Moore battles "Monster Mile", assumes Busch North Series Point Lead
Dover, DE - Kelly Moore, driver of the Tic-Tac Pontiac on the Busch North Series, a NASCAR Touring Division, assumed the series point lead Saturday afternoon after finishing 13th during the running of the Delaware 200.
Moore and 41 of his fellow Busch North Series competitors battled the heat and physical abuse of the high-banked "Monster Mile" at Dover Downs International Speedway. Winston Cup driver Jimmy Spencer entered the event on his weekend off and earned his 2nd career Busch North Series victory.
Moore qualified his Pontiac Grand Prix in the 3rd spot on Friday afternoon, but started 2nd on Saturday after Bud Pole winner Jimmy Spencer failed his post qualifying inspection and was sent to the rear of the starting field. Tom Carey, Jr. was awarded the pole position for the race but it was Moore who quickly jumped into the lead. By lap 2, Moore had an 8-car lead on Carey. The lead and handling on the car began to disappear and Carey bolted past Moore on lap-5 to assume the top spot.
"Our car was real loose at the beginning of the race and then we were real tight," Moore explained. "I just wasn't able to maintain the corner speed and get back on the throttle when I wanted." The Tic-Tac team put on four new tires and made chassis adjustments during the 2nd caution period of the afternoon. The changes weren't enough to overcome the stout racecar of Jimmy Spencer and Spencer lapped Moore on lap 65. "We were lucky to get a caution when we did and I thought the changes the team made could at least keep us running in the lead pack," Moore said. "I'm really proud of the job our team did on pit stops today, we don't get a chance to do them that often but they really did a great job working on the car."
Moore did an excellent job throughout the race, staying focused in the extreme heat, handling the tight racecar and staying out of trouble. Many of the competitors had never raced on the "Monster Mile" and there were several racing incidents throughout the day that Moore was able to avoid, one of which was directly in front of him as he exited turn four. Moore's spotter quickly found the safe path and guided Moore past the spinning racecar. Tom Carey, Jr. was also involved in a mid-race mishap that put him out of the race and dropped him out of the series point lead. "I think it's unfortunate to take the point lead this way but we kept digging all day long and fighting our way from the back," explained Moore. "Our whole team has worked real hard this year and remember we had to bounce back from our 27th place finish at Lee to open the season."
This event marked the first race for the Busch North Series at Dover Downs International Speedway since 1989, a combination race with the Busch Series. "I love this race track and I'm glad we came back, though I really thought we would've had a better finish here," Moore concluded, "We're excited about going back to Stafford and look forward to another run up front."
The Busch North Series returns to action at Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday evening, July 24th.