Moore battles to Top-5 Finish at Stafford Stafford Springs, CT -- Kelly Moore, driver of the Tic-Tac Pontiac Grand Prix, finished 5th Friday evening at Stafford Motor Speedway. The NASCAR? 150 Busch North Series, a NASCAR Touring Division,...
Moore battles to Top-5 Finish at Stafford
Stafford Springs, CT -- Kelly Moore, driver of the Tic-Tac Pontiac Grand Prix, finished 5th Friday evening at Stafford Motor Speedway. The NASCAR? 150 Busch North Series, a NASCAR Touring Division, event was won by defending series champion Mike Stefanik.
Moore finished second to Rick Fuller on July 3rd at Stafford Motor Speedway and the team had hopes of earning its 3rd win of the 1998 season at the renowned Connecticut ? mile facility. Brad Leighton set a new track record during the qualifying session, posting an average speed of 90.230 mph. The Tic-Tac team drew an early qualifying draw and earned a 10th place starting position. "We haven't had much luck with early qualifying runs," Moore continues, "Our team works hard on the qualifying setups but starting so early in the session has really hurt us so far this season."
Brad Leighton led the 30-car field at a blistering pace for the first 65 laps. While Moore quickly moved up into the top-5, his car began to blister its right side tires. During the 1st caution period on lap 60, Moore pitted to put on fresh rubber. "We ran here in early July and finished second and never changed tires," said Moore. "We made a few changes to the car in an attempt to pick up the win but this setup blistered our tires." Moore was one of a handful of competitors that completed the early July event without taking on new tires.
Moore, starting at the rear of the field, did a stellar job of negotiating traffic and fought his way back into the top-10 by lap 80. His best position of the evening came at lap 105 when he took over the 2nd position.
During the next few circuits the car became increasingly loose and Moore struggled to keep the car from spinning out. "I blistered the right rear with about 40 laps to go," Moore explained. "I was really fighting with the car the rest of the way and just wanted to make sure we brought it home in one piece and just battled to stay in the top-5." This championship team knows that continued top-5 finishes will win the championship and did an outstanding job preparing the racecar and keeping the veteran focused.
The Tic-Tac Team has earned two outstanding top-5 finishes this season at Stafford Motor Speedway and as the series heads back to New Hampshire International Speedway, continue to lead the series point standings. "We didn't add to our lead this evening," Moore concludes, "but we still have the top spot and now head back to New Hampshire with an opportunity to pick up another win and extend our point lead." Moore and his team have won two consecutive races at New Hampshire International Speedway, a feat he shares with current Busch Series star Mike McLaughlin who also won consecutive races at the 1-mile track during the 1992 season.
The Busch North Series will share the racing card with the NASCAR? Craftsman Truck Series and Featherlite Modified Series at New Hampshire International Speedway on August 2nd.