Bill Penfold and the ...
Bill Penfold and the #0 Penfold Motorsports Team pulled together to finish 29th out of a field of 42 in the Hannaford Brothers / Shop and Save 300 at the newly improved New Thompson Speedway on Sunday. Their 29th place finish does not reflect the hard work the team displayed to earn that finish, nor the strength of the Monte Carlo early in the event.
The team brought the superspeedway car they have had so much luck with this season, hoping to continue with the cars success. Bill qualified the car in 16th position and started the race on the outside of row eight.
Bill slowly started working his way to the front. By lap 100 he was running in the top ten.
"The car was really hooked up," said Penfold. "I was taking my time catching the leaders, but it wasn't long before lap traffic started slowing everyone down."
Bill got caught up in lap traffic around lap 125, and was sent spinning into the turn two wall. The car hit very hard and the damage was significant. He was able to drive the car back into the pits, but it looked as if he was done for the day. The rear end of the car was crushed in so bad the car could not be fueled. The car was taken behind the wall where the crew could work on it.
With crew chief Bob Harrison leading the charge, the crew frantically went to work trying to repair the car enough that Bill could return and try to gain points. By now, Bill had dropped to 41st in the field, after running in the top ten when he was wrecked.
"The car looked pretty bad when I got out and took my first look at it," said Penfold. "But everyone on the crew was already working on it and before I knew it they were telling me to get back in the car. When I got back on the track, I was not only able to get around the track, but I could even pass some cars."
The team lost 27 laps in the pits making repairs, and then only lost one more in the last 150 laps of the race. Due to the team's hard work, they were able to move up from their 41st place position coming out of the pits, all the way up to 29th place at the end of the race. The hard work was worth 36 valuable points.
"Nobody ever gave up," said Penfold after the race. "We could have just given up and packed up, but instead we gained a bunch of positions at the end. The team really showed a lot of heart again this week. Had it not have been for the wreck, I think we would have a really good finish. The car was really strong."
Bill dropped two spots in the season points standings, down to 12th place, but it still could have been worse. The team still has a good chance to finish in the top ten, with just two races remaining on the schedule.
The team will be heading for Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Maine for the 150 lap Busch North Series event there this weekend. The team will likely have to bring the short track Pontiac for one last race, as the Monte Carlo will need a lot of work before returning at Lime Rock Park in October.