Bill Penfold, the Yarmouth, Maine driver of the ...
Bill Penfold, the Yarmouth, Maine driver of the #0 VIP Charter Coach Chevrolet on the Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring, took his second top ten of the early season in Seekonk Speedway's Budweiser 150 on Saturday night. Penfold also won the Flowmaster "Star of the Race" award for improving the most positions from his starting spot to the finish of the race.
Setting Penfold up to win this award was a qualifying effort that left the team in the 23rd slot on the grid.
"We're just trying new things and trying to learn the car for qualifying," Penfold said after time trials. "It's a good car for the race, but we're trying to learn qualifying setups. The only time we get a chance to do that is in qualifying. When you only have an hour for practice you have to get ready for the race. We sacrificed qualifying, hopefully we can make it up through the pack without getting banged up."
Penfold raced from the rear of the field and managed to stay on the lead lap despite a couple close calls, but under one caution he had to bring the car to pit road because the car was hanging in third gear. The crew fixed the problem and kept Penfold on the lead lap, and after having to come from the back of the pack three times, he had battled his way to finish tenth at the end of 150 laps.
"We didn't handle well," Penfold said after the race, "but we handled better than we did in time trials and we could race well. About fifty laps into it the car got real loose getting in and pushing in the middle. It came out of the corners strong and we got a lot of guys coming out because they couldn't come out as strong as I could. I was just taking it easy getting in, and I never used the brake pedal all night. I let it roll in, glide, and after it got done pushing I stomped on the gas pedal and it went."
Penfold detailed the transmission problem he had during the race.
"The shifter got jammed and was stuck in third gear. The shifter has a pin in it and it slipped by the pin so it was locked in gear. The crew had to jack up the car and crawl under it and move the shifter underneath. The guys got that fixed without losing a lap. The pit crew's doing one hell of a job. We're going to win a race and we're still in the point hunt."
Penfold continues to ride in seventh place in the championship points standings after the third of 21 races. For more information on Penfold Motorsports, visit their website at http://www.penfoldmotorsports.com