Land O Lakes Chevrolet driver Dale Quarterley, from Westfield, Massachusetts, notched his first podium finish of the season when he took third place in the Irving Oil 150, the ninth of twenty-one NASCAR Busch North Series races to be held this ...
Land O Lakes Chevrolet driver Dale Quarterley, from Westfield, Massachusetts, notched his first podium finish of the season when he took third place in the Irving Oil 150, the ninth of twenty-one NASCAR Busch North Series races to be held this season.
Quarterley struggled in practice before qualifying on Saturday, and after trying a number of changes on the car, he took a break and made the big decision to go back to basics.
"We put sixty practice laps in we were struggling so bad," he said. "I'm not exactly sure why but we just could not get the car to go. We brought it back here, had a drink of water and decided to basically go back and start over again. We put the car on one of the cement pads here and just completely went through the car. We only changed a couple of minor things but that's all it needed. We rolled out for qualifying and the thing hooked up pretty good."
Quarterley turned in a time that put him fourth best of the 29 participants, and after the traditional redraw of front starting positions, would take the green in fifth place.
"The question is, will it go all night," he said before the race. "We're still off a little bit but nothing like in practice. I'm going to take a little gear out of it and bring the RPMs down a little. When the weather cools off and the track tightens up, it'll come to me instead of me trying to come to it. We're going to leave it alone and bide my time."
Through the early portions of the race, Quarterley stayed in the top five until an opportunity to pit came about on lap 68. After changing two tires, Quarterley returned to the track in fifth, with one of the cars ahead of him not pitting. He quickly moved up to second behind Martin Truex, Jr., and stayed there until he tried to take the lead on the outside. He pulled even to Truex, but fell back and fell to fourth. With less than twenty laps to go, he moved back into third, where he would finish.
"We tried a couple things before qualifying," he said after the race, "and did a couple more things before the race and that completely cured the whole car. In the race it was good enough to bide my time and wait for the guy in front of me to go away and I'd go by him.
"Near the end I was in second and Mike Johnson was coming, and I had to make a decision," Quarterley continued. "He had been behind me for eight laps and he wasn't going to bide his time much longer. The only way I was going to win would be for me to get by the 56 [Truex] before he got by the 56, so I jumped to the outside thinking I had enough tire left to get by him, but I couldn't quite finish him off. Mike Johnson and Dave Dion both got me. I put myself in the same position I thought we were going to be in, but with a chance of winning the show."
Quarterley is thrilled with the continuing progress his 1/4 LEY Racing team has made this year on the short-tracks that make up the bulk of the Busch North schedule.
"Last year here we took a provisional and we were three laps down in the first sixty," he said. "For us this is winning the show."
Next up for Quarterley is the Pepsi Racing 150, scheduled for Saturday night at the newly repaved Thompson Speedway in Connecticut.