Land O Lakes Chevrolet driver Dale Quarterley came to Seekonk Speedway for the second and final visit to this track by the NASCAR Busch North Series. After rain pushed the race from its original Saturday night date to Sunday afternoon, Quarterley...
Land O Lakes Chevrolet driver Dale Quarterley came to Seekonk Speedway for the second and final visit to this track by the NASCAR Busch North Series. After rain pushed the race from its original Saturday night date to Sunday afternoon, Quarterley ran strong, qualifying twelfth and racing in the top ten before getting caught up in other drivers' accidents and finishing seventeenth.
The rescheduled race day wound up being a hot, humid affair and the third-mile track in southeastern Massachusetts was greasy and slick. Quarterley tried getting a handle on the track only to be foiled by a bad tire. After losing practice time getting that replaced, no time was left to work on a qualifying setup so he made time trials in the race setup, and wound up just outside the top ten in twelfth.
"We came back with the same setup we had in May, and we worked on it a little this morning in practice," he said afterwards. "For some reason we struggled today with tire stagger, we just somehow got out of kilter and couldn't seem to get the tires to do what we wanted to. We had to take time out from practice to buy another tire to get it to do what we wanted it to do. We got that sorted out but we wasted fifteen minutes doing it. What's in the car now seemed to be the best combination in the long run, but I don't think it was the best combination to go qualify on. I didn't have time work on qualifying because I wasted so much time on the stagger in practice. This will be one of the few weeks where I can't honestly say what will happen in race time, but I think we'll be fine. Come race time, I'm hoping that near the end of the race I don't tighten up like I have been for the last couple of weeks."
Quarterley's race was a steady run for the first two-thirds of the distance, with his being a constant threat to enter the top ten but never quite getting there. Things turned for the worse on lap 92 when Kelly Moore spun with a lapped car and, as Quarterley tried to miss the spinning car of Moore on the high side, Moore's car struck Quarterley's on the left side. Pitting to repair the damage, Quarterley fell off the lead lap but returned to action, and finished the race in seventeenth position.
"They were killing each other from lap one up in the lead," he said after the race, speaking of all the bumping going on in the race. "For some reason it kept happening right in front of me. One guy dented the left front fender in, another guy dented the right front fender in. Someone wailed the wheel on one of those spinouts, caught me in the wheel and bent the toe-out a little. Later someone tagged me in the rear wheel and probably got the rear out of square. By the end of the race the car was doing whatever it felt like doing.
"We gained a couple of points on some of the guys in front of me, which is cool," Quarterley continued. "We lost some on the leaders. In the whole, we finished and scored some points and that's the good part of the day. The bad part of the day is that we certainly didn't want to finish seventeenth. We were up there with twenty to go, we were up to twelfth, and I thought I could get a couple of guys in front of me. But those guys took each other out and by the time I went around the accident, nine guys went under me. You'd pass three of them and there's another accident where two more guys get by you. It was just one of those days."
Quarterley's next race is at the Watkins Glen International road course, where the Little Trees 150 will be broadcast live on NBC-TV starting at 2PM on Saturday afternoon. Quarterley is very much looking forward to going back to the road course.
"We'll bring the car we ran at Loudon the first time, 'Sue'," Quarterley said. "It's basically in full road race trim except for the body so we should be all right there."