NASCAR Camping World Truck Series: Chevy Silverado 250
Topics: Chevy Silverado 250
September 1, 2013
THE MODERATOR: We have Ron Fellows stepping up to make a few comments. Obviously, Ron, we just had all four drivers in from the top four come in and give comments after the event. A lot of excitement, a lot of action out there today, a lot of fans. What are your thoughts about this first ever NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race here?
RON FELLOWS: I really felt like just watching the racing or watching the practice that the battle would likely come down to‑‑ depending on pit strategy, of course, but just in terms of their consistency, Chase Elliott, Ty Dillon. I thought Mike Skeen, he'd be hanging in there. But those are the two guys, the two young guys that I thought were going to likely be duking it out.
James Buescher was‑‑ he sure pulled one out for qualifying but didn't seem to have the same kind of race pace that Chase and Ty had.
But yes, that would be a wild finish to say the least.
Q. Ron, you have to be happy with the crowd. At one point I understand they were backed up five kilometers down Highway 57 to get in here today. When you first began the thought process of putting this deal together, did you think it would be as wildly successful as it obviously was?
RON FELLOWS: You know, you can only hope that it's successful, and I hope that that backup didn't last too long, turn anybody away. But I've got to say, I went around with you guys this morning, and it was a bit overwhelming to see the number of campers and motor homes, people‑‑ it was quarter to 9:00 in the morning. Pretty impressive.
You're always hopeful, and I've got to say that, yeah, Carlo, all our staff, Myles, did a tremendous job, and yeah, everybody‑‑ we're thrilled. Not only did the weather cooperate, but we had a tremendous turnout. Wandering around the infield, the response from the fans, they were just incredibly thankful that we were able to get one of NASCAR's major series up here. Just really neat to‑‑ hey, thanks for making this happen and rejuvenating the place. It's nice to hear.
You know, this is Canada's home of motorsports, and we're going to continue to grow the place, and hopefully our friends at NASCAR enjoyed the weekend, as well, and we'll go forward from here.
Q. Just carrying along on that theme for a moment, everybody who was here today undoubtedly is going to come back once the word gets around about on‑track action and off‑track action, unidentified women walking up and slapping Max Papis. You might not be able to print enough tickets for next year. Having said that, television said 45 to 50,000. Is that accurate?
RON FELLOWS: You know what, I'm not sure. It looks busier than ALMS, and those are the numbers we hit on the ALMS side. We would certainly be hopeful.
Q. When might you know?
RON FELLOWS: It's going to take a while to do all the calculations, but give Myles a week, but the first six days before the seventh day, he's going to need to sleep, because he's just done a tremendous job, and all the staff here.
But yeah, it's a pretty nice turnout. Like I said, the NASCAR folks have been really positive about the attendance and the reception, and like we said in the drivers' meeting, we're just so appreciative of their giving us an opportunity to host them and for the teams to make the trek north of the border. It can be a bit of a hassle, and we've tried to make it as pain‑free as possible.
I think they had a great time. There wasn't a driver that I talked to that didn't love the track. Found it a little intimidating at first but really enjoyed the long, sweeping course.
Q. A lot has been made about all the improvements here. They're raving about how smoothly everything is going, the facilities well managed, trash being cleared, they're able to relax and have a great time. Where has all your idea and inspiration for this come from? Is it just from visiting tracks through your racing career or have you been talking to people at other tracks who have sort of passed on information to you?
RON FELLOWS: You know what, to be perfectly honest, it has nothing to do with me. My job with Myles is essentially marketing. Yes, when you go to different tracks, you see things that you never saw before because you're not involved in the ownership. But that's not really anything different than what Myles has done before. I just think it's‑‑ we've got greater numbers, and he's wrapped up the staff to make sure that there's no full trash barrels, and we never saw one; washrooms are clean. That's Myles, and it's also the green light to make sure that we have enough staff to cater to everybody's needs.
Q. I know there were some very senior NASCAR people here today. In your conversations with them, what was your feeling about their feeling of the race?
RON FELLOWS: I think Steve O'Donnell was thrilled with the turnout. We talked yesterday, it was‑‑ I was like, we've got one more day to get through, and it's going to be fine. He was very confident that we were going to have a great day today, and fingers crossed obviously. But Steve is a terrific guy and has been fantastic to deal with, as have all the NASCAR people.
You know, they do this more often than we do and have been very, very helpful. You know, they know‑‑ they probably knew before we did that everything was in place, running smoothly, and we were going to have a successful weekend.
Q. During the race how much of an itch was there for you to be out there and mixing it up with everybody? And can you finally take a deep breath now and have a sigh of relief?
RON FELLOWS: Yeah. On track, everything except that last lap (laughter). I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of any of that.
But you know what, but it did‑‑ I was down with my wife Linda, son Patrick. Sam was helping Alan, and we were down right on the fence for the start, and you know what, for this first one, I'm glad I was able to watch it as opposed to be in it because you just miss out on that ambiance, the feel, the excitement and seeing all the people around you, how excited they were to see the Truck Series. So you know what, maybe next year.
Q. After getting through the first big one now and you talked to the fans and you see their appreciation, now that turns into expectations‑‑
RON FELLOWS: That's okay.
Q. There's going to be added pressure on your team. The nature of the industry, you don't know what next year's schedule is going to be like, whether it's NASCAR or sports cars, what does that mean to your team internally and what sort of pressures are now on you?
RON FELLOWS: Well, as a professional racing driver for a couple of decades or so, it's normal. You're only as good as your last race. I've driven for team owners that from one race to the next I forgot how to drive. You know, we've got a great staff here, and yes, you couldn't ask for a better weekend. We're going to have‑‑ yeah, there's obviously going to be high expectations, and hopefully as we move forward here we'll get a couple other events nailed down.
We're hopeful that we're going to be on the schedule for United SportsCar, but nothing is fixed yet, and we'll see where this goes. Hopefully we can get the Truck Series to return again for 2014.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Ron. Thank you for your time, and thanks for being a great host this weekend.
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