Bill Penfold ends 2002 Busch North Season with top ten finish. Yarmouth, Maine's Bill Penfold closed out his 2002 NASCAR Busch North Series campaign with a ninth place run in the twice-delayed Burnham Boilers 200 held Saturday afternoon at the...
Bill Penfold ends 2002 Busch North Season with top ten finish.
Yarmouth, Maine's Bill Penfold closed out his 2002 NASCAR Busch North Series campaign with a ninth place run in the twice-delayed Burnham Boilers 200 held Saturday afternoon at the 1.53 mile Lime Rock Park road course. Penfold ran as high as fifth in the race, which was postponed from October 12th and 19th by rain, and was delayed in starting by rain. Showers interrupted the race on lap 25, and because of the delays involved in drying the track, was shortened from its scheduled distance of 82 laps to 63, with a five-lap dash to the finish.
Penfold, who lists Lime Rock among his favorite tracks, did not get onto the track until mid-morning of the second weekend attempted. No on-track activities were held the first weekend due to a total washout. Following an hour practice session on the second weekend, qualifying was attempted. Penfold went out in the last, fastest group of cars to take time, but rain was falling and the session was cancelled and the field lined up by points. Penfold would start the race in the thirteenth position, but would have to wait another week as rain forced the rest of the race weekend to be put on hold.
On October 26th, the race was attempted for the third time. After the track was dried, the race began. Penfold briefly ran in the top ten, but then fell back. He pitted under the first caution, on lap 11, returning to the race deep in the field. As the race continued under green, other cars pitted and Penfold moved up to seventh when rain caused the race to be red-flagged for over an hour.
After twenty laps of track-drying, the race resumed and Penfold now rode in fifth. He was in that position when caution came out on lap 52. Just before the race was about to go back green, officials announced that there would only be five more laps of racing and the race would be over. IN those final five laps, Penfold fell to ninth as he had to deal with aggressive drivers all around him.
"When they came across and said there were five laps to go, guys just went crazy," he said after the race. "Mike Olsen was in the grass rubbing the side of me going into turn one, and I just backed out. I couldn't afford to wreck the race car. Those guys have more race cars and more money than I do. We ran good, got up to fourth or fifth, but with five laps to go when they want to start banging on cars, I needed to finish as high as I could in the points to make some money. It makes it hard to race like that. I'd have rather raced them just as hard as they were racing me. Then you end up getting hit by some of the road race guys with one lap to go, and then they get mad when you tap them.
"The car's in one piece, we finished in the top ten, so I'm happy," Penfold continued. "I wish I could have done a little bit better, we had higher hopes. Our pit strategy played out, and we just passed a lot of cars all day. The car was fast, we looked good, and maybe we impressed somebody so somebody can put their name on the side of this thing so we can get some money to go racing next year."
For more information on Bill Penfold, visit his team's website at www.penfoldmotorsports.com.