Watkins Glen, NY -- The NAPA Auto Parts team endured a rough weekend at the famed Watkins Glen International Speedway in Western New York. NASCAR veteran Kelly Moore was very hopeful of his chances for a top-10 finish entering Saturday's 62-lap...
Watkins Glen, NY -- The NAPA Auto Parts team endured a rough weekend at the famed Watkins Glen International Speedway in Western New York. NASCAR veteran Kelly Moore was very hopeful of his chances for a top-10 finish entering Saturday's 62-lap road course event. However, after two victorious weekends on the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series tour, Moore suffered some bad luck during qualifying and the rain shortened event which relegated the NAPA Auto Parts/Bill Dodge Auto Group to a 31st place finish.
"In the past we've had our ups and downs on the road course, it's unfortunate because I really enjoy the challenge of road racing," said Moore.
The road course qualifying session employs a European style, placing multiple race cars on the track at one time; each race car separated an equal distance. During Moore's qualifying run, a competitor in front of him had some difficulty which slowed the Scarborough, ME native just enough to place him outside the top-10 fastest qualifiers.
"Our practice times were a lot more respectable then what we displayed during our qualifying run," Moore said. "We had some obstacles to battle but starting 14th wasn't where we wanted to be on Saturday. Track position and strategy are key elements to a good finish here, and you've got to stay out of trouble."
With rain threatening the entire weekend of racing action at Watkins Glen, the race did get underway at the scheduled time and the first of two road course races for the Busch North Series didn't disappoint the race fans in attendance. Moore focused hard on hitting his marks and staying out of trouble, anticipating a good pit stop would help the Maine Lubrication Services/Shell Rotella T team in the right spot for a top-10 finish.
The yearly visit to Watkins Glen attracts numerous road course experts into the full bodied race cards, some of whom the weekly competitors are not familiar with. This requires all the competitors to be cautious when you're making moves on the racetrack, more so then you would on a weekly basis since your unsure of what the unknown competitor is apt to do. Moore fell victim to such a move, causing him to spin. The caution flag was displayed on lap 38 after Moore was unable to fire the race car, losing one lap in the process.
"There was contact on the track with someone I'm not used to running with and that cost us a good finish today," said Moore. "We were running pretty good today, had a good car and just waiting for the right time to pit and bring home a good finish, unfortunately, we ran into some bad luck today."
There was no opportunity for Moore to battle back as the race was called after 41 laps due to heavy rain. The 31st place finish moved Moore down one spot to third in the championship standings, 71 point behind current leader Andy Santerre.
The SPEED Channel is scheduled to broadcast the rain shortened event on August 23. The Busch North Series heads back to Western New York next weekend for a 150-lap event at Adirondack International Speedway in Beaver Falls, NY.