Dale Quarterley makes up two laps after Dover green flag pit stop; finishes eleventh. For the second consecutive year, Dale Quarterley, of Westfield, Massachusetts, had one of the cars to beat at the one-mile Dover International Speedway's...
Dale Quarterley makes up two laps after Dover green flag pit stop; finishes eleventh.
For the second consecutive year, Dale Quarterley, of Westfield, Massachusetts, had one of the cars to beat at the one-mile Dover International Speedway's NASCAR Busch North Series race. The Van Dyk Baler/Land O Lakes Chevrolet driver, who dominated Dover's Busch North race last year until coming up short on gas on a late restart, looked to have a car that was just as strong, but a green-flag pit stop got him two laps down on the field. Quarterley showed how strong a car he had by making up both lost laps during the race, working his way through the field to finish eleventh.
Quarterley was at or near the top of the speed charts in all practice sessions and in qualifying that preceded the MBNA All American Heroes 150. He was the fastest in the first practice, and second in qualifying. In the final practice, he was second quickest again.
"We tried a bunch of different stuff in practice and we ended up right about where we started," he said. "The car definitely handles well. From last year to this year, a bunch of guys have caught up. Now there's definitely four or five guys who I think can hold pace when the race starts. There's three of us stuck right together in qualifying. We're back to a situation like at Loudon where there's ten guys who could win the race."
At the drop of the green, Quarterley, starting on the outside of the front row, stayed on the outside and raced polesitter Paul Wolfe for the lead, being scored the leader of the first lap. He dropped back to second, and then third in the opening twenty laps, but took back second from Matt Kobyluck on a lap 27 restart. Shortly after lap 50, Quarterley felt something amiss with the car and was forced to take it down pit road on lap 58.
"The car started feeling, I don't know, weird," he said. "A couple laps later, it was really wiggling getting in, kind of vibrating in the turn and I thought a tire was coming apart. I slowed down a little and going into the next turn, and it was definitely vibrating. We only made one more lap and then it was doing it on the straightaways. I came in and it turned out that it wasn't the tire, but the right rear wheel had come loose. It's a good thing that I didn't wait around for a yellow, it would have snapped the lugs off and we'd be done."
Quarterley resumed in the race but was now shown two laps down. He lined up as the first lapped car on the inside row for a lap 70 restart and drove away from the leader, staying ahead of him when caution flew again on lap 76. This put him one lap down and he pitted for tires and gas. NASCAR scoring had told the team that it was on the lead lap, so Quarterley pitted a lap too early and had to restart at the tail of the longest line.
The race restarted on lap 82 and Quarterley marched through the field to run inside the top three. He caught the leaders on lap 117 and passed the second-place Kobyluck on lap 121, and started working on Wolfe's leading car. He passed Wolfe on lap 133 and was now on the lead lap, but no more cautions flew to give him the chance to come around and fight for the race win. He was eleventh, the last car on the lead lap, at the checkers.
"We asked NASCAR twice if we were on the lead lap and they answered us twice, saying that we were on the lead lap. So I pitted, put gas in and put tires on, and went back out thinking I was at the tail end of the lead lap cars, and I was styling to come through the field. But now they tell me that I was two laps down instead of one. If that was the case, I would have never come in. I would have restarted as the first lapped car on the inside and I could have gotten my lap back and started over again. So they kind of messed our whole day up by telling me I was on the lead lap, and now they're telling me I was not. I thought I was second and going for the lead when I was trying to pass the 54 [Wolfe]."
Quarterley reflected on the number of close calls he's had with wins over the last year.
"We lost twenty grand here a year ago, and we lost thirty grand at Watkins Glen last year," he said. "We lost twenty grand at Watkins Glen four weeks ago, and we lost another twenty grand today, never mind the four wins that went along with the money. And today we did everything right, listening to NASCAR, stopping and making sure we had extra gas in the car just to make sure we were covered in case we had a green-white-checkered finish again. We dotted the i's today and still got bit. I don't know what I have to do to win a race."
Quarterley has two more chances to win a Busch North race this year, starting with next Sunday's Carquest 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway. After that, it's the final race of the season at Lime Rock Park, the road course where Quarterley won last year after starting dead last.