Lime Rock Park, Lakeville, Conn., Tuesday, October 1 Two dozen Busch North Series teams took advantage of a perfect early autumn afternoon to reacquaint, or in some cases, just acquaint themselves with the 1.53 mile road course where the series...
Lime Rock Park, Lakeville, Conn., Tuesday, October 1
Two dozen Busch North Series teams took advantage of a perfect early autumn afternoon to reacquaint, or in some cases, just acquaint themselves with the 1.53 mile road course where the series will hold its finale for the tenth straight season with the Burnham Boilers 200 on Saturday, October 12. Point leader Andy Santerre chose to stay at his shop in North Carolina, but leading contenders Matt Kobyluck and Brad Leighton were in action. To the surprise of no one, defending race winner Dale Quarterley set the pace on most hand-held watches, touching the 55 second mark in race trim. The track record in Bud Pole Qualifying was set last year by Bryan Wall at 53.591 seconds.
George "Sonny" Whelen of Old Saybrook, Conn. made his first appearance in the Ted Marsh #31 sponsored by his family’s emergency warning light business. Whelen normally races in the one-make road racing series for Dodge Vipers, whose lap times at Lime Rock are similar to a Busch North car. The Marsh entry has raced once in the Busch North Series this year, with Tim Andrews finishing sixth at NHIS in July.
Heads were turned when the #29 appeared as a Chevrolet. No it wasn’t Dave Dion changing camps after all these years. The driver of this #29 is Lime Rock regular Joe Zanavich, who races his Busch-legal car in Sports Car Club of America events during the season. Also, Joe’s car is maroon, not orange, so the mistaken identity soon faded.
Todd Szegedy, the leading rookie on the Featherlite Modified Series, practiced the Reyben Racing Chevrolet that Brad Bennett drove to a top-five at Watkins Glen. Bennett was on hand as coach and crew chief. Szegedy expects to race the car in a different paint scheme at the Burnham Boilers 200. It will be his first Busch North Series race, but not his first road race, as he ran Watkins Glen with a modified in 2000.
Babe Branscombe made his first appearance of the year with the Garrison Motors/Colony Auto Parts Chevrolet. He has been racing at his home track, Star Speedway, on Saturday nights in 2002. Also back at the wheel were John Wall Sr. and Jeff Hawkins. Jamie Aube was turning the wrenches for Hawkins. Denny Wilson, last seen at the Glen in 2001, was driving Dick Bahre's #02.
A correction to the Stafford post-race notes. Mike Johnson did not move into sole possession of second place in Busch North wins by a Ford driver. He tied Bryan Wall. Johnson has one win in 2000, two wins in 2001, and two in 2002. Wall scored three victories in 1999, one in 2000, and one in 2002.