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Dan Clarke debuts, as Labonte and Fellows return

British open wheel racer Dan Clarke will make his US stock car début at Watkins Glan this weekend, while veterans Terry Labonte and Ron Fellows will also be back behind the wheel.
Britain's Dan Clarke will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series début at Watkins Glen International in the Means Racing #52 Chevrolet this weekend.

"I've enjoyed a lot of success in open wheel formula racing but I've wanted to try the NASCAR route for a while now," said Clarke, who raced full-time in the Champ Cars series for two years and last year competed in Indy Lights. Clarke had been expecting to compete in the regional NASCAR Canadian Tire Series this year, but ultimately fell foul of sponsorship problems before making a start.

"Now I have a shot at the NASCAR Nationwide series which is an even bigger opportunity and I have butterflies in my stomach thinking about the weekend," Clarke said in an announcement on his personal website.

The team are looking at Clarke's road course experience - which includes representing Team UK in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsports - to help them on the historic former Formula 1 track in New York state.

Other teams are also looking at importing specialist talent into their teams to boost their chances at the unique venue.

Two-time Cup champion Terry Labonte will also be racing at WGI this year, for the first time in four years. He'll take the Front Row Motorsports #38 Ford Cup car normally driven by Travis Kvapil.

"I had some really good runs there in the past," said Labonte. "I won some Nationwide races and won the pole there in the Cup car before. I've come close, some seconds and thirds, but I never won a Cup race. Just missed.

Meanwhile Tommy Baldwin Racing has turned to road course racing veteran Ron Fellows to take charge of the #36 Chevrolet Cup car at the Glen, alongside the team's regular driver Dave Blaney in the #35. Fellows has finished in second place twice at the Glen but last year was denied by broken suspension.

"I am excited to pick up where we left off last year," Fellows said. "It is always great to be a part of the Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen. We had a decent qualifying run last year at the Glen, but then didn't finish the race after we were running inside the top 15.

Fellows will also be driving for Dale Earnhart Jr's JR Motorsports Nationwide Series team on the road course, where he will be joined by reigning Cup champion Jimmie Johnson.

Johnson has not raced in Nationwide since 2008, preferring to concentrate on retaining his Cup championship. But this year he is seeking extra road course experience at WGI and will take the wheel of the #7 Chevrolet previously taken at various points this season by Fellows, Earnhardt Jr., Danica Patrick, Josh Wise and Kasey Kahne.

His appearance in Nationwide is backed by sponsorship from the launch of his "Jimmie Johnson's Anything With An Engine" console game.



Related Pictures

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Britain`s Dan Clarke, competing in the 2010 Indy Lights series. [Photo: IndyCar Media]
Dale Earnhardt Jr, driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars And Stripes Chevrolet SS, takes the chequered flag, Sunday July 5, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Following in second place is Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Patriotic Chevrolet SS. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr, driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars And Stripes Chevrolet SS, takes the chequered flag, Sunday July 5, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr, driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars And Stripes Chevrolet SS, takes the chequered flag, Sunday July 5, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr, driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars And Stripes Chevrolet SS, celebrates his win Sunday July 5, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida (Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, affixes the winner’s decal to his car in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, and Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, lead the field prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 5, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 3, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 3, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 28, 2015 in Sonoma, California. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 14, 2015 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 14, 2015 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice.  (Photo Credit: NASCAR via Getty Images)

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