The Budweiser 150 was the fourth straight Busch North Series race in which the green-white-checker rule was called into play to assure a racing finish. Five extra laps were run at Lee, NHIS, and Nazareth, and two extra laps at Seekonk. **...
The Budweiser 150 was the fourth straight Busch North Series race in which the green-white-checker rule was called into play to assure a racing finish. Five extra laps were run at Lee, NHIS, and Nazareth, and two extra laps at Seekonk.
The Budweiser 150 was also the fourth straight race in which a new track record was set on Goodyear Eagle tires. Mike Olsen’s Bud Pole was his second of the season and his seventh in the last ten short-track Busch North Series races, dating back to his first Bud Pole at Beech Ridge in July 2001. Not bad for a guy whose first 180 races yielded zero poles.
Last week we explored the Flowmaster Star of the Race Award in detail, and we’ll do the same with the Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year after a review of some administrative details is completed. (That’s why the Raybestos points aren’t updated this week.) This time, let’s look at the third set of special point standings, the Gatorade Front Runner Award. That’s especially timely because the contest is so close after four races in the 2002 season.
The driver leading the most laps in each Busch North Series race receives 3 Gatorade Front Runner points, and all other drivers who lead at least one lap receive 1 Gatorade point. If there’s a tie for lap leadership, highest finishing position gets the 3 points and the $750 Gatorade Front Runner Award for that event. At the awards banquet, the Gatorade Front Runner Champion picks up a check for $7,500, and if there’s a tie on points, position in the overall standings is the tiebreaker. That happened with Brad Leighton and Dale Shaw in 2000.
In the first four races of 2002, 13 drivers have led at least one lap. Andy Santerre and Paul Wolfe have each led the most laps once and have led one other race, tying them atop the Gatorade standings with 4 points. There’s a three-way tie for third among Mike Olsen, Dave Dion, and Matt Kobyluck. Olsen led the most laps at Lee, Dion led the most at Seekonk, and Kobyluck has led at least one lap in three of the four races.
Milestones from the Cement Palace: Bill Penfold, Eddie MacDonald, and David Darling all achieved their best career finishes. For Darling, it came in his hometown and a few blocks from his race shop! Bryan Wall scored his first top ten of 2002 and Tracy Gordon had his first top five. Matt Kobyluck is perfect in top fives after four races, and Dale Shaw has a clean slate of top tens.