Dale Quarterley Wins First Busch North Series Race In PTM 150 At Beech Ridge; 12th Winner Of 2001 Season Closes On Record; Olsen's 2nd Enhances Point Lead SCARBOROUGH, Me. - The 2001 Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring season continued to be one...
Dale Quarterley Wins First Busch North Series Race In PTM 150 At Beech Ridge; 12th Winner Of 2001 Season Closes On Record; Olsen's 2nd Enhances Point Lead
SCARBOROUGH, Me. - The 2001 Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring season continued to be one of the most competitive in the series' history as Dale Quarterley scored a dominant victory in the PTM Racing 150 Sunday afternoon at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway. Quarterley's first career Busch North Series win made him the 12th different driver to visit victory lane in 17 races, moving within one of the BNS record of 13 winners set in the series' inaugural year of 1987. The former motorcycle road racing champion joined Mike Olsen and Matt Kobyluck as first-time winners in 2001.
Olsen extended his Busch North Series point lead to 209 with four races remaining as he finished second, .32 seconds behind Quarterley. Martin Truex Jr. fought off a stern challenge from Mike Johnson to take third. Tracy Gordon, Kelly Moore, Dave Dion, Dale Shaw, Beech Ridge regular Robbie Harrison, and Matt Kobyluck completed the top ten. Quarterley averaged 55.26 miles per hour through four caution periods for 23 laps, as 25 of 31 starters were running at the finish, with an amazing 16 on the lead lap.
Continuing his string of outstanding performances since joining forces with veteran crew chief Steve Hibbard, Quarterley set third fastest qualifying time and redrew the pole position. For practical purposes, he led all the way, although Johnson and Olsen each nosed ahead for one lap on early, double-file restarts. The race took on a very different character from recent Beech Ridge contests as few of the leaders chose to pit for tires. Of the top five, only Johnson headed pitside to take tires at lap 85, and the lack of restarts after lap 100 meant he could not climb past Truex, with whom he fought a tense battle in the closing laps. Quarterley's closest call came when a car exiting the pits trying not to lose a lap came out right in front of him and Olsen on lap 117. Both were able to work around the unexpected traffic without incident.
Olsen won his series-leading fifth Bud Pole at 15.828 seconds, 75.818 mph, barely missing his own track record, but redrew fifth in the lineup. Quarterley naturally won the Gatorade Front Runner Award, and Dave Darling was the Flowmaster Star of the Race for advancing 15 places. Brian Hoar took the Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Race Award after a wheel-to-wheel battle with Roger Raymond.
Olsen expanded his point led over both Moore and Johnson, who now trail by 209 and 228 points respectively. Quarterley was the big gainer in the standings, moving from sixth to fourth, just 59 markers behind Johnson.
The Busch North Series now enters the most demanding but richest part of the season, with back-to-back superspeedway races. The New Hampshire 125 at New Hampshire International Spedway in Loudon, N.H., is set for next Saturday, September 15, before the live NBC-TV cameras, while the MBNA E-Commerce 150 at Dover Downs International Speedway in Dover, Del., follows on Friday, September 21. Both races accompany the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.