Simo Steps In For Stricklin

SONOMA, Calif. - Brian Simo competed in his first Winston Cup event last season when he drove for owner Junie Donlavey at Sears Point. Simo will run his second Cup event this weekend when he jumps back in Donlavey's car at Sears Point.

Simo is stepping in for one race, and then will hand the wheel back over to Donlavey's regular driver, Hut Stricklin.

"We're hoping that Sears Point will be good to us this year," said Simo, who qualified 34th and finished 36th last year. "We haven't been on the track in its new configuration, but hopefully the changes will make it even better. Our goal is to move forward from where we were last year, to qualify well and then drive a solid race and have a strong finish."

Simo said last year's race experience was valuable.

"Learning to manage the mass of a Winston Cup car versus other types of sports car is key, so any track time is valuable," he said. "Last year's race at Sears Point gave us a good understanding of what's needed for the car setup, so we're hoping that will contribute to our performance this year.

"The Winston Cup drivers have a tremendous amount of experience in these big cars, so anybody coming in has a bit of a handicap because of the obvious lack of seat time. But we have experience on road courses, so we're looking for a balance between inexperience with the mass and experience on road courses. We'll work with it and look for a good race."

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