Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring Carquest Auto Parts Stores 150 Stafford Motor Speedway Friday, June 21, 2002 Some interesting parallels surfaced between the Busch North Series race at Stafford and the Winston Cup race at Sonoma two days later.
Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring
Carquest Auto Parts Stores 150
Stafford Motor Speedway
Friday, June 21, 2002
Some interesting parallels surfaced between the Busch North Series race at Stafford and the Winston Cup race at Sonoma two days later. In both races, the point leader took a hit, and in both cases, the winner logged another in a long-running string of victories.
Matt Kobyluck completed only 95 laps at Stafford, leaving him 23rd in the final rundown. It was the first finish outside the top-five for the Busch North Series leader, but he dodged a bullet as runner-up Brad Leighton could only record an eleventh place run, leaving Kobyluck 22 points up, 924 to 902, after six of the 19 scheduled races. Dale Shaw was sixth at Stafford after leading many laps, losing third in the standings but closing ground on Kobyluck, who now leads him by 45.
The big move upward in points was made by Andy Santerre, whose runner-up finish jumped him to third, just 36 markers behind Kobyluck. Stafford winner Kelly Moore is now fifth, 59 points back.
Kelly Moore posed for the cameras in victory lane for the first time in 2002 at Stafford less than 48 hours before Rick Rudd did likewise at Sonoma. Both are the "iron men" of their respective series, holding the record for consecutive starts (Rudd’s streak is in progress, Moore’s ended in 2000), and both have endured lean years to return to prominence. Their career victory totals differ by only one– Rudd 23, Moore 22.
The most striking similarity between Kelly Moore and Ricky Rudd is that both have been consistent front runners over an extended period of time. Rudd has won at least one Winston Cup race in 18 of the last 20 seasons, while never winning more than three races in one year. Moore has won at least one Busch North race in 13 of the 16 seasons of the series’ history, also with a best season of three wins in 1994 and again in 1998.
Stafford was a breakout race for Bryon Chew, whose fourth place finish was a career best for the big Long Islander. Established as a strong qualifier in 2001, Chew finally put it all together with an impressive last 20 laps on new right side tires.
Dale Quarterley (3rd) and Dave Dion (5th) also recorded their first top fives of the season in the Carquest 150.
The Busch North Series welcomed back Barney McRae and Tom Bolles at Stafford. McRae’s first start since his practice crash in the season opener at Lee, N.H., ended in an electrical fire which saw him pull off into the grass between the track and pit lane.
Bolles suffered rear axle problems making his first Busch North appearance of the year at the track just a few miles from his home, business, and race shop. Bolles also ran his SK modified in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series presented by Dodge portion of the Stafford program, but didn’t make the feature field. McRae was 24th and Bolles 27th in the Carquest 150.
Brendt Matzel of Chittenango, N.Y., made his Busch North Series debut, finishing 21st without a scratch on the car after starting shotgun in the 30-car field. Brendt’s dad and car owner, Bill Matzel, raced NASCAR modifieds at central New York tracks like Shangri-La (now Tioga) and Fulton (now covered with dirt) in the heyday of Richie Evans, Jerry Cook, and Geoff Bodine. e ** *
Finally, two streaks were broken at the Carquest 150. No track record was set in Bud Pole Qualifying under a blazing sun, and a 150 lap race was completed without added laps for the first time all season. Still, it's six races, six faces in victory lane headed for Holland this Saturday night.