five-time defending Sprint Cup Series Champion has 3 NNS starts at Watkins Glen and he would love to have his second win this weekend in a Dale Jr. owned car.

“Yeah, I’m excited about the opportunity," Johnson told press at Pocono Raceway last Friday when he was asked to talk about the opportunity he has with JRM. “The interview to drive for him was rather tough. He wanted to see my resume. I think Mike wanted to see my resume in great detail and make sure I was qualified with good references. Once we cleared that hurdle, it was on (laughs),” Johnson joked with media.

Johnson also pointed out that this isn’t his first race with JRM, “I think I’ve run a handful of races for him; I don’t know how many exactly, but I enjoy the group of guys. I enjoy being around Tony (Eury Jr); I’m not sure if he’s the crew chief or not. At one point he was, and I’m not sure if he is now. But however it shakes out I’m looking forward to having some fun and doing my best to put the Junior Motorsports car in victory lane.” (For your information Johnson, Chris Heroy will be your crew chief this weekend!)

Johnson will be piloting the No. 7 car, with a new paint scheme and theme.  Dale Earnhardt Jr. was with Johnson at the press conference last Friday and explained,“We really didn't have anything; a driver and a sponsor for the car, and Tony (Eury) Jr. texted me and said that Chad (Knaus) or Jimmie had mentioned to him at one time if there was ever an opportunity or maybe if they were interested in racing at The Glen or driving at The Glen. So I just passed it on to Chad and asked him if he might be interested and got to talking with him and Jimmie and they just decided that they would like to do it. So, we still didn't have a sponsor. Jimmie has a new console video game coming out called ‘Jimmie Johnson’s Anything With An Engine’ and he’s going to take the opportunity to showcase his new product at that race.”

The car will display a cool looking design with art graphics on the car, except for one important graphic image, “I wish that my character that’s in the video game could be on our race car," Johnson said, "but we just didn't have a high resolution image to blow up that big to put on the car. So it’ll be a couple of characters on the car and the car will look pretty sharp.”

The game is published by Autumn Games and developed by Isopod Labs; it’s scheduled to be released in October 2011 and will be available for all three major home consoles.

The opportunity to have Johnson race this weekend can help JR Motorsports in many ways, “I just think it’s a good opportunity to raise awareness for our race program to have a five-time champion in our car,” Earnhardt Jr. said, “and hopefully it makes us a more visible team for potential sponsors down the road and things like that.”
JR Motorsports is Fired up for 3 teams at Watkins Glen JR Motorsports is Fired up for 3 teams at Watkins Glen Reviewed by Unknown on Thursday, August 11, 2011 Rating: 5