Rite-Way Electric Chevrolet driver Greg Schaefer and the Parks-Schaefer Motorsports Crew had their work cut out for themselves at Lime Rock Park, scene of the NASCAR Busch North Series season finale. After a practice accident left the team working...
Rite-Way Electric Chevrolet driver Greg Schaefer and the Parks-Schaefer Motorsports Crew had their work cut out for themselves at Lime Rock Park, scene of the NASCAR Busch North Series season finale. After a practice accident left the team working to make repairs to the car to get it to qualifying, Schaefer got in the show and was running in the top ten late in the race before a part failure forced his retirement from the event just 20 laps from the end.
Practice found Schaefer making changes on the car and turning a number of laps on the 1.53-mile road course. On old tires, Schaefer got off course in the Esses and damaged the right rear corner of his car. Repairs were started immediately and the car was ready to roll when qualifying came around. In time trials, Schaefer earned the seventeenth starting position.
"We made a change and made the car really tight and were practicing on older tires trying to make it go and I guess I just pushed it too hard and lost it in the Esses there," he said after qualifying, describing his practice accident. "All things considered we got it all duct-taped together. We broke the Panhard bar mount, bent the drag link and knocked the toe-out. We got it all fixed and the car was just as good as it was in practice."
Schaefer made steady progress from the start of the race, and was up to eighth by lap 30. He fell to eleventh by the halfway point but recovered to hold eighth when caution waved at lap 60. Under yellow, Schaefer felt something in the car break and brought the car to pit road. The Panhard bar bracket had broken and the crew brought the car to the garage to start repairs, but couldn't complete them before the race ended and Schaefer was listed as a non-finisher, classified in 29th position after completing 63 laps.
"It broke the Panhard bar bracket," he said. "It's what holds the rear end in the car and without it, the car's a handful. We had another one in the truck but it was attached to another rear end. By the time we got it unbolted and ready to be fitted there were only two laps to go.
"The car was decent, and it was actually getting better as it went," Schaefer continued. "We could run with the leaders. We were sitting in eighth when it broke. It really didn't break during the race, it broke under caution. I started weaving the car back and forth and that's when it finally let go. Looking back, the Panhard bar was broken in the same spot when we wrecked yesterday. I don't know if that had something to do with that or not. It's hard to tell when the piece that breaks is part of the accident."
Schaefer's season ends with his running 13 races, recording one top-five finish and five top-tens.
"The guys worked really hard this weekend just to get the car in the race and in decent shape," he said. "My hat's off to them, they really did a great job."