DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 8, 2004) - A dictionary may show the words "quick" and "fast" as synonyms, but to a racer, they have different meanings which may or may not belong together. "Fast" is measured in miles per hour, while "quick" describes...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 8, 2004) - A dictionary may show the words "quick" and "fast" as synonyms, but to a racer, they have different meanings which may or may not belong together. "Fast" is measured in miles per hour, while "quick" describes the nature of the action on the track. When the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series reaches the halfway point of its 2004 season at Waterford Speedbowl for the Waterford 150 presented by Big Y on Saturday, July 17, both "quick" and "fast" will definitely apply.
Bryon Chew and Brian Hoar are two of the young stars of the Busch North Series working their way toward the top rank with their family-based teams. Both have experienced an uneven first half of the campaign, but both have a good track record at the 3/8-mile oval in the heart of the southeastern Connecticut resort country, and both relish the challenge of the "Bowl".
Bryon Chew enjoyed much success at Waterford earlier in his career with both legends cars and racing trucks. Last year he finished third, the best oval-track result of his Busch North career. "You've got to be a little lucky and you've got to be up front, because there's a lot of action," he said, calling attention to the track's quickness.
"It's unique. It's tough because it's so small but you've got a lot of speed," Chew continued, citing the other side of the Speedbowl's personality. "You get a good whip off the top of the corner," he added, putting the two characteristics together by concluding "A lot of people don't like going up in that second groove. I like to go up there but you've got to watch out for the other people and they've got to know where you are because you can easily get pinched."
Like several other short tracks, Waterford's pit area is outside the perimeter of the speedway, ruling out scheduled pit stops and putting a high priority on chassis setup. That plays to Bryon Chew's strong suit. "I like that aspect a lot," he declared. "You've got to come with something that runs real good. You have what you have. If you go in the pits, you'll lose a lap. I've had good success, I've won some races there, and I look forward to racing there."
In contrast to Chew, Brian Hoar saw Waterford for the first time as a Busch North rookie in 2001. It's taken time to unlock its secrets, but now the former Vermont short track star is feeling more comfortable. "I like the little place. It seems to race out pretty well but things can happen quickly there. Last year we started to get our stuff together there and we finished seventh," noted the only Dodge driver in the series, adding "You can use some brake there and you can use some motor, so it's a good combination, good for our program."
Hoar also likes the no-pit nature of racing at Waterford, but for a slightly different reason. "We don't rely on pit stops," he stated. "We don't get to practice pit stops very often so we'd rather rely on never having to pit. To us, it's more of a gamble to pit. Our philosophy is figure out how we can do this without pitting."
Quick and fast, or fast and quick, with no chance for mid-race adjustments, Waterford Speedbowl will no doubt live up to its reputation for testing the Busch North Series teams to the utmost.
The Waterford 150 presented by Big Y is scheduled as a one-day event on Saturday, July 17, with practice starting at 1:30 p.m. Busch Pole Qualifying is set for 5:00 p.m., with the green flag at 7:30 p.m. Waterford's regular NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series classes will also be in action during the evening.
SPEED Channel will tape the Waterford 150 presented by Big Y for national telecast on Saturday, August 28, at 12 noon Eastern time.
NEWS OF NOTE
* Kelly Moore won the 2003 Waterford 150, taking the lead from Mike Olsen on lap 88. It was his second consecutive Waterford victory. Mike Stefanik finished second, with Bryon Chew third, Bobby Dragon fourth, and Mike Johnson fifth. Late-race problems dropped Olsen to 11th. Hard luck story of the night was hometown driver Matt Kobyluck, who was involved in a first-turn incident after winning the Busch Pole Award and leading laps 4-54. He finished 24th and last.
* The Busch Pole Qualifying track record at Waterford is held by Martin Truex Jr. at 14.980 seconds, 90.129 miles per hour, set in 2002.
* Kelly Moore has the best career record at Waterford, with a second place in 2001 and fifth in 2000 in addition to his two straight wins. Mike Johnson has one win, a third, and a fifth.
* Other than Kelly Moore, the only Busch North Series race winners at Waterford are Brad Leighton (2000) and Mike Johnson (2001).
* Brad Leighton is the only driver to win at Waterford during a Busch North Series championship season.
* Two-time defending Busch North Series champion Andy Santerre has had relatively little success at Waterford, finishing 7th in 2002 and 19th in 2003.
* Waterford Speedbowl in its 54th season of hosting Saturday night stock car races in the greater New London area. It opened as a dirt track in April 1951, but was paved the following month. It has been a NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series track since 2000.
WHAT'S THE WORD?
"The crew always enjoys it. One trip there we went to the beach and the next time we went to Mohegan Sun. Either way it costs us money but we have a good time. That's part of the deal for us. We have to be able to enjoy ourselves when we race." - Brian Hoar, on the trip to Waterford and his racing philosophy.
What: Waterford 150 presented by Big Y
Where: Waterford Speedbowl, Waterford, Conn.
When: Saturday, July 17, 7:30 p.m.
Track layout: .375 mile paved oval
Race distance: 150 laps, 56.25 miles
Television: SPEED Channel tape delay, Saturday, August 28, 12:00 noon Eastern time
2003 Waterford 150 race winner: Kelly Moore
2003 Waterford 150 Busch Pole winner: Matt Kobyluck
Schedule: Saturday, July 17 - Practice 1:30 to 3:00 p.m, Busch Pole Qualifying 5:00 p.m., Waterford 150 presented by Big Y 7:30 p.m.