(LIME ROCK, CT - Oct. 14 2000) - Bill Penfold always looks forward to the NASCAR Busch North Series season-closer at Lime Rock Park. With no formal training in road racing, Penfold has opened eyes in the past with top-three qualifying runs and ...
(LIME ROCK, CT - Oct. 14 2000) - Bill Penfold always looks forward to the NASCAR Busch North Series season-closer at Lime Rock Park. With no formal training in road racing, Penfold has opened eyes in the past with top-three qualifying runs and top-ten finishes. This year was shaping up to be more of the same.
After a successful practice session a week and a half ago, Penfold returned to Lime Rock and, after trying some new setup ideas, recorded the seventh best qualifying time despite a missed shift.
"On the first lap you throw it away to get the tires warm," he said after qualifying. "On the second lap the car was real good coming down the hill, and the driver blew it. It ran out of RPMs quicker than I thought so I went to grab fourth gear and hit second. It slowed me up a lot and it kind of blew the rhythm of that lap and it took me the next lap to really get it going again. We'll take seventh place, we're a little faster than we were last year going by the times. We knew we could have been better, we should have been up around fourth or fifth probably. We're just going to do the best we can and get the best finish we can. Maybe we can make up some points and gain a couple spots in the standings."
Penfold worked his way to fifth place before making a pit stop for fuel sixteen laps into the 82-lap event. Coming back on the track outside the top ten, Penfold ran clean to re-enter in tenth on lap 29. Starting with 20 laps to go, Penfold put on a charge that would have him as high as sixth when smoke was spotted coming from his VIP Charter Coach Chevrolet. Officials ordered Penfold to pit road to investigate, and the Penfold Motorsports crew discovered that the transmission had developed a leak and could not continue in the race. Penfold was scored in 24th place after completing 71 laps.
"The car was excellent, but the transmission started leaking for some reason," a discouraged Penfold said after the race. "I don't know, it's another typical day for my racing, running old parts and just not being able to keep up with them. We got up to the top five three times today and drove as hard as I could drive, but then not to be able to finish because something was leaking really was disheartening and I'm pretty disappointed. We tried and did the best we can, but we just can't compete with the money."
Penfold Motorsports finishes the 2000 Busch North season 14th overall in the points standings, having qualified for every race and recording three top ten finishes. Bill Penfold's best qualifying effort was a 3rd place run at the quarter-mile Star Speedway, while his best finishes were eighth-place runs at Stafford Motor Speedway and the Waterford Speedbowl.