Donalvey Hits The Road With Simo

When the Hill Bros Racing Winston Cup machine competes on the road courses this season, it won't be with regular driver Hut Stricklin behind the wheel.

For the events at Sears Point Raceway (June) and Watkins Glen (August), owner Junie Donlavey will place Trans-Am champion Brian Simo in the car.

"We had a good time working with Brian last year at Sears Point and Watkins Glen," Donlavey said. "He's a great racer and has the road-course experience. He can give us a little bit of an advantage that we would not have with Hut (Stricklin)."

Stricklin agrees with the move.

"With our position in the current drivers standings, it was a 'no-brainer' to put Brian back in the car for those events," Stricklin said. "I'm not going to gain anything in the driver's standings at those tracks, so let's continue to make this team better."

Simo is looking forward to this opportunity.

"Junie Donlavey is the nicest man in racing," Simo said. "I appreciate the opportunity he's given me to get back in a Winston Cup car and I'm looking forward to working with the Hills Bros Coffee crew again. I think it's great that we'll be doing some testing prior to the Sears Point race. Hopefully, that will translate into a solid starting position, and then we'll just work it from there."

Donlavey Racing is hoping to get the team's road-course car ready to test at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) in Alton, Va., prior to making the trip to Sears Point in June.

"We're working ahead so we can get better prepared for the upcoming events," Donlavey said. "Testing at VIR will help Brian get a better feel for the heavier car."

Simo competed in the NASCAR Busch Series events at Watkins Glen International in 1997 and 1998. Both times, he was leading the race before suffering engine failure. His first NASCAR Winston Cup start came at Sears Point last June. He qualified 34th and finished 36th, despite a long pit stop to replace a broken gear.

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