NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL DIVISION, BUSCH NORTH SERIES POST-RAINOUT NOTES Whelen 150, Lee USA Speedway, Lee, N.H., Sunday, May 15, 2005 As was noted in the announcement that Sunday's race has been rescheduled for next Saturday, May 21, this will be...
NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL DIVISION, BUSCH NORTH SERIES POST-RAINOUT NOTES
Whelen 150, Lee USA Speedway, Lee, N.H., Sunday, May 15, 2005
As was noted in the announcement that Sunday's race has been rescheduled for next Saturday, May 21, this will be Lee USA Speedway's first Busch North Series race at night. A deeper look at the record book shows it to be the first Busch North season opener scheduled under the lights since at least 1989. The opener that year was on April 23, a Saturday, at Oxford Plains Speedway.
The Busch North Series has opened at four different tracks in 19 years: Oxford Plains 1987, 1989, and 1990; New Hampshire International Speedway 1991, 1992. 1994, and 1995; Lee USA Speedway in 1993 and every year since 1996; and Monadnock Speedway in 1993.
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Busch North Series teams participated in four separate sessions during Saturday's practice day at Lee USA. It was shaping up to be a competitive race as a different driver set fast time during each session. Mike Olsen was fastest in the first practice, Dale Quarterley in the second, Ryan Moore in the third, and Andy Santerre in the final round. The track got slower as the afternoon progressed, with Olsen's 15.51 second lap the best of the day. Olsen is also the Busch Pole Qualifying track record holder at 15.305 seconds, 86.204 miles per hour, set in 2002.
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For many years Scott Bouley was known for his purple cars with dayglo numbers, a scheme he reversed in 2003. Last year's all-red paint job was a conservative turn, like a rock star in a business suit, but for 2005 the Shorty's Towing and Recovery Chevrolet will again stand out in wide blue, yellow and red bands. The Thomaston, Conn.-based family team acquired a car from Dale Quarterley, with last year's machine scheduled to serve as their first ever back-up car. Team manager Kim Griffen, Scott's sister, reminded that they made every race in the 2004 season with one car and one engine, but needed three different trailers to haul the car.
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Speaking of three trailers, that's exactly how Mike Olsen arrived at the track, His former big rig has been delivered to its new owner in Florida and the brand-new custom Little Trees hauler won't be ready until June, so the car went in one small trailer and the team's equipment in two others. As noted above, the makeshift travel arrangements didn't keep Olsen from setting Saturday's fastest time.
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Of 32 drivers who filed official entries for the Whelen 150, no less than 13 are eligible to join the Sunoco Rookie of the Year program if they choose. Charles Lewandoski was the first to register and as many as ten others may follow before the Whelen 150 is run next Saturday.
On the other hand, 16 of the top 21 drivers from the 2004 season are entered, and one more from that group, Barney McRae, is in the role of car owner for rookie Sean Caisse.
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Honors for the longest tow to the Whelen 150, and just as importantly, the longest tow back home to turn around and return next week, belonged to the trio of Grizco Racing entries stabled at Andy Santerre's shop in Harrisburg, N.C. Not all that far behind was Sunoco rookie contender Chad Beahr of Mechanicsville, Va., a great name for a racer's hometown which is close to Richmond International Raceway.
The shortest tow? That's no contest. The Triple Crown Motorsports shop that houses Eddie MacDonald's One Stop Toy Shop Chevrolet is a couple of miles down Route 125 from Lee USA Speedway in Epping, N.H.