BNS: Lake Erie: Kelly Moore race reports

Kelly Moore earns 46th career pole but cut tires ruin strong finish. North East, PA -- The NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series traveled to Western Pennsylvania to entertain racing fans at the ultra modern Lake Erie Speedway this...

Kelly Moore earns 46th career pole but cut tires ruin strong finish.

North East, PA -- The NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series traveled to Western Pennsylvania to entertain racing fans at the ultra modern Lake Erie Speedway this past weekend. The 3/8 mile track entertains race fans in the Tri-State area of Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio and is clearly a short track jewel given its many amenities for drivers and fans.

The two day event included a practice session on Saturday followed by practice, qualifying and the feature event on Sunday afternoon. Kelly Moore posted top-5 speeds during the practice sessions, and posted the fastest speed during the final practice session. Moore backed it up during qualifying, earning his 46th career pole award, more than twice the number of his nearest competitor.

"It's always a challenge to visit a new race track but that's what touring with NASCAR is all about, how quickly you and your team can adjust and adapt," Moore said.

After a lengthy and well attended autograph session, the 23-car field took the green flag. Moore was immediately challenged by Mike Stefanik, but the field was slowed by the events first caution on lap one. The race remained under caution for several laps as cleanup crews removed debris between turns one and two.

On the restart, Stefanik put the heat on again and shot past Moore to take the race lead. Moore held the second spot but Joey McCarthy, who started on the outside front row, got a good run on Moore's NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet and took over second spot on lap 28.

While being pressured by Mike Johnson for the third spot, Moore's right front tire was cut and went flat between turns three and four. The incident cost Johnson several spots, but he was able to continue while Moore toured the track a couple circuits before the caution flag was flown.

The Maine Lubrication Service Pit Crew was short-staffed this weekend, but did a great job in the pits to get Moore's NAPA Auto Parts/Bill Dodge/Shell ROtella T Monte Carlo out on the track without losing a lap.

There was some damage to the chassis on Moore's car, but the team did the best job they could so they could return to the track and get as many points as possible.

With just under 30 laps to go, Moore again cut a right front tire down and had to pit under the green flag, losing two laps in the process. The 1995 Busch North Series Champion ended the event in the 16th spot.

"We ran into a situation this weekend where some things happened that were out of our control," said Moore. "The team did an excellent job all weekend, so were going to find some positive in this weekend and head to some tracks where we've had really good success."

The Sunday afternoon race was taped by the SPEED Channel and will be shown on May 24. Next up for the Busch North Series is a feature event at Seekonk Speedway in Massachusetts on May 24. Race Results

-kmr-

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Mike Johnson