(Barre, VT - Sept. 3 2000) - Bill Penfold lead the VIP Charter Coach-sponsored Penfold Motorsports team to Vermont's Thunder Road International Speedbowl Saturday for the True Value 150 as the Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring, headed into its ...
(Barre, VT - Sept. 3 2000) - Bill Penfold lead the VIP Charter Coach-sponsored Penfold Motorsports team to Vermont's Thunder Road International Speedbowl Saturday for the True Value 150 as the Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring, headed into its homestretch. Penfold, an able short-track racer from Yarmouth, Maine, had put mechanical problems from Watkins Glen and Thompson Speedway behind him and unloaded the team's short-track Chevrolet Monte Carlo in preparation for the 150-lap race around the quarter-mile oval.
Qualifying found Penfold turning the 11th fastest time despite light rain showers falling all evening long.
"I went into turn one," he said after qualifying, "and I could hardly see the track. I went by the lights to guide me around and we turned a decent time, and we're starting on the inside row which is good. We had more in the car but with these conditions we're happy."
In the race, Penfold quickly moved into the top ten and spent most of the early going between 7th and 9th position. The rain showers that had come and gone all night grew harder as the race crossed one-third distance eventually forced officials to stop the race on lap 64 and continue it Sunday afternoon.
Sunday dawned overcast but dry, and the Busch North teams were allowed to make very minor adjustments to their cars before resuming the race. Penfold continued to run as high as 7th place before contact with Mike Olsen sent him spinning into the infield with just 20 laps left in the race. Penfold was quickly back under power and moving, but the caution had come out and the series scorer declared that Penfold had not resumed before being passed by the leader. Trapped a lap down, Penfold finished the race in 16th position, the first car not on the lead lap.
"I had to fight the car because we could only blow the tires up and go, and the track changed," he said after the race. "We were pretty decent, running steady, holding our own and gaining on them. Some of the guys in front of me were slowing down more than I was. It was a racing deal where we got turned and that was just short-track racing like when I hit the 3 [Mike Bruno] and got him around. You don't mean to do stuff like that but it doesn't take much on a short track, especially the way they sent us out today."
Penfold had one suggestion for officials after the race. Their plan was to put the cars on the track with the only adjustments being to tire pressures, but Penfold felt the race would have been better if they could have worked on more things before resuming Sunday afternoon.
"They should have let the guys check their cars over again and make sure everything's right. Everybody had the same amount of time, same opportunity to go through their cars and you wouldn't have had a fiasco like that out there."
Next Saturday night the Busch North Series returns to Penfold's home state with the running of a 150-lapper at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway. Penfold finished in 12th place at Beech Ridge this past June. For more information on the VIP Charter Coach team, visit their website at http://www.penfoldmotorsports.com