First Lap Flip Doesn't Keep Dale Quarterley From Finishing Lime Rock Park Race (Lime Rock, Conn. - Oct. 1, 2005) - In a move reminiscent of some of NASCAR's past greats, a little incident like flipping his race car didn't mean the race was over...
First Lap Flip Doesn't Keep Dale Quarterley From Finishing Lime Rock Park Race
(Lime Rock, Conn. - Oct. 1, 2005) - In a move reminiscent of some of NASCAR's past greats, a little incident like flipping his race car didn't mean the race was over for Westfield, Massachusetts' Dale Quarterley. The driver of the Bully Hill Vineyards Chevrolet in Saturday's NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race at Lime Rock Park managed to drive his car to the pits after it went completely over after a first lap accident, and returned to the track after extensive repairs to finish the race.
Quarterley, driving the same car that finished second at Lime Rock last year, had qualified eighth in Friday's time trials but an issue in technical inspection forced the 1/4 LEY Racing team to work on the car all the way up to driver introductions time, and he had to give up his starting position and start the race at the tail of the field.
"This is the first time we've run this car this year," he said. "We have a new tire this year and the sidewalls are bigger than the old tire, and while I adjusted for it on this car, I didn't adjust it enough. I needed to space the wheels out a little more and then I was over on tread width, and the officials were telling me I had to fix it or they were going to add a fifty pound penalty. I didn't want to do that, and I figured that fixing it wasn't going to be that big a deal.
"So last night someone went home and took some parts off the other car and brought them here," Quarterley continued. "But the two cars were so different that those parts wouldn't fit this one, so we had to start from scratch and that cost us enough time to make us late through tech."
Starting in the back, Quarterley had to be careful to get through slower traffic. But he was only half a lap into the race before trouble struck.
"I was going easy," he said. "I came off turn four and they're all stacked up in front of me so I turned right to go around them. I was past one guy's door but he still turned right trying to get out of my way and he just blew me off the racetrack. It happened so fast that I couldn't go off going straight, I went off at an angle and I had to turn it because I was heading right for an embankment. The second I turned the wheel I was done. I chased it twice and jumped on the brakes.
"I hit the tire barrier at probably 110 MPH, and bounced off that going the other way, and then it went side-roof-side, and finally back on the wheels. I sat there for a minute then got it running and drove it to the pits."
The Bully Hill Vineyards Chevrolet was beat up all around when it arrived at the team's trailer, but nobody was about to throw in the towel. With hammers and duct tape the body was pounded out relatively straight and, despite having lost 49 laps in the garage area, Quarterley returned to the race. The car was fast, though, and the driver even had to be reminded by NASCAR that he was laps down because he was racing with, and passing, top-five cars in the closing laps.
"We didn't even get one lap in before we got wrecked," he said after the race. "But we fixed it and went back out there to do what I was supposed to for myself, the team, and for Bully Hill. We had to prove that the team wouldn't give up, they put in the work so I went out to get the best I could for them."