Dale Quarterley Wins Pair Of Special Awards With Fifth Place Stafford Speedway Race (Stafford Springs, Conn. - June 18, 2004) - Dale Quarterley turned a day that didn't appear to be shaping up that well into a profitable one, with his driving...
Dale Quarterley Wins Pair Of Special Awards With Fifth Place Stafford Speedway Race
(Stafford Springs, Conn. - June 18, 2004) - Dale Quarterley turned a day that didn't appear to be shaping up that well into a profitable one, with his driving his EDART/Bully Hill Vineyards Chevrolet from a disappointing twentieth place qualifying effort to finish fifth in Friday night's Aubuchon Hardware 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway.
Quarterley's finish from starting as far back as he did won him the Powerade Power Move Of The Race award for improving the most positions during the race. His fifth place, after finishing eighteenth at Seekonk Speedway the previous race, also earned him the Featherlite Most Improved Driver award for improving the most over the previous race's results.
Fourteenth fastest in the only practice session held Friday afternoon, Quarterley could only muster twentieth fastest in the qualifying time trials. This left him scratching his head before the race.
"We can stay with other cars and pass them in practice," he said. "And while we know we don't have a winning car, we do have a fifth or sixth or seventh place car. When it comes to qualifying, though, whatever combination we have in the car doesn't seem to work in a two-lap time trial run. We're just getting killed in qualifying, so that's something we have to adjust on down the road. We're not too worried about the qualifying end, but we are still trying to make the car go a little better."
With changes made for the race, Quarterley embarked from his starting spot near the back. He had passed his way to sixteenth in the first twenty laps, and formulated a plan to make the car better. He put the 1/4 LEY Racing crew to work implementing that plan under caution when he pitted on lap 29, with a change of right-side tires and a second stop for a track bar adjustment.
Back on the track and back in the field, Quarterley saw the changes paying off. He got a big break in track position when the third and final yellow of the race came out on lap 87 and about half of the cars in front of him pitted while he didn't. He took the lap 93 restart in sixth and fell to eighth, but had a strong Mike Olsen in front of him. Quarterley stuck to Olsen's rear bumper and the two started picking off cars and making up ground on the leaders. They got up to fourth and fifth, but ran out of laps before they could continue making progress, leaving Quarterley with his third top-five finish of the season.
Quarterley now stands third in the Busch North Series points standings after five of fifteen races in the books.
"We made umpteen changes after qualifying because we were terrible," he said after the race. "We put on some Bilstein shocks to try them in the race, and some other changes to go along with those. We went out and at the beginning the shocks cured our problem but they cured them too much. We had to stop early to fix it, as the car was getting really tight in the center. Once we freed it up and put some tires on, the thing was fine. At the end we were as fast as the leaders, but we needed some tires. I stopped so soon and put on my two tires so I had nothing left to put on the car near the end. But Mike Olsen and myself ran the leaders down, so we had a good car. But from qualifying terrible and starting in the back, to being terrible and having to short-pit, ending up fifth was an excellent deal.
"The key to the race was, just like at Thompson, staying out of trouble and capitalizing on other people's mistakes," he continued. "The crew guys are working good together, and that's a major plus. We're able to get more done in practice like we were last year, so that helps."
Quarterley and crew will get right back in action next Saturday night as the series heads west to Holland International Speedway. Those unable to see HDNet's live coverage of the Stafford race will be able to see it when it is replayed on SpeedTV on July 3rd at noon.