Greg Schaefer seventh at Stafford despite late-race accident. Greg Schaefer looked to be having another stellar drive at Stafford Motor Speedway, just a month after recording his career best finish at that track, eight place in June. Running ...
Greg Schaefer seventh at Stafford despite late-race accident.
Greg Schaefer looked to be having another stellar drive at Stafford Motor Speedway, just a month after recording his career best finish at that track, eight place in June. Running fourth with just fifteen laps to go in Friday night's NASCAR 150, Schaefer was the victim of a restart spin and accident that left his Rite-Way Electric Chevrolet heavily damaged. Schaefer kept his car rolling and on the lead lap, though, and was rewarded with a seventh place finish.
Improving his qualifying over the first of three stops at Stafford by the NASCAR Busch North Series, Schaefer qualified fifteenth with a lap of 20.085 seconds (89.619 MPH) around the half-mile oval.
"It got pretty loose going into turn one, then she tightened up in the center, and got loose off," he said after qualifying. "I had to chase it up off the turn. I don't know if that was due to going out first or not. The car was pretty good in practice, we were fighting a push in the middle. We've been fighting it all day so maybe we'll have it ironed out for the race."
From fifteenth, Schaefer ran in thirteenth through the early laps until he capitalized on misfortune on the part of three other drivers, and moved up to ninth as the race crossed one-third distance. Following a lap 48 restart, a long green flag run began and Schaefer moved up smartly, even while holding off a very tenacious Matt Kobyluck. On lap 100 he was riding sixth, and moved up to fifth with thirty laps to go.
A lap 130 caution brought about a decision: to pit or not? Schaefer did not and moved up to fourth on the restart. Taking the green, he was hit from behind and spun in front of the field, and was collected by Bill Penfold and others. With heavy damage done to the car, Schaefer managed to get it restarted and drove it to pit road, where the Parks-Schaefer Motorsports crew made enough repairs to get the car to the finish. He restarted in eighth, the last car on the lead lap, and moved up to seventh for the finish.
"I took the restart and Dale Quarterley got a good run on the 29 car [Dave Dion], got up underneath him and I just followed him right by into turn one," Schaefer said after the race. "I got into turn two and Dion just turned me around. I have no idea why, I never touched him. He just completely turned me around right in front of everybody and everybody got a shot at me, and now I've got a race car to fix. We're happy with seventh, but the way things turned out, we could have won this race.
"We had a good car on long runs, but it would come and go," Schaefer continued. "It would start off loose and then we would get tight in the middle of a run and we'd back up, but it would come back and we'd be three tenths faster. I kind of was hoping it would go green the rest of the way and we could have had a really good finish. Seventh is a good finish, but it could have been a lot better."
Schaefer returns to road racing in two weeks when the Busch North Series makes its annual trip to Watkins Glen, where he finished tenth last year.