Bill Penfold, driving the ...
Bill Penfold, driving the #0 VIP Charter Coach Chevrolet on the NASCAR Busch North Series, had high expectations going into the Star 150 at Epping, New Hampshire's Star Speedway. Last year he recorded the third-best qualifying effort and a top ten finish, but the 2001 edition of the Star 150 found Penfold finish in twelfth.
On a scorching hot day, Penfold started out with a disappointing first round qualifying effort that left the team having to reset the car for the second round. In that second round of time trials, Penfold turned a lap that put him into the feature event in nineteenth place. Attention now turned to preparing the VIP Chevy for the 150-lap feature.
In the race, Penfold worked his way up to 13th place by the one-third mark, but officials noticed a trace of smoke coming from the car. A few laps later they black-flagged Penfold to the pits to attend to that, but before he could get into the pits Penfold spun, and in the pits under yellow the crew found and fixed a minor problem with an oil breather. Unfortunately, this cost Penfold a lap and he returned to the track no longer on the lead lap. Penfold continued racing hard, though, and finished in twelfth, the first car one lap down.
"The breather in the motor was smoking," he said after the race. "They pulled me in for it, which is crazy and there's no reason for them to do it. We had a decent car, and we finished. It's a shame they cost me a lap. I had to spin to get a yellow so I wouldn't lose more than one. It's a shame when you have to drive like that. We were there, we were coming up through again, so we'll get them again."
Penfold Motorsports looks forward to next Friday night's race at Stafford Motor Speedway in Connecticut, a track where Penfold has been in contention to win and taken down top ten finishes.