Flat Tire Deflates Dale Quarterley's Bid to Win Watkins Glen Dale Quarterley, driving the No. 32 Land O Lakes on the NASCAR Busch North Series, came within ten laps of winning his first series race in Saturday's Little Trees 150 at Watkins Glen.
Flat Tire Deflates Dale Quarterley's Bid to Win Watkins Glen
Dale Quarterley, driving the No. 32 Land O Lakes on the NASCAR Busch North Series, came within ten laps of winning his first series race in Saturday's Little Trees 150 at Watkins Glen. He had just passed Brad Leighton for the lead after hounding him for the entirety of the race, but a flat left front tire forced Quarterley out of the lead and onto pit road. He came back to finish sixth.
Quarterley qualified fifth on Friday, but at the start of the race it only took him five laps to work his way into second place behind Leighton. He passed Leighton for the lead in turn nine on lap 15 but on the same lap the caution came out and Quarterley led many of the leaders down pit road. A stalled car on pit road caused Quarterley to lose some positions before the restart, placing him behind Leighton and others, including a number of cars that had not pitted.
When the race resumed Quarterley followed Leighton through those who had not pitted and after Paul Wolfe pitted out of the lead on lap 29, Leighton and Quarterley were once again running nose to tail for the lead. On lap 51 Quarterley found his opportunity to take the lead, and the leaders split a lapped car heading into the Inner Loop. Quarterley came away with the lead, but one turn later he slowed with a flat left front tire.
After replacing the flat tire, Quarterley resumed the race under caution in tenth place. With just six laps of racing left, Quarterley put on a charge that got him up to fifth place. A late slip off the track and through a gravel trap relegated him to a sixth place finish.
"We stopped for gas and went back out and just rode," he said, describing his racing after his first pit stop. "Since Brad's won more races than me I decided to just follow him and let him set the pace. We were cruising along and with five to go I decided it would take me a couple laps to get by him and now was the time to do it. I got him going down the back straightaway with a lapped guy. It was all nice and clean. I went to make the next right and the left front tire was flat.
"We didn't touch anybody the whole time, it just went flat," Quarterley continued. "Looking at the tire there's a couple of holes in the top just from everybody dropping wheels off all day, I think a rock went through it."
Quarterley was reflecting on the hit to his pocketbook the flat tire cost him, and formulated a plan to strike back. "It went from 30 grand to 3 grand, and my eyes are still watering," he said. "But we'll come back and try to win Lime Rock."
The 1/4 Ley Racing team takes a week off with a break in the schedule before resuming their pursuit of their first win at Nazareth Speedway on August 26th. The race will be run in conjunction with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.