Westfield, Massachusetts' Dale Quarterley led 121 laps of the MBNA E-Commerce 150 held Friday at Dover Downs International Speedway. He even led lap 150. Unfortunately, a late caution caused the race to run past its scheduled distance and ...
Westfield, Massachusetts' Dale Quarterley led 121 laps of the MBNA E-Commerce 150 held Friday at Dover Downs International Speedway. He even led lap 150. Unfortunately, a late caution caused the race to run past its scheduled distance and Quarterley's car ran low on gas, losing power on the final restart and relegating him to a sixth place finish.
Rain severely curtailed the amount of practice time made available to the NASCAR Busch North Series teams in attendance, but in the limited track time, Quarterley and his Van Dyk Baler/Land O Lakes Chevrolet was at the top of the speed charts afterwards. Rain also washed out qualifying, so Quarterley could not demonstrate his speed and instead was assigned the fourth starting position from his standing in the series points.
"In the first round of practice we were eight tenths faster than everybody else," Quarterley said before the race. "The only reason I'm bringing that up is that it is 100% because I'm more used to the speed than they are, so I was able to go out and go full tilt from the get-go, while they have to kind of build up to it. I think 100 laps in, we'll be more equalized with the field than we are now, these guys just need more time at this speed. Once we get to that point, in the last 50 or 75 laps, I think it will be a good race for the fans and the series.
"If I could win this it would be great, because I would have won on a motorcycle road race, the shortest short track we run, and a speedway, so I'd have all three bases covered," he continued. "If we can keep from beating ourselves, and keep it running all day, we have a chance of winning the race. If we stay in the top three, we'll be happy. We came with the intention of being in the top three. It just happens that we're the fastest at the moment, that doesn't mean that it's going to stay that way all day."
Quarterley led the first 56 laps of the race before pitting for tires and fuel under caution. He returned to the race in eleventh position and quickly worked his way through the field, taking the lead on lap 85. He held the lead through three restarts through a lap 141 caution. Clean-up and field re-alignment under caution forced the event to be extended beyond the 150 lap scheduled distance, and when the field took the green for a green-white-checker finish on lap 152, Quarterley's car sputtered and slowed, eventually catching but only after he lost several positions. Through the final two laps, Quarterley stormed back to sixth position at the checkers.
"It ran out of gas," he said after the race. "Watching TV I've seen the guys run out of gas and it's because of the banking, being on the banking, all the gas goes to the bottom. I made the effort of swerving the thing once in a while to keep the gas over there, and I guess that either I ran it so low on gas that it didn't help, or I didn't swerve enough, even though I swerved more than the guys behind me. On the restart it coughed and then it took off, but I went from first to twelfth, and in two laps I got back to sixth.
"As a performance level you're ecstatic with the day, as a team you want to cry and beat the car up," Quarterley continued. "We came here to win and we were doing it, and caution came out with three to go. Someone said that we had them covered, and I told them that it's not over till it's over, and that yellow was the last thing I wanted to see. Those were my last words."
Quarterley continued praising his team, especially the contributions of Steve Hibbard.
"Steve has helped bring us here in every aspect," he said. "He's yelling at us about the crew, yelling at me about driving it, and setting the car up. This is a car he set up at Bob Brunell's shop in New York. We left home and his words to us leaving was 'don't touch it, it's three tenths faster than anything else that's there'. We changed maybe three little things on it all weekend. We're able to maintain the cars, I'm able to keep them out of trouble, and Steve's able to make it go faster."
Quarterley's next opportunity to race comes next weekend at Stafford Motor Speedway for the Carquest Fall Final, run in conjunction with the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Series. In two previous races at Stafford this year, Quarterley has finishes of fifteenth and fourteenth.