BNS: Lime Rock: Greg Schaefer season finale summary

Greg Schaefer finishes Busch North season with top-five Lime Rock Park finish. Hatboro, Pennsylvania's Greg Schaefer finished his best season yet in the NASCAR Busch North Series season when he finished fifth in the twice-postponed Burnham...

Greg Schaefer finishes Busch North season with top-five Lime Rock Park finish.

Hatboro, Pennsylvania's Greg Schaefer finished his best season yet in the NASCAR Busch North Series season when he finished fifth in the twice-postponed Burnham Boilers 200 at the 1.53-mile Lime Rock Park road course. Schaefer, driving the Rite-Way Electric Chevrolet, completed the season ninth in the series points standings after recording four top-five finishes and eight top-tens.

Back on October 12, the race's originally scheduled weekend was rained out. Coming back the following weekend, practice was run and some qualifying was completed, but rain again washed out the balance of the program and the starting lineup was made up by the series points standings. Schaefer started ninth when the race was rescheduled for last Saturday.

October 26th dawned rainy, but the track was dried and the race would go on. Schaefer was quickly up to seventh in the opening laps but fell back to tenth. He held that position through the first yellow, and, as cars began making pit stops for fuel, Schaefer stayed on the track and picked up their positions. He was third when the leader pulled off to pit, just as caution was coming out for debris on the track. While circulating under caution in second place 25 laps into the race, rain came and forced the race to be stopped.

After waiting an hour for the rain to stop, the race resumed under yellow and the field, with Schaefer still holding second, circulated around the track under caution. A total of twenty laps were run off before green came back out, and Schaefer and crew started thinking about not pitting at all if the race had to be shortened, which was likely as the six o'clock track curfew was approaching.

Schaefer fell to fourth after the lap 49 restart, but did not slip further back. Three laps later, caution was out again and, when the field was given the one-to-go signal before the restart, officials declared that the race would go five more laps and be over. For the final five-lap dash to the finish, Schaefer held fourth until the last lap, when he was passed and sent back to fifth, his final finishing position.

"We weren't sure about our pit strategy because we weren't sure if they were going to run it to the end or not," he said after the race. "And we were thinking about pitting as we were pretty close to running out of gas, maybe if we ran another ten laps, though it's tough to tell with all the caution laps we ran. I think we were lucky. We decided to stay out because our fuel mileage was so bad, we couldn't pit as early as some of the other guys. It paid off for us again. I lost a couple spots there at the end, after the red flag. On cold tires, the car was just a handful and I lost two or three spots there, but we were able to hang on to finish fifth. We'll take it."

-ajc-

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Greg Schaefer