BILL PENFOLD QUALIFIES THIRD, FINISHES TENTH AT STAR SPEEDWAY EPPING, NH (Aug. 19, 2000) - Bill Penfold and the VIP Charter Coach Chevrolet team, which competes full-time on the NASCAR Busch North Series, went from last week's event at Watkins...
BILL PENFOLD QUALIFIES THIRD, FINISHES TENTH AT STAR SPEEDWAY
EPPING, NH (Aug. 19, 2000) - Bill Penfold and the VIP Charter Coach Chevrolet team, which competes full-time on the NASCAR Busch North Series, went from last week's event at Watkins Glen International to this past Saturday's Star 150 at Epping, New Hampshire's Star Speedway. A charter member of the Busch North Series, Star has held a series event every year since the series was created.
Penfold's last two oval track performances had resulted in eighth place finishes, so he was eager to return to the short tracks. After a productive pair of practice sessions, Penfold went out for time trials and turned in the third-fastest time. The top eight drivers then drew their race starting positions, and Penfold took the fifth starting spot.
"I just went steady and smooth with the car," Penfold said after qualifying. "I ran it hard into the corners on the warmup lap to get some heat in the tires, and ran the line I'd been running all day. The car ran the same way it was running in practice. We picked up a tenth of a second from practice and that's what we figured we'd do, we're real happy about it. Bob Harrison gave me a great car and we think we've got a chance to win today."
After changing an alternator before the race, Penfold Motorsports' #0 Chevrolet took to the track for the 150-lap feature event. Settling into sixth place early, Penfold checked up to avoid hitting second-year driver Matt Kobyluck but was hit from behind and spun by championship contender Tracy Gordon. No yellow flew for Penfold's spin so he had to quickly get going and up to speed to avoid being lapped by the leaders. Succeeding here, Penfold made steady progress through the field to finish tenth. It was Penfold Motorsports' third top ten finish in the last four races.
After the race, Penfold was happy with the finish but more unhappy with getting spun early in the race.
"I guess Tracy thinks he's going to own the race track. It's one thing to hit me, but he just picked me up and shoved me around," he said. "We were just riding with everybody else in line. I got into Matt, backed off and let him straighten out, but Tracy didn't give anybody a break.
"I'm glad to finish ninth or tenth," Penfold continued, "but it's a shame since I had a top-three car, no question about it. I had a good enough car to come up through, the trouble was I knew I was going to burn up the tires trying to do it. That was the idea of qualifying up front and staying there, to save the tires for the end of the race. But when I got dumped I had to run the tires off the car to get where I could. We got tenth, we're still running, and we'll just go to the next one."
Next week finds the Busch North Series at Thompson Speedway in Connecticut for a race rescheduled from May. The series will be there on the 27th for a one-day show, with its 150-lap feature scheduled for late Sunday afternoon. For more information on Penfold Motorsports, visit their website at http://www.penfoldmotorsports.com