PTM Racing 150, Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, Scarborough, Me., June 8, 2002 Five races... five winners... five track records... five overtimes. That's the statistical storyline for the first 25% of the 2002 Busch North Series season. The 2001...
PTM Racing 150, Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, Scarborough, Me., June 8, 2002
Five races... five winners... five track records... five overtimes. That's the statistical storyline for the first 25% of the 2002 Busch North Series season.
The 2001 campaign opened with five different winners, but Mike Olsen made it two in a row in race six. The Busch North Series record for different winners at the start of a season is seven, set in 1993 and tied in 1995.
It's tough to research consecutive track records, but the Goodyear Eagle bias-ply tires being used by the Busch North Series for the first time in 2002 are certainly the catalyst for the record spree. They've been durable as well. Mike Johnson did not pit at Beech Ridge and beat all the cars which did take new right side tires.
We're still working overtime, but we're getting closer. The first three races of the season each required five extra laps to achieve a green-white-checker finish. Two extra circuits were run at Seekonk and just one at Beech Ridge.
Robbie Harrison's day before his hometown fans at Beech Ridge swung to both ends of the pendulum. He pitted during the parade laps to secure his Hutchens restraint, then moved from the tail of the field to the top five before being trapped behind a lapped car and losing half a dozen positions. In the closing laps he found nowhere to go in turn three and crashed into a spun-out Bill Penfold. Ironically, Robbie's father, Bob Harrison, is the crew chief for Penfold Motorsports.
Harrison still holds a solid lead in the Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year standings, with a margin of 45 to 29 over Gary Shackford.
Milestones at the Ridge... Eddie MacDonald scored his first career top-five in the PTM Racing 150 after a hold-your-breath outside run took him from fifth to second in one sweep from laps 121 to 124. Kobyluck, Santerre, and Moore passed him on the final restart. MacDonald's car is the same chassis with which Paul Richardson ran so well in 2001, especially at Seekonk and Beech Ridge.
Gary Shackford recorded his first top-ten finish and became the first repeat Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Race Award winner in 2002. Meanwhile, Brian Hoar became the second first-time Bud Pole winner of 2002, joining Paul Wolfe.
On the other side of the coin, Mike Olsen's 25th was his worst race finish since July 2000 and he failed to win a short-track pole for the first time in 2002.
The longest round trip for a team at Beech Ridge, as usual, was for third place finisher Andy Santerre. The team calculated 1,842 miles from their shop in Mooresville, N.C. Andy covered another 300 miles or so visiting his parents at Cherryfield in "Downeast" Maine, about 70 miles from the easternmost point of the U.S.A.
The shortest trip belonged to the man who finished right behind Santerre, Kelly Moore. His rig may have covered three miles to and from the Moore Racing shop on the other side of the Maine Turnpike from the track.
The second annual Bunker Golf Tournament, benefiting former Busch North Series Director Bunk Sampson in his battle against cancer, will be held on Friday, July 12, at the Raceway Golf Club in Thompson, Conn., adjacent to Thompson International Speedway where the series competes the following day. The tournament is organized by the Busch North Series Auxiliary and information is available from Penny Degre at 508-234-8684 or email@example.com.
Bunk Sampson was present at Beech Ridge for the PTM Racing 150 and was warmly greeted by the assembled race teams and fans as part of the pre-race ceremonies.