BNS: Lime Rock: Season finale preview

Statistics show Bryan Wall "King of the Road" at Lime Rock Park; Busch North Series to try again in rescheduled Burnham Boilers 200, Oct. 19. LAKEVILLE, Conn. (October 15, 2002)-- Among active Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring drivers, no one...

Statistics show Bryan Wall "King of the Road" at Lime Rock Park; Busch North Series to try again in rescheduled Burnham Boilers 200, Oct. 19.

LAKEVILLE, Conn. (October 15, 2002)-- Among active Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring drivers, no one comes close to Bryan Wall's career record at Lime Rock Park. In six starts at the 1.53 mile road course, Wall has scored two race wins, taken four Bud Pole positions, and led 187 laps, while maintaining an average finishing position of fourth. He won the Busch North Series season finale in 1999 and 2000, and set the current one-lap record of 53.591 seconds, 102.778 miles per hour one year ago on his way to a third place finish.

The Bully Hill Vineyards Ford driver from Plaistow, N.H. can extend all those records in the 2002 edition of Burnham Boilers 200, rescheduled for this Saturday, October 19 after rain forced its postponement last weekend. Practice, Bud Pole Qualifying, and the 82-lap feature event will be condensed into one day as the series crowns its champion at Lime Rock for the tenth straight year. Andy Santerre, Matt Kobyluck, and Brad Leighton are all in contention for the title entering the Lime Rock showdown.

While a limited schedule has kept Bryan Wall from challenging for the championship in 2002, he has already furthered his claim to the title "king of the road" by winning the only previous road course event of the Year, at Watkins Glen, N.Y. in August. That tied him with Butch Leitzinger, who is no longer active in NASCAR racing, for the most road course wins in Busch North competition.

An analysis of Lime Rock results by track statistician Craig Robertson shows Mike Stefanik, who returns to the Busch North Series in 2003, holds the second best record among 24 drivers who have run five or more of the nine races to date. Stefanik's average finish is 8.3, including a win in 1998. Significantly, 2002 Busch North point leader Andy Santerre is third in the Lime Rock rankings at 8.6, followed by 1997 winner Ted Christopher (10.8) and Dale Shaw (12.5).

Among the other Busch North title challengers, Brad Leighton ranks tenth in Lime Rock success, with an average finish of 15.5, but does own one Bud Pole, while Matt Kobyluck averages 18.3 in his three starts.

Of course, average finish doesn't tell the whole story. Leighton's average, for example, is adversely affected by his 36th and last place in 1999. Dale Quarterley, who achieved the remarkable feat of winning after starting last at Lime Rock in 2001, ranks only 17th overall with an 18.0 average. Conversely, Dave Dion and Stub Fadden, two short track legends who never made road racing a specialty, are ranked seventh and eleventh, respectively, in overall Lime Rock success.

Statistics, of course, exist on paper, while the race is run on asphalt. History, including the 2002 Busch North Series championship, remains to be written when the field assembles for the Burnham Boilers 200 at Lime Rock Park this Saturday.

-nascar-

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Bryan Wall , Dale Quarterley , Matt Kobyluck