Westfield, Massachusetts' Dale Quarterley, driving the ...
Westfield, Massachusetts' Dale Quarterley, driving the #32 Land O Lakes Chevrolet on the NASCAR Busch North Series circuit, came to Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night for the running of the Carquest 150, the first of three stops the series will be making at the Connecticut half-mile track.
Quarterley struggled in practice and was not happy with the handling of his Chevrolet, but the 1/4 LEY Racing team swept onto the car and adjusted it in preparation for time trials. In qualifying, Quarterley put up a lap time of 19.953 seconds, good enough for second-best out of 42 cars in attendance.
"The crew guys did it," he said of his fast ride around the oval. "We struggled all through practice, we weren't happy with it whatsoever. The guys made some changes to the car, changing some shocks and the Panhard bar. We knew what direction we had to go, we just didn't know how far to go. We threw a dart at it and hoped the thing would stick when I went out there. It went great, the car was sensational."
Quarterley's race went well from the start, with his settling into the top five and making laps until an opportunity to pit came up at lap 87. Other drivers hadn't pitted, and Quarterley returned to the race fourteenth. He was back into the top ten before lap 100, and wasn't through moving up, holding fourth with less than 30 laps to go.
On a lap 123 restart, Quarterley worked his way underneath third-running Mike Olsen but the two made contact and Olsen spun out of the position. NASCAR officials penalized Quarterley for the contact and held him for a lap, and Quarterley soldiered on after answering the penalty to finish fifteenth.
"Things were going good at the beginning," he said after the race. "We were a little tight, and it was hurting the right front tire a little so we let some cars by, just biding our time. We made a pit stop and put two tires on and were coming back through. We avoided a couple accidents and suddenly that put us back in the top eight or so. On the next couple restarts I got by a few guys and that put us fourth.
"I got a killer restart," Quarterley continued, "and I dropped down to get under Olsen after we crossed the start/finish line. I got completely up to his door and he kept coming down and wasn't leaving me any room. I was on the brakes as hard as I could but I was on the dirt, I couldn't hold it down any more. Finally I just drifted up and tapped him in the door and he went around. He just didn't leave me any room. He says that I shouldn't have gone down there in the first place. It's a double-sided argument that nobody's going to win. There was a huge hole, I filled it, he hacked me and I couldn't get it stopped. I was completely up to his number, there was no way I didn't have the spot. I tried to get out of it, and ended up tagging him in the rear quarter."
Quarterley now turns his attention to next week's race, to be held at the Waterford Speedbowl in Waterford, Connecticut. Quarterley finished tenth in this race last year.