BNS: Nazareth race report

Kobyluck Rolls The Dice At Nazareth, No-Pit Strategy Key To First Busch North Series Win; Wolfe Is Career-Best Second; Olsen Extends Point Lead To 194 NAZARETH, Pa. - Matt Kobyluck gambled by not pitting for tires with the rest of the leaders,...

Kobyluck Rolls The Dice At Nazareth, No-Pit Strategy Key To First Busch North Series Win; Wolfe Is Career-Best Second; Olsen Extends Point Lead To 194

NAZARETH, Pa. - Matt Kobyluck gambled by not pitting for tires with the rest of the leaders, and came up with the winning hand in Sunday's Nazareth 100 Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring race at Nazareth Speedway. Kobyluck, a Mohegan tribal member who is sponsored by the Mohegan Sun casino in his hometown of Uncasville, Conn., won his first Busch North Series race by 4.059 seconds over Paul Wolfe. He became the tenth winner in 15 races during the 2001 BNS season.

Dale Shaw, with whom Kobyluck swapped the lead before Shaw and the other leaders stopped on lap 59, came back to finish third, with Dale Quarterley fourth and Brad Leighton fifth. Point leader Mike Olsen was sixth, and stretched his margin to 194 points over Kelly Moore, who finished 14th. Martin Truex Jr., Dennis Demers, Greg Schaefer, and Bryan Wall completed the top ten.

As at Watkins Glen two weeks ago, the Busch North Series produced a clean and competitive race with four lead changes and only two caution periods for ten laps. Kobyluck averaged a record 103.034 miles per hour as 27 of the 32 starters were running at the finish, with 14 on the lead lap.

Bud Pole winner Ted Christopher grabbed an immediate lead, but slid back through the field after surrendering the point to front row mate Shaw after 16 laps. It was quickly apparent that Kobyluck, who started fourth, would be a prime contender as he closed on Shaw and briefly took the lead on lap 56. The next lap found the leaders side-by-side behind Tracy Gordon and Bill Penfold, who touched in turn two with Gordon crashing hard into the outside wall. Shaw regained the lead, but chose to pit under the ensuing caution.

Kobyluck, Dennis Demers, and Brian Hoar remained on the track, with Wolfe, Shaw, and Olsen first out of the pits. Shaw was a rocket after the restart, quickly moving into second and closing the gap to Kobyluck when the second and final caution appeared on lap 73 for Travis Benjamin's drive-away spin. Kobyluck refused to lose, however, and gradually pulled away to a comfortable margin as Wolfe passed Shaw with six laps remaining. Also on the move into the closing stages were Quarterley and Leighton, the latter experiencing no ill effects from a brush with the first-turn wall with 20 laps to go.

Christopher captured the Bud Pole with a new track record time of 28,500 seconds, 126.316 miles per hour, but was never a factor after the first 16 laps and parked his car with rear end trouble after 91 laps. Kobyluck won the Gatorade Front Runner Award, and Wolfe's advance from 15th to second earned him the Flowmaster Star of the Race Award. Brian Hoar broke out of a mid-season slump to win the Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Race Award, extending his margin to six points over Joey McCarthy in the rookie point standings.

Olsen's sixth place, coupled with Moore's 14th and Mike Johnson's 23rd, left him 194 points ahead of Moore and 228 in front of Johnson after 15 of 21 races. The Busch North Series returns to action next Saturday night September 1, in the True Value 150 at Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, Vt.

-nascar/bns-

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Martin Truex Jr. , Greg Schaefer , Paul Wolfe , Matt Kobyluck , Mike Johnson , Ted Christopher