BUSCH NORTH SERIES TEAMS WILL BE GOING IN CIRCLES TO FIND THE RIGHT COMBINATION FOR ADIRONDACK INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY'S THE EDGE HOTEL 150, SATURDAY, JULY 30 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 22, 2005) - When the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch ...
BUSCH NORTH SERIES TEAMS WILL BE GOING IN CIRCLES TO FIND THE RIGHT COMBINATION FOR ADIRONDACK INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY'S THE EDGE HOTEL 150, SATURDAY, JULY 30
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 22, 2005) - When the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series teams first saw Adirondack International Speedway in 2002, it looked like a scaled-up replica of some of their favorite short track venues in New England. It was a half-mile circle, so experience told drivers and crew chiefs that it should drive like Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway, for example.
First impressions can deceive, and as the series prepares to make its fourth annual appearance at Paul Lydaker's modern facility in the scenic Black River Valley, some teams are still literally going in circles trying to unlock its secrets.
Because it's a track where new ways of going fast are still be discovered, the North Country fans have been treated to three unpredictable, hard-fought races, with the lead changing hands for the final time within 15 laps of the finish each year. Those fans have responded by filling the stands each year.
There's one particular spot at Adirondack that leaves drivers and crew chiefs shaking their heads. That's turn four, where the racing line tightens dramatically, although it's not evident from outside the car due to the width of the track. Andy Santerre became the first Adirondack winner, and has never fnished lower than third, in large part because he made that discovery early and adjusted his setup and his driving to account for it.
"The key to getting around there fast is to be able to keep it on the bottom coming off turn four," the three-time defending series champion explained. "You're carrying so much momentum and you use so little brake going in that the car just wants to go to the right." That makes Adironadack a handling compromise; dialing out the push in turn four will require some looseness the rest of the way around, but that's the driver's job to overcome.
"It's a lot like Oxford Plains Speedway," Santerre continued, referring to the track in his native Maine where the Busch North Series will return in August after a long absence. "You've got to be real smooth and have a lot of patience." As on all tracks that feature more turns than straightaways, the engine is one of the less important components to a winning car at Adirondack. "Horsepower plays almost no part at Adirondack. The first time we went there most of us found we had to de-tune our cars to get hooked up. It's a real handling track and a momentum track," he added.
Santerre's 2002 Adirondack win, and Dale Quarterley's trip to victory lane in 2003, were accomplished after pitting for right side tires and coming back through the field. By contrast, Matt Kobyluck did not pit in 2004 and had enough rubber left to successfully battle Quarterley in the closing laps. Santerre thinks Kobyluck's strategy will prevail this time. "From what we've seen with the tires this year, I don't think you'll see the lead cars making pit stops for tires this year," he related. "The key is going to be getting out in front and making the car handle for the whole race."
The Edge Hotel 150 is scheduled as a one-day event on Saturday, July 30, with practice beginning at 2:30 p.m., Busch Pole Qualifying at 5:45 p.m, and the green flag at 8:00 p.m. following the traditional on-track autograph session.
NEWS OF NOTE
* Matt Kobyluck foiled Dale Quarterley's bid for a second straight Adirondack victory in 2004 as the duo battled at close quarters in the closing laps. Quarterley passed Kobyluck on lap 135, but a multi-car tangle on the next lap put Quarterley behind the wall for an 18th place finish as Kobyluck broke a two-yar winless streak. Andy Santerre, Mike Olsen, Joey McCarthy, and Brian Hoar completed the top five. Santerre, Kelly Moore, and Ryan Moore all led in the early stages. Leader Ryan Moore was forced to the pits and challenger Bryon Chew was eliminated in an incident with a lapped car at lap 84.
* Busch Pole Qualifying at Adirondack in 2004 was rained out. The track record was set at the inaugural race in 2002 by Kelly Moore at 16.718 seconds, 107.668 miles per hour.
* The inaugural Busch North Series race at Adirondack in 2002 produced eight lead changes, while there were five lead changes in 2004. The 2003 edition saw Martin Truex Jr, lead the first 140 cirecuits before he was passed by Dale Quarterley.
* The best three-year record at Adirondack belongs to Andy Santerre with a first, third, second sequence, Matt Kobyluck is right behind with second, fifth, and first. Dale Quarterley, Mike Olsen, and Brian Hoar each have two top five finishes.
* Adirondack International Speedway opened in 2002 as the project of local construction company owner and race enthusiast Paul Lyndaker. The design includes the eventual development of an "almost-mile" oval surrounding the half-mile track and using the same grandstands and pit area.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Every one of the top ten finishers at Adirondack in 2004 has won at least one Busch North Series race by the time of writing, four races into the 2005 season. Collectively they account for 94 wins and ten series championships.
What: The Edge Hotel 150, sixth race of the 2005 NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series season
Where: Adirondack International Speedway, Beaver Falls, N.Y.
When: Saturday, July 30, 2005, 8:00 p.m.
Track layout: 0.5 mile paved oval
Race distance: 150 laps, 75.0 miles
2004 The Edge Hotel 150 race winner: Matt Kobyluck
2004 The Edge Hotel Busch Pole winner: Not awarded, qualifying rained out
2004 The Edge Hotel top ten: 1. Matt Kobyluck, 2. Andy Santerre, 3. Mike Olsen, 4. Joey McCarthy, 5. Brian Hoar, 6. Kelly Moore, 7. Bobby Dragon, 8., Jamie Aube, 9. Ryan Moore, 10. Mike Stefanik
Schedule: Saturday, July 30 - Practice 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. & 4:15 to 4:45 p.m., Busch Pole Qualifying 5:45 p.m. , The Edge Hotel 150 8:00 p.m.