LOUDON, NH (July 21, 2003)-- After running the fourth-fastest time in morning practice and powering his way into the top ten with a fast racecar early in the New England 125 at New Hampshire International Speedway here Saturday, Paul Wolfe was ...
LOUDON, NH (July 21, 2003)-- After running the fourth-fastest time in morning practice and powering his way into the top ten with a fast racecar early in the New England 125 at New Hampshire International Speedway here Saturday, Paul Wolfe was confident the Tops Racing Team's recent string of bad luck would be history. It only took until lap 23 of the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series' eighth race of the season for history to repeat itself.
After exiting turn four, Wolfe was gaining speed coming down the front stretch when the No. 68 car of Brandon Miller bounced off the outside wall while attempting to pass and turned abruptly into the right rear of the Tops Dodge. The resulting contact spun Wolfe clockwise, and he came to rest blocking the track just after the start-finish line. With nowhere to go, the No. 40 of Matt Kobyluck broadsided the right side of the Tops Dodge at nearly full speed. Both racecars were heavily damaged from the impact and had to be towed back to the garage. Wolfe and Kobyluck climbed out without any serious injuries.
"What makes this especially upsetting is the car we had today was the best I have had all year," Wolfe said. "The Tops Dodge was fun to drive, it was handling great and the motor was powerful. I guess I was in the wrong place at the wrong time."
The resulting 37th place finish continued a series of misfortunes for Wolfe in 2003. It was the second time in as many races that the Tops Dodge was spun out while running in the top ten. Last week at Thompson International Speedway, Wolfe was turned around while he was running eighth. The team has also had tires go down while running in the top ten at Lake Erie Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway. In addition, a broken oil line at Stafford Motor Speedway and a pileup that damaged the radiator at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway led to DNFs for the team.
"We have high quality people all around us, so I am confident we will be able to rebound from this," Wolfe said. "It seems like something different happens every week to ruin our day. I hope we have used up all our bad luck so we can get this season pointed in the right direction."
Martin Truex, Jr. took the Bud Pole and also won the race. Andy Santerre, Brad Leighton, Ryan Moore and Mike Johnson completed the top five. SPEED Channel will broadcast the New England 125 on Saturday, August 9 at 10 a.m.
Tops Markets, LLC is one of six retail operating companies under Ahold USA, one of the leading supermarket operations in the U.S. Tops currently operates 159 Tops Friendly Markets and 204 convenience stores in New York, Pennsylvania and northeast Ohio. The Tops Racing Team's associate sponsors for the New Hampshire race were Georgia Pacific, Brawny, Dixie, Colton RV and Scott Products.
Tommy Baldwin Racing North (TBRN), a subsidiary of Tommy Baldwin Racing, operates the No. 9 Tops Dodge. TBRN is co-owned by Tommy Baldwin and Eddie D'Hondt.
For updated information about Wolfe and the Tops Racing Team, visit www.paulwolfe.net.