BNS: Penfold Beech Ridge report

(Scarborough, Maine - September 11 2000) - Bill Penfold brought the VIP Charter Coach Chevrolet team to the third-mile Beech Ridge Motor Speedway for the running of the PTM Racing 150 on Saturday night. With just three more Busch North Series, ...

(Scarborough, Maine - September 11 2000) - Bill Penfold brought the VIP Charter Coach Chevrolet team to the third-mile Beech Ridge Motor Speedway for the running of the PTM Racing 150 on Saturday night. With just three more Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring races left in the season, the goal of Penfold Motorsports was to solidify its position in the season points standings while finishing out the year on a high note.

The #0 Monte Carlo was not running to Penfold's liking in practice and in qualifying could only muster the 23rd best time, forcing him to choose to stand on his time or attempt second-round time trails. Penfold elected to stand on his time and remained 23rd after qualifying was completed.

"It's just loose, we haven't been able to get hooked up all day," he said after qualifying. "That was the fastest lap we ran all day long, so there's no sense in going second round. We'll take what we got, and we've got a provisional too even though we don't want to rely on that, we want to drive our way in. That's about the best the car's gone, so hopefully when it cools off the track will tighten up and we'll be all set for the race."

Starting as far back as he did, Penfold had to be cautious early in the race while making sure he remained on the lead lap. He made steady progress through the early laps, working his way up to twelfth before caution came out and a majority of leaders elected to make pit stops. Penfold chose not to pit and wound up restarting the race in second place. On the lap 67 restart, Penfold jumped into the lead and had the VIP Charter Coach Chevrolet out in front for five laps before being overtaken by eventual race winner Dale Shaw.

Penfold's strong run at the front of the field was derailed when the clutch malfunctioned on a lap 84 restart. He pulled out of line and fell all the way back to fourteenth, but held his ground and made it back to thirteenth, on the lead lap, when the checkers fell.

"That car was horrible to drive in practice, but Bob [Harrison] got it hooked up for the race," he said afterwards. "We lead it for a while, then Shaw got by me there. On the next restart, for some reason the clutch wouldn't release and I had to pull it to the outside. I couldn't even push the clutch it was so bad. I hit it with both feet and finally it released, and then I was able to take off.

"The car's in one piece, we ran inside and outside, and we were up front, so I'm happy," Penfold continued. "I lead a race again, I'm happy considering we started back in 23rd. I thought it was a real clean race tonight. I was expecting the worst, but everybody drove with their head and they drove real well tonight. We've got two good racetracks for me coming up, and I can't wait to get to Lime Rock. The fans love it there, and at Loudon too."

Loudon, New Hampshire is the site of the next-to-last Busch North Series race, a 125-lap event to be run Saturday afternoon. The race will be broadcast live on The Nashville Network following the Featherlite Modified Series race, with the day's broadcasting beginning at 1:00 PM. For more information on Bill Penfold, visit http://www.penfoldmotorsports.com

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