Bill Penfold and the ...
Bill Penfold and the #0 VIP Charter Coach team made the second of three visits to New Hampshire International Speedway this past Saturday for the thatlook.com 100. A practice day held two weeks before the event showed that the team's Chevrolets needed some work to be competitive, and after crew chief Bob Harrison was finished making those change, the team had a fast car.
"If I would have brought the car back with the setup we used testing, we wouldn't have made the race," Penfold said Friday after practice. "We changed everything - A-frame angles, springs, sway bars, shocks, we did everything to it and it paid off for us. We've got a pretty good handle on it."
Qualifying went well for the team, with a good first lap that put them in the 17th starting spot for Saturday's race.
"We ran a 31 (seconds) flat on our first lap, 31.080," Penfold said. "The second lap would have been quicker but I missed the line and had to back out of the throttle, probably lost a tenth there. That's the fastest we've run with this new car ever, so we're really happy with it and it's just going to get faster from here.
"I'm just going to take it easy, save the car as much as I can," he said about the next day's race. "When it comes down to where I'm in a position to chomp down time on the leaders and make them start worrying. They know if I'm behind them, they know I'm hungry. They'll look in the mirror and see that big ol' bus coming, they know I'm coming through."
Two laps after a lap 24 restart in the race, Penfold was attempting to pass Denny Doyle and the two made contact, sending both into the turn one wall. Both cars were heavily damaged and done for the day, leaving Penfold 43rd in the final rundown.
"I was under Denny and he chopped down on me," Penfold said after the race. "I got him on the left side and when he spun around I thought I had him cleared, but he hit the nose of me again, turned me around and spun me into the wall. I talked to Denny afterwards. He said that his spotter said he was clear, but he knew he wasn't and tried to squeeze down. It's a shame, because we had a real good race car, we were just sitting round riding. I probably didn't have anything for Truex (eventual race winner Martin Truex, Jr.), but I had something for the top five.
"The car's pretty bad," Penfold said with disappointment. "The whole front's gone, and the spirit's gone and that's the worst part."
Penfold Motorsports has three weeks off before the next stand-alone Busch North race, scheduled for Friday, July 28th at Connecticut's Stafford Motor Speedway.