BNS: Waterford: Bill Penfold race report

Bill Penfold's ninth at Waterford is fourth top ten of 2002. Bill Penfold now has four top ten finishes in the NASCAR Busch North Series after he took his back-up short track car to a ninth place finish in the Waterford 150 on Saturday night.

Bill Penfold's ninth at Waterford is fourth top ten of 2002.

Bill Penfold now has four top ten finishes in the NASCAR Busch North Series after he took his back-up short track car to a ninth place finish in the Waterford 150 on Saturday night. Penfold now sits ninth in the season championship standings.

Still using last year's short-track car while the VIP Charter Coaches Chevrolet damaged at Beech Ridge continues to undergo repairs, Penfold struggled in practice and was visibly not happy with the way the car was handling. Numerous changes were made to the car and, in time trials, Penfold could only muster the 22nd best qualifying lap.

"We tried everything, now we're going to just throw a whole bunch of stuff at it and try for the race, and hopefully survive," he said afterwards. "I don't like the car, and the car doesn't like me. We're not hitting it with that car. This time we'll just throw a bunch of stuff at it and pray. Maybe we'll hit it and win, but we have to do something since we're starting so far back, we're in danger of getting lapped right off the bat. We're going to put gear to it, springs to it, shocks to it. We're going for it."

Penfold did not get lapped during the running of the Waterford 150, and actually made steady progress towards the front once the race started. He was seventeenth after 25 laps, sixteenth after 50, and thirteenth at the halfway mark. He entered the top ten on lap 82 and picked up one more position before the race ended. After the race, he was hot and tired after a full night of work, but happy.

"We made a lot of changes and I'll tell you, it improved the car so much," he said. "The car was a totally different car to drive. It was still a little loose, but we got a lot of breaks with guys having trouble and falling out. The car was probably a fifteenth place car and we ended up with a top ten out of it. We ended up burning the tires off trying to come up through. We'll take that, the car's not beat up, and all in all, we made out a lot better than I thought we were going to. It's a tough little race track, it's a lot of fun out there.

"I'm just kind of glad it's over, though, because when we had the red flag the heat inside the car and stuff started getting to me and I was going to get sick," Penfold continued. "I'm happy we got ninth, the car's in decent shape, and the nose isn't all beat up so nobody can say I was beating on people. The car actually ran better in the second groove, but at the end I just stayed on the bottom to protect where I was. I figure this helps us point-wise, a lot of guys ahead of us had some trouble."

Penfold's best season to date in Busch North continues next Saturday night at Thompson International Speedway in Thompson, Connecticut, for another 150-lap race. For more information on the team, visit its website at www.penfoldmotorsports.com.

-bpr-

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Series NASCAR