Dale Quarterley, Land O Lakes Racing Taste Victory at Beech Ridge Dale Quarterley, of Westfield, Massachusetts, joined the ranks of race winners on the NASCAR Busch North Series when he piloted his Land O Lakes Chevrolet to a convincing win of...
Dale Quarterley, Land O Lakes Racing Taste Victory at Beech Ridge
Dale Quarterley, of Westfield, Massachusetts, joined the ranks of race winners on the NASCAR Busch North Series when he piloted his Land O Lakes Chevrolet to a convincing win of the PTM Racing 150 held Sunday evening at Scarborough, Maine's Beech Ridge Motor Speedway. Quarterley's winning margin of .32 seconds gave him his first stock car win following a successful career racing motorcycles, and moves him up two positions in the Busch North championship standings to fourth.
Quarterley's dominating run came from the pole position. Time trials held earlier in the day found him third-fastest, and in the traditional redraw of starting positions, Quarterley drew the first starting spot.
"During practice we were struggling to get a handle on getting the car back to a neutral feel, that it would turn as much as it would accelerate with the new tires," he said after qualifying. "I could get it to do one or the other but I couldn't get both. Towards the end of practice we were homing in on it. I was kind of surprised that the qualifying lap was that good. It did feel smooth and I thought it was decent, but I didn't think it was going to be a third. Then they redrew six guys and I picked number one so that was cool."
Quarterley led the opening lap before caution came out, and on the ensuing restart he gave up the lead by a bumper to Mike Johnson before reasserting himself up front. He was challenged for the lead only one more time, again on a restart when Mike Olsen briefly held the top spot but never cleared Quarterley, and fell back to second. Once back in front, Quarterley worked lapped traffic to his advantage and survived two more restarts before celebrating his first win of the season, crossing the line a third of a second ahead of Olsen.
"We've been saying the same thing every week, little by little we're getting closer and closer," he said after his win. "Steve Hibbard helping out has put us even closer. We made some changes today that were minute. We had a new guy on the team today because one of our guys was off. He was laughing at us because he runs a Pro Stock and couldn't believe we were making stupid little changes that his car wouldn't even feel. But this car's been going so well that this is what it takes. It took a bunch of little changes. We went into practice trying to be the most consistent rather than the fastest lap time. As far as I'm concerned I led 150 of 150 laps, so we had them covered all day no matter what happened. I think we're fourth in points now, and more important than that is that we're coming into my tracks - Loudon, Dover, Lime Rock. Maybe if we keep our heads screwed on straight we'll be in."
Quarterley was asked if he considered pitting for tires, which was a strategy adopted by some of the race's front-runners.
"We decided way before we came here that we were not pitting," he answered. "The last three times we've stopped and put tires on it burned us big time, Nazareth was a good example of that. I'm not saying I had the car to beat, but I certainly had a car that was capable of finishing in the top two, and we stopped and put tires on, and I was lucky to finish fourth after that. So there's no way we were going to pit.
Quarterley came to Beech Ridge on a roll, having won the previous week in a very different class of vehicle.
"I came out of retirement last week and went motorcycle road racing at the Loudon Road Racing Series," he said. "We ended up winning the show, winning our class, and ran fourth overall on a small bike against big bikes. So I basically won two weeks in a row. This is great, this is absolutely great. If we keep going like this we'll be styling."
As the short-track car goes back to the body shop to be prepared for the Stafford race a few weeks down the road, the speedway car that has two top-five finishes will return to the track next Saturday for a 125-lap event at New Hampshire International Speedway. Quarterley finished fifth at NHIS in July, and is looking forward to Saturday's race, which will be telecast live on NBC at 2PM.