Dale Quarterley retired from All-Star Showdown in 26th place. Westfield, Massachusetts' Dale Quarterley, driving the No. 32 Van Dyk Baler Chevrolet representing the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series in this weekend's inaugural...
Dale Quarterley retired from All-Star Showdown in 26th place.
Westfield, Massachusetts' Dale Quarterley, driving the No. 32 Van Dyk Baler Chevrolet representing the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series in this weekend's inaugural Toyota NASCAR All-Star Showdown which featured the best of Busch North going up against the best of the Winston West Series, worked through a series of problems at the half-mile Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway before a spin and resulting flat tire caused suspension problems that forced his retirement from the event. He was classified as finishing 26th.
Quarterley, who had planned to compete in the Winston West race at Fontana the week before, but the race was cancelled due to the California wildfires, came to Irwindale knowing he was being a part of a major event. But in order to run well in the major event, he had to get his car dialed in and up to speed. Practice treated Quarterley well, with his timing in fifth fastest in one session and seventh in the final practice on Thursday. Expecting continued improvement in his fifty-lap qualifying race, he came from his ninth starting position to run as high as fifth while embroiled in a battle for position that frequently ran three-wide and occasionally four-wide. He eventually finished seventh, giving him a fourteenth place start in the feature event.
"I loosened the car up a little knowing the track was going to tighten up at night, and it was going to take some of the turning ability out of the car. So I took away some of the traction so it would still be able to turn, but I took away ten percent when I needed to take away thirty percent. The nighttime just put the car in a completely different ballfield. It just did not want to turn whatsoever, and our race went fifty laps caution-free, so there was no chance to change it. So I kind of figured out how to drive it and muscled my way up through as hard as I possibly could to finish seventh. I couldn't get it to turn in the center of the corner, so I just turned the track into two drag strips, staying in it as long as hard as I can straight, then stop it, turn it around, and get going again. I was drilling the brakes at the end of the straightaway trying to make up the time, knowing that I can't turn anyways."
More changes were made to the car during the day preceding the main event. He maintained that position through the early laps. Running thirteenth when the field completed lap 100, at which point the race was stopped and the teams allowed ten minutes to work on their cars.
"In the first part of the race we were still a little tight, the thing didn't want to turn," he said. "It was way better than yesterday, though, so everything we changed this morning was a major help. We started fourteenth or fifteenth, and worked our way up to twelfth. Some guys went forward and a bunch of guys went back, so we were basically maintaining position. At the break we changed a spring, a swaybar, the Panhard bar, and tires. We went back out there and the thing was definitely going better.
Back on the track, Quarterley was trying to make up ground with his improved car, but a run-in with a Winston West competitor who forced his race to take a turn for the worse.
"The 8 car [Johnny Borneman] got into me," he said. "He got me and blew the right front tire right out of the car. To keep it from hitting the wall, I kept it floored and got the thing to spin out, but in the mess of trying to do that, somebody else got me on the other side, though that didn't hurt it that much. Before I could get it into the pits I had to drive around the track on a flat tire, and that ground the sway bar arm off before I got there. Parking it was the wise thing to do."
Quarterley had nothing but good things to say about the event despite his disappointing result.
"All the way down to the bathrooms, the event and the track were awesome," he said. "The racing was incredible, there were times out there that we were five abreast."