BNS: Thompson: Dale Quarterley race notes

Dale Quarterley Scores Pair of Awards With Thompson Speewday Fourth Place (THOMPSON, CONN. - May 22, 2004) - Dale Quarterley put together a strong NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race at the 5/8-mile Thompson International ...

Dale Quarterley Scores Pair of Awards With Thompson Speewday Fourth Place

(THOMPSON, CONN. - May 22, 2004) - Dale Quarterley put together a strong NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race at the 5/8-mile Thompson International Speedway Saturday night when he brought his EDART/Bully Hill Vineyards Chevrolet home fourth in the Pepsi Racing 150.

The Westfield, Massachusetts driver earned a pair of special awards in his first top-five finish of the season as well: the PowerAde Power Move Of The Race, which rewards the driver who makes the best improvement from his starting position to his finishing position; and the Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award, which goes to the driver who best improves his finish from the previous series race.

Quarterley improved thirteen positions from his seventeenth starting position, and also improved thirteen positions from his seventeenth place finish in the series' first race of the season, held in April at Lee USA Speedway.

After spending the month between races making repairs to crash damage suffered in that Lee race, Quarterley came to Thompson looking to rebound. His hopes of doing so were not encouraged after his qualifying run on a track that was cooling and under a constant threat of rain left him seventeenth in the 27-car field.

"We were pretty good in practice, we thought we were decent but a little on the tight side," he said. "When we went out for our qualifying run, the temperature had dropped six or seven degrees just in the few minutes before we went out, and between that and our being a little on the tight side it pushed us over the top. It's no big deal, except we're back in the field. We should be all right."

The march to the front took some time. He had only managed to improve to twelfth after the race's first fifty laps, but stayed on the lead lap through the race's longest green-flag run, which ended with a caution on lap 86. Returning to the race in ninth place, Quarterley started moving towards the top five.

Lap 114 saw the first of six straight cautions that left the balance of the race run in short bursts. Quarterley picked up spots on nearly all of those restarts, and finished the race with a last-lap pass for fourth and even a challenge for third place, although a dirty windshield and his running out of laps prevented him from completing that pass.

"We made one little change to the car between qualifying and the race," he said after the race. "We put qualifying out of our minds and decided that we'd just go out there and do the best that we can, and if we finish tenth, we'll finish tenth. I just tried to stay out of trouble and not kill the car. I started seventeenth and I was still back in fifteenth thirty laps in. But right after that, they started coming to me. I wasn't slowing down anymore but everybody else was. Little by little we worked our way to the front. We made out pit stop and made one adjustment, and after that the car was way better.

"I was really fast on the restarts, I could run high or low," Quarterley continued. "That's how I got back up through the field again. On the last restart, I drove around fifth, and I was up under fourth, but I had trouble seeing out of my windshield because someone was leaking oil earlier in the race and my windshield was a mess. I couldn't see exactly where the turn four wall was, so I couldn't let the car drift out as wide as I'd like and it killed me. I was doomed from that point."

The next race for Quarterley will be next Saturday at Lime Rock Park in the northwest corner of Connecticut. This race has usually been run in October, and Quarterley has won it in two of the last three years, winning from the pole in last year's edition.

-ajc-

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Dale Quarterley