Bill Penfold Fights Ill-Handling Car To Finish NHIS Twentieth (Loudon, N.H. - July 24, 2004) - Racing in the memory of his friend Steve Doughty, Bill Penfold placed his name on the rear fenders of his No. 0 DNK Select Used Cars Chevrolet for the...
Bill Penfold Fights Ill-Handling Car To Finish NHIS Twentieth
(Loudon, N.H. - July 24, 2004) - Racing in the memory of his friend Steve Doughty, Bill Penfold placed his name on the rear fenders of his No. 0 DNK Select Used Cars Chevrolet for the running of the Siemens 125 NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race run Saturday afternoon at the New Hampshire International Speedway. But while Penfold had intentions of giving his friend a strong ride at one of the biggest events on the series schedule, handling problems relegated Penfold to twentieth.
Penfold didn't get onto the track during the first practice session on Thursday, but when he did get on the track for the second session, he was nineteenth best. But as the team made more changes for qualifying, they didn't pick up as much time as anticipated and he was only 21st after time trials.
"We tightened it up a little too much for qualifying, and I ended up pushing coming up off the corners," he said after qualifying. "We've got some new horsepower from Carl Wegner to overcome some of that, but not all of it. We're trying new things, trying to learn how to make things better for qualifying, and that didn't work. But we're in good shape, the car will race good. We've got 125 laps so there's plenty of time to get to the front. I'm looking forward to the race and having DNK on the car at Loudon. It's a tribute race to my friend, and we're going to do the best we can for them all, I'll tell you that."
Making progress was difficult in the race's early going, and Penfold was still twentieth when caution came out on lap 28. Penfold hit pit road to try and have some improvements made on his car, and he returned to the race. The changes must have worked, since Penfold was up to thirteenth as the race passed the fifty-lap mark. But there were still improvements to be made, and Penfold was on pit road again on lap 60. Restarting in 23rd, he quickly picked up five spots before the next yellow, but after the race resumed, he couldn't hold on to that spot. A final pit stop for fuel came under caution on lap 114, and Penfold ran the rest of the race to finish twentieth after a lot of hard work.
"We didn't handle well, and we haven't been handling well for some time now," he said afterwards. "We kept trying to make the car better, but we kept making it worse. I just did the best I could with what I had. I tried to get a good finish for DNK Select Used Cars and for my friend Steve, we put his name on the rear quarters for this race. We tried. We worked hard and we didn't give up. We'll have to make some changes so we can come to the tracks with cars that I can drive."
Penfold reiterated that he's not about to give up on trying to get better results in future races.
"I'll never quit," he said. "We'll keep at it. I'm looking forward to going to Adirondack next week, but I'm really looking forward to going to Watkins Glen. You don't need a great car to do well at the Glen, you just have to be wild enough to drive one. I've got a lot of inspiration from all the great people I've met from there, we've got a great following out there. We'll go back there and raise some hell again."
Penfold returns to the track next Saturday night for the Busch North race at Adirondack International Speedway, and then in three weeks at his favorite track, Watkins Glen International. For more information, visit www.penfoldmotorsports.com.