NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series rookie Tim Andrews combined a top-five finish with bad luck on the part of his primary Raybestos Rookie of the Year rival to move into a tie for the RotY lead after Saturday's Sunoco/Burnham...
NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series rookie Tim Andrews combined a top-five finish with bad luck on the part of his primary Raybestos Rookie of the Year rival to move into a tie for the RotY lead after Saturday's Sunoco/Burnham Boilers 150 at Holland (N.Y.) International Speedway. Andrews, who now has two top-five finishes in his first six races this year, now rides ninth in the overall Busch North standings.
Andrews took to the 3/8-mile oval quickly, recording the fastest lap in the first half-hour practice session. He couldn't back that up in qualifying, though, as he was only sixth fastest.
"I'm a little disappointed in that run," he said. "I was hoping to pick up a little bit more but I screwed up, just drove it in a little too deep trying to get that little bit more. It ended up hurting me. The car was really good in practice, but in qualifying I was trying to go for it all, and hurt our chances at a pole."
Andrews got a break at the drop of the green and moved up to fourth going into the first turn. He remained in that position until fellow rookie Ryan Moore caught and passed him a third of the way through the race. Riding fifth, Andrews turned away a challenge from Dale Quarterley but couldn't hold off his teammate Joey McCarthy, who went on to win the race, and Mike Olsen. Moore, who had been leading the Rookie of the Year standings, suffered a tire failure and had to pit, putting Andrews fifth with fifty laps to go. Matt Kobyluck passed Andrews, but Andrews came back to fifth with a pass of Mike Stefanik, and finished in that position after an exciting, entertaining race.
"The car was just so hooked up all day," he said after the race. "At the end of the night I was so worried about the thing getting tight, but it didn't do that. The thing just turned so well in the center of the turns all day, and that's what we've been struggling with so much. The car's finally turning, and now it might be turning too well now, but that's okay, because now we know how to fix it.
"I can't say it enough, this place is just so much fun," Andrews continued. "I love Holland. The night went so well, and we ran so clean all night. Nights like this are why I'm in racing."
Andrews was happy to tie up the Rookie of the Year standings, though not because Moore suffered misfortunes.
"Ryan raced me clean, but I guess the contact between him and Dave Dion earlier in the race blew his right front tire," he said. "That's unfortunate for him, but fortunate for us, we've had our own rough nights lately. I'm just so excited now. We're starting to catch up in the points now, both in the regular points as well as in the rookie standings. I can't wait to back to racing again."
Andrews will have to wait two weeks before going back to racing, as the Busch North Series takes the holiday weekend off before returning to action at the 5/8-mile Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway.