BUSCH: Compton sets Kentucky Busch record

BUSCH: Compton sets Kentucky Busch record

Sparta, KY - Stacy Compton established a new track record for the NASCAR Busch Series cars today at Kentucky Speedway, winning his first series pole with a time of 30.615 seconds (176.384 mph) around the 1.5-mile oval. Stacy ...

Sparta, KY - Stacy Compton established a new track record for the NASCAR Busch Series cars today at Kentucky Speedway, winning his first series pole with a time of 30.615 seconds (176.384 mph) around the 1.5-mile oval.

Stacy Compton.
Photo by Thomas Chemris.
Compton, driving a Chevrolet for car owner Tad Geschickter, has been qualifying well lately. Today's pole run was the 5th top-5 qualifying spot for the team in the last seven races. Prior to today, the team, led by Crew Chief Steve Plattenberger, had a best 2003 start of 2nd at the Nazareth race.

Compton expressed surprise at the pole speed, after fighting handling problems in practice. "We were good in [turns] 3 and 4, but I couldn't get through 1 and 2 with the bumps there. We changed three sets of shocks and came up with something that got us over the bumps," he said.

Starting outside Compton on the front row for tomorrow's 300-mile race will be the Ford driven by Bobby Hamilton Jr. Hamilton has also been on a roll lately, running near the front of the Busch series field since his team owner, Ed Renzi hired veteran crew chief Harold Holly to lead the team three weeks ago. After a sixth-place finish in their first race together at Dover Downs, the Hamilton/Holly combination looked like winners last week at Nashville, only losing the lead in a late-race pit shuffle and finishing fifth.

Hamilton has moved up the Busch series points chart (from 10th to 8th) since Holly joined the team and Hamilton credited his new team leader with today's performance, remarking: "It's all down to Harold Holly. You need to have the car to be tied down and have side bite and forward bite at this track and it has all three."

David Green straps in.
Photo by James Spires.
David Green, a Kentucky native who is currently 2nd in Busch series points, qualified third, just one-thousandth of a second slower than Hamilton over the 1.5 mile lap (30.963 to 30.964 seconds.) Green, in a Pontiac for Brewco Racing, makes it three car brands in the top three spots. Green also commented on the bumps that are in the race line in turns 1 and 2, saying: "[Track Operations Manager] Andy Vertrees put those bumps in there to give us a challenge."

Ron Hornaday, Jr. and defending Kentucky race winner (and Busch points leader) Scott Riggs rounded out the top five qualifiers. The highest qualified rookie driver and the fastest Dodge driver was David Stremme in eighth position.

Regan Smith was fastest in the first practice session, but crashed later in the session and had to qualify using his backup car. He could only manage the 33rd-fastest time on his timed run and will start in row 19, using a provisional starting spot.

The Meijer 300 will take the green flag at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday at 8pm EDT.

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Bobby Hamilton Jr. , Stacy Compton , Ron Hornaday Jr. , David Green , Scott Riggs , Regan Smith , David Stremme