Bill Penfold Gets A 'Brake', Finishes Eighteenth At NHIS (Loudon, N.H. - Sept. 20, 2004) - Bill Penfold, of Yarmouth, Maine, had a solid run with no anxious moments on his way to an eighteenth place finish in Monday's rain-delayed Sylvania 125,...
Bill Penfold Gets A 'Brake', Finishes Eighteenth At NHIS
(Loudon, N.H. - Sept. 20, 2004) - Bill Penfold, of Yarmouth, Maine, had a solid run with no anxious moments on his way to an eighteenth place finish in Monday's rain-delayed Sylvania 125, the twelfth NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race of the season. But it could have gone a lot worse, as a brake problem discovered after qualifying could have meant a much longer day for the veteran driver.
In a three-day weekend that was stretched to five days due to rain, Penfold started out merely 25th in practice before qualifying. During time trials, things did not improve much as he was fast enough to claim the 26th starting position after turning a fast lap of 120.201 MPH. After qualifying, though, one of the mysteries to what was holding the driver of the VIP Charter Coach Chevrolet was solved.
"My front brakes have been sticking," he said. "The car felt like it was binding up coming off the corners and it wasn't pulling off the corners. After time trials we came in and jacked it up. The guys tried to move the front tires and they couldn't get them to spin. The front brakes were pretty much locked up all the way around the track, but even with the front brakes on we managed to run a pretty decent lap. The car's driving real good, and we'll change the front brakes to fix the problem we just had in time trials."
While the brake problem was no longer an issue, the handling of Penfold's car became one during the running of the race on Monday. The No. 0 car was tight, and adjustments made under a lap 35 competition caution didn't tighten the car up enough. But Penfold soldiered on, running as high as fourteenth before some late race charges sent him back to finish eighteenth.
"We just couldn't get the car tightened up enough," he said. "We took spring rubbers out, shut down shocks, and shortened the stagger up but we just couldn't get it tight enough coming up off the corner. It kept wanting to break loose on me. But we gained eight spots, which isn't bad, and we didn't put a mark on the car. At the end of the race I wound up giving up about three spots because people were doing banzai runs. I have to use this car next week so I couldn't afford to get wrecked, so I just had to give them room. But the VIP Charter Coach Chevrolet looked good today, and we're looking forward to Dover."
The lightning-fast high banks of Dover International Speedway will greet Penfold and the rest of the Busch North Series next weekend with a Friday afternoon race, sharing the weekend with the NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series races. Coverage will be live on HDNet and taped for later broadcast on SpeedTV. For more information, visit www.penfoldmotorsports.com.