Greg Schaefer struggles through tire trouble to post 21st at Beech Ridge. Greg Schaefer's Rite-Way Electric Chevrolet team, which competes on the NASCAR Busch North Series, entered Saturday's race at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway sitting eleventh...
Greg Schaefer struggles through tire trouble to post 21st at Beech Ridge.
Greg Schaefer's Rite-Way Electric Chevrolet team, which competes on the NASCAR Busch North Series, entered Saturday's race at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway sitting eleventh in series points, his best start since he started running Busch North in 1999. Following the PTM Racing 150, Schaefer wound up 21st, the victim of a flat tire that caused him to lose five laps during the course of the race, but still sits eleventh in the championship standings.
Schaefer has had trouble in qualifying in his previous races at Beech Ridge, but this time out he used the two-hour afternoon practice session to his advantage and, in time trials, qualified 20th by turning a lap of 15.702 seconds around the one-third mile Maine oval.
"It seemed pretty decent qualifying, just a little too tight," he said. "We definitely need to free it up for the race. We are going to make a few changes, because we definitely don't want to be tight for the race. This track changes so much during the day, you just don't know. It's been my experience that it's tight at night."
Schaefer made good progress through the field in the race's early stages, running in twelfth position at the one-third distance mark. Following a lap 51 restart, Schaefer felt that he had a tire going down, and tried to ride it out in hopes of catching a caution so he could change the tire without losing a lap. This did not happen as the race was enjoying its longest green flag stretch of the night.
By the time caution came out on lap 100, Schaefer had gone five laps down. He pitted under this caution and changed the tire, and ran to the race's conclusion in 21st position.
"It was the best car we ever had here," he said after the race. "It's a shame, everyone got bunched up on that restart. I got into the back of someone, but I thought I was all right. After that caution we went back to racing and the car was a handful, because the right rear tire went flat. And of course that had to be at the start of the longest green flag run we had all night. I just rode on it, praying for a caution. I was ready to pull off the track right when the next caution came out, because I was about to spin all by myself.
"Once we put tires on it was a fast car again, but by then we were five laps down," Schaefer continued. "It's a shame. I think we had a really good car. When we put tires on we were just as fast as the leaders, maybe even faster. But we learned a lot. We'll look forward to coming here next time."
Schaefer now will turn his attention to preparing for the next Busch North race, to be held June 21st at Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, Connecticut.