Dale Quarterley Snakebit Again At Lime Rock Lime Rock, Conn. (Sept. 30, 2006) - Dale Quarterley, of Westfield, Massachusetts, has two wins at Lime Rock Park in NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series competition. But he has at least as...
Dale Quarterley Snakebit Again At Lime Rock
Lime Rock, Conn. (Sept. 30, 2006) - Dale Quarterley, of Westfield, Massachusetts, has two wins at Lime Rock Park in NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series competition. But he has at least as many close calls at winning and not been able to close the deal, mostly due to the actions of others. Saturday was another story of a fast car and a fast driver that was taken out of the running for the win far too early in the race.
Quarterley's weekend began auspiciously as his No. 32 EDART Truck Leasing Chevrolet never got on the track at all during Friday's practice and qualifying sessions. One of the race's favorites would have to start the race from the rear with his first laps on the track at speed coming after taking the green flag to start the Mohegan Sun 200.
Quarterley was confident in the car, though, as it was the same one he'd won with before and come close many other times, just rebodied after flipping onto its roof in last year's race. The only other change was a different set of shock absorbers.
It only took a handful of laps to see that Quarterley didn't miss much by missing practice. In ten laps he had passed over half the field to run eleventh. He gave up a lot of those gains when he pitted under the race's first caution, restarting deep in the field. After the restart, he marched forward again, this time only needing seven laps to go from 21st to tenth. By lap 30 he was seventh, and soon was in the top five. He was third on the lap 37 restart and, for the time, was content to ride behind the two leaders knowing he could pass them both later in the race.
"When I was third behind Kobyluck and Olsen, I was trying to figure out how to drive it slower and I couldn't, I was all over the racetrack," he said. "I was puttering around and we weren't even halfway yet, so I was happy to let them race each other and use their stuff up and I'd get them later."
Caution flew on lap 42 and Quarterley lined up third for the lap 45 restart. He tried to follow Matt Kobyluck by Mike Olsen and go into second place after the restart, but Olsen kept in front while the fourth-place car pulled up alongside the EDART Chevy.
"He was all over me through turn one, getting into me a couple times in the short chute," Quarterley explained. "He was against me going into the left-hander and I was outside of him the whole time so I was in the bad line. I wasn't pinching him but he was still racing the crap out of me. We got through turn two and head to turn three and I'm still on the outside, and I've got him seven-eights cleared, and the next thing I know he pops me in the rear and spins me out."
Quarterley spun to the inside of the track and bounced off the embankment, partially tearing off the car's rear bumper cover. NASCAR instructed him to pit and have that taken off completely, and he did, losing a lap to the leaders in the process. He got himself into position to get a "lucky dog" pass and get his lap back, but when caution finally came out, there were less than ten laps to go in the race and NASCAR rules prohibit giving laps back inside ten to go. Quarterley had to soldier on to the finish without getting another shot at coming through the field as he was locked into being a lap down.
"I didn't have to race the guy hard and he didn't have to race me hard. There was plenty of time to go," he said after the race. "I cut him every slack in the book and I still got taken out. I passed him two or three times already and never touched him once, never pushed him wide or anything, and I got booted anyway."
Knowing he had the car to beat was little consolation to him, though he did demonstrate great speed even after pitting to fix the damaged car.
"I think I showed them after I had to pit, I was mowing them down and coming through the field, but I was a lap down. It was one of the fastest cars, if not the fastest car, here today," he said.