Dale Quarterley moved up two more spots in the NASCAR Busch North Series championship standings to sixth after he scored a fourth place finish in the Nazareth 100 Sunday afternoon at the one-mile Nazareth (Pennsylvania) Speedway. Quarterley's ...
Dale Quarterley moved up two more spots in the NASCAR Busch North Series championship standings to sixth after he scored a fourth place finish in the Nazareth 100 Sunday afternoon at the one-mile Nazareth (Pennsylvania) Speedway. Quarterley's performance on the track is only more remarkable considering the performance the Land O Lakes-sponsored 1/4 LEY Racing crew put in before the race to get Quarterley's car ready.
Saturday morning's practice found the Steve Hibbard-prepared Chevrolet well up on the speed charts and the team set about to fine-tune the car for qualifying and the race. Qualifying found Quarterley seventh fastest.
"When we got to the end of practice we thought the car was a little tight, it didn't want to finish that last little piece of the turn," he said after qualifying. "We figured that when you tape up the grille it makes it so the tail is loose, and it would cure the little bit of tightness we had, so that's all we did was to tape it up. When I got out there I found that it loosened it up by 30%. I came off of turn two the first time hard and the thing just took off, you could read the number on the right-hand door from the other end of the straightaway. It was one of those slides that, if you ever lifted, it would go the other way and just total the thing. So we got through that and I figured that since it was loose I had to be super smooth with it. And did that the next lap and it went great. It was still loose but I didn't slip or slide that much, and we ended up posting the seventh-fastest lap. We're right there. I could run off lap after lap in practice that some of the guys couldn't even qualify that. I think come race time we're competitive, it's just bringing it home."
Late Saturday afternoon brought about a final 45 minute practice session, and the team had concerns about the engine's performance, and decided to change the engine. This was accomplished on Sunday morning and the car was prepared for the race.
The Nazareth 100 was interrupted by only two cautions. Quarterley was quickly up to fourth in the early laps, and moved up to third 23 laps into the hundred-lap event. He rode there until the first caution came out on lap 56. Quarterley and the majority of the field came to pit road where the crew changed right-side tires, returning to the track in seventh behind some cars that elected not to stop.
Quarterley stayed in the top five after the restart and held fifth through the final restart on lap 76. Two laps later he was up to fourth but could make no more progress, and finished with his fourth top-five finish of the year.
"We were third before the first caution, and running the leaders down," Quarterley said after the race. "When the caution came out, [then-leading Dale] Shaw jumped in and it looked like everyone else was going to jump in too so we were trying to decide whether to stay out or come in, and decided at the last moment to come in. We put two tires on it, and that tightened it up just a little bit.
"Some guys didn't stop and on the restart they were trying to pass guys who were a lap down, and we were trying to pass them for position, so they're jockeying all over the place and we just couldn't get by the guys," Quarterley continued. "Shaw got by, Paul Wolfe got by and finally I got by. But then when we got going on the long greens I was faster than Wolfe and Shaw but there were 20 laps to go and I needed 30. If we went 40 more I might have had something for the leader."
Quarterley summed up his successful weekend in Pennsylvania.
"We're happy," he said. "We put a motor in last night and this morning, we had a little problem in practice yesterday and decided to change it. We made the motor change and went out and ran the race, and just now we opened the hood and saw there's not one drop of oil in there, so the crew did a great job changing the engine. Steve Hibbard did a sensational job setting the car up that we've been fast all weekend and he told us what to change for the race and it stayed fast all day."
The Land O Lakes team now will shift gears from the superspeedway to a short track as the Busch North Series visits the quarter-mile Thunder Road oval in Vermont next Saturday night.