BNS: Lake Erie: Dale Quarterly race report

Dale Quarterley breaks into top five with fifth place Lake Erie Speedway finish. Westfield, Massachusetts' Dale Quarterley, driving the Edart Truck Leasing Chevrolet, recorded his first top-five finish of the 2003 NASCAR Grand National Division,...

Dale Quarterley breaks into top five with fifth place Lake Erie Speedway finish.

Westfield, Massachusetts' Dale Quarterley, driving the Edart Truck Leasing Chevrolet, recorded his first top-five finish of the 2003 NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series season when he finished fifth in Sunday's inaugural race at the 3/8ths-mile Lake Erie Speedway. Quarterley had the car to watch in the race's closing laps as he made several passes on the outside to take fifth, and, with more laps, may have moved up even further.

Quarterley's weekend began with two hours of practice on Saturday. With information taken from that testing taken back and analyzed, the former AMA motorcycle racing champion started changing his car for race day.

"We've been 12th and 13th on the time sheet all weekend, running on old tires," he said before the race. "We changed all four springs and the sway bar last night to today, and today we changed three more springs, trying to get a handle on it. Right now, it's definitely the best it's felt all weekend, but I've only gone a few laps at a time so I don't know what it's going to do ten laps into the race, or after 150 laps. But it's definitely the best it's felt and it feels like a decent race car. I just hope I haven't jumped past the target and made it too loose."

The race had a break scheduled for halfway, with a five minute "time out" for crews to change anything they can change in that time frame, except for the engine. Quarterley was asked what changes he'd consider doing in that short time.

"Whatever I need to do, I'm going to do," he said. "If I'm just super loose, I'll just pop a spring in it. The crew chief [Mike Sibley] and I just talked about it and I'm not sure what I would even do from here. The car is finally doing what we're asking of it, so I think for race time we'll be in good shape."

Starting from the seventh starting position, Quarterley fell to tenth by the time the halfway break arrived a few laps early. The crew went to work replacing right-side tires and performing other adjustments based on Quarterley's experience in the race's first 70 laps.

When the race returned to green, Quarterley was back to ninth and still on the move. He was up to seventh with 25 laps to go and stayed there until there were just five laps to go. At that point, he moved into the high groove and passed Ryan Moore for sixth, and continued in the high line to pass Dave Dion for fifth. He was approaching the fourth place car of Matt Kobyluck and still moving up, but ran out of laps before he could make up any more positions, finishing fifth.

Quarterley admitted that he waited until too late to start using the high line consistently, but it hadn't been treating him well earlier in the race.

"I had been out there two or three times earlier, the first time I went out there was twenty or thirty laps in," he said after the race. "I was holding my own, but that's it, and struggling a little to even make that work. I forget exactly what happened, but a melee erupted when I was out there and when I slowed down, I ended up losing five spots, I went from seventh to /twelfth.

"Then I got out there a little while later again and I got by a couple guys, but something else happened and I lost another four or five spots," Quarterley continued. "I liked it on the outside, but every time I got out there I'd get burned. So I stuck to the bottom for a while and we got to the halfway point where I made a couple adjustments trying to free it up a little so I could get up under somebody. I tried going on the outside of the 22 [Joey McCarthy], but he locked up the brakes and went up the track so I dove by on the bottom. But when I was up there, I was faster than the leader at that point. We went from tenth to fifth, and if we went a couple more laps, I definitely could have had a shot at fourth and maybe third. I could get a whole car in a lap and a half. I should have went up there sooner, but earlier in the day it burned me. I didn't see anybody else up there who could make it work. I was killing the thing to make it work, but it was way faster up there than it was on the bottom."

Quarterley, now riding twelfth in points, returns to the track next Saturday for the running of a 150-lap event at Seekonk Speedway.

-ajc-

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Dale Quarterley , Ryan Moore