Dale Quarterley salvages thirteenth from Thunder Road short track war. Westfield, Massachusetts' Dale Quarterley entered Saturday night's True Value 150 at Vermont's Thunder Road International Speedbowl on a roll, having scored top ten finishes...
Dale Quarterley salvages thirteenth from Thunder Road short track war.
Westfield, Massachusetts' Dale Quarterley entered Saturday night's True Value 150 at Vermont's Thunder Road International Speedbowl on a roll, having scored top ten finishes in eight of the last nine NASCAR Busch North Series races. The quarter-mile bullring at Thunder Road didn't treat him quite as well as past races, though, and after having to avoid two separate accidents in front of him, he brought his Land O Lakes Chevrolet home in the thirteenth position. Quarterley maintained his sixth place points position in the season standings.
Through three practice sessions running throughout Saturday afternoon, the 1/4 LEY Racing crew fine-tuned the setup in their car to prepare it for qualifying and the race to be held later that night. In qualifying, Quarterley time trialed sixteenth best, turning a lap of 12.871 seconds (69.925 MPH).
"Practice went well. We learned a couple things just moving the car around, things we had been working on for the last couple weeks," he said afterwards. "But because of what we learned, and because we had qualified bad the last couple weeks, we tried some different stuff in qualifying. Lately we've been tight in qualifying, so this time we went the other way and we shot right by it. We were loose in qualifying. Sixteenth really isn't too bad."
Quarterley was mired mid-pack through the race's early laps, dealing with heavy traffic. An accident ahead of him just thirty-four laps into the race forced him to take evasive action, taking to the infield grass to avoid being collected. He was successful, but fell to fourteenth on the restart order. A second accident in front of him twenty laps later also had him heading for cover, successfully avoiding the wreck but losing some positions in doing so.
"When the race started, everyone was being aggressive because it's hard to get off turn four if you have the best handling car, never mind if you're struggling a little," he said. "It seemed like we kept getting involved in other people's problems. Someone broke a sway bar, which cut their tire and they hit the wall. Their car bounced back, and we had to go through the five-foot manhole bumps in the grass to avoid them; it may have bent the crossmember. Then we started moving back up and Barney McRae hit the wall, and, trying to avoid that, three guys got by me and I had to get back through that mess and get back through those guys."
Still running competitively, but still fifteenth in the running order, Quarterley picked his way through lapped traffic to catch more lead lap cars. He got alongside Bryon Chew at the lap 100 mark but by that time, the leader had caught him and as Quarterley passed Chew, the leader put them both a lap down. From that point on, he soldiered on to the finish, coming home thirteenth.
"I caught up to the 09 [Chew] and I was just not fast enough to get us cleared," he said. "Finally Mike Olsen came by and put us a lap down and at that point we were done, even though we were just as quick as the guys behind us. Point wise, the leaders pulled a little on us some more, but I made up some on Dale Shaw and some others, so it was a halfway decent point night all in all.
"I thought I stayed in my tree all night," Quarterley said, referring to how he kept his temper on a night when many other drivers hadn't. "If I was going to get upset, if I was one of those other guys, I would have put the 09 into the wall. But he was doing what everybody was doing. Everybody was struggling to maintain position. I think I did the best I could and brought the car home in one piece. I think we did good all in all. You can't not finish, that's the biggest deal this late in the season. I'd liked to have finished first or second, but eleventh is better than 26th."
Quarterley now returns to the state of Maine next weekend to complete the running of the Irving Oil 150 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, where the race was rained out a week ago Saturday after qualifying was completed. Quarterley will start the race 24th.