Matt Kobyluck could have been excused for showing traces of distraction at Dover. He had been involved in two controversial incidents at NHIS the week before, and he was awaiting word from Connecticut that he had become a father for the third time.
Matt Kobyluck could have been excused for showing traces of distraction at Dover. He had been involved in two controversial incidents at NHIS the week before, and he was awaiting word from Connecticut that he had become a father for the third time. But in spite of the previous week and the continuing babywatch, he was completely focused all weekend, not letting loose until victory lane. As of Friday night, the babywatch was still in progress.
If Kobyluck wins at Stafford next Sunday, he can take the point lead from Andy Santerre if Santerre finishes sixth or lower. The combinations are to numerous to list here since the point spread between positions differs, but regardless of their exact positions, Kobyluck takes the lead if he is ten spots ahead of Santerre at the checker.
On the other hand, Santerre can take a huge step toward the title at Stafford if fate deals Kobyluck and Brad Leighton a bad hand. To technically clinch the title, Santerre must lead by over 180 points going into the season finale. However, as a practical matter, he only needs to lead by 125, the difference between first and last places in Lime Rock's potential 36-car field. By winning at Stafford, Santerre could close out Leighton if he was 19th or lower, and Kobyluck if he was 27th or below. A tall order.
Paul Wolfe recorded his second career second place finish-- both behind Matt Kobyluck. The other was at Nazareth Speedway last August. The Dover finish was Wolfe's first top five of 2002.
Greg Schaefer led the first laps of his Busch North Series career at Dover, next to Nazareth the closest Busch North track to his suburban Philadelphia home. He was impressive in doing it, pulling away from the field after taking only two tires to gain track position. While Wolfe, Kobyluck, and Truex all passed him, Greg stayed with the lead group right to the checker.
One of the statistics provided by the Winston Cup scoring system used at Dover is the fastest lap of the race for each car and the lap when it was recorded. Except for Schaefer, every car in the Dover field ran its fastest lap before the race was 10 laps old. Greg was fastest in lap 84, after his stop.
Another "what if?" weekend for Dale Quarterley saw him make up two laps lost on a green flag stop. Not only "what if he hasn't had the tire problem under green", but the equally-intriguing "what if there had been a caution after he had regained the lead lap?" He passed leader Paul Wolfe with 17 laps to go, inside the window where lead lap cars move to the front of the single-file restart. Given eight or ten green-flag laps, how many cars could he have passed for position?
Quarterley is the highest-ranking 2002 non-winner in the current Busch North Series standings. Schaefer is the highest-ranking career non-winner.
Martin Truex Jr. clinched the 2002 Bud Pole Award championship when Paul Wolfe won the Bud Pole at Dover. That closed out Kelly Moore and Mike Olsen. Truex, with six Bud Poles, leads Moore and Olsen by three with two races to go.
The Flowmaster Star of the Race Award contest is heating up. Tracy Gordon showed the greatest position improvement at Dover, earning three Flowmaster points, while Kip Stockwell scored two. That moved Stockwell into the lead for the $7,500 award at the banquet in November. Schaefer trails by one point and Gordon is tied with Carey Heath, three points back.