Loudon, NH (9/18/99) Kelly Moore, driver of the LesCare Kitchens Pontiac, ended up a disappointing 31st during the New Hampshire 100 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Moore dominated the Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring, event, pacing...
Loudon, NH (9/18/99) Kelly Moore, driver of the LesCare Kitchens Pontiac, ended up a disappointing 31st during the New Hampshire 100 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Moore dominated the Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring, event, pacing the 44-car field for 57 circuits. However, disaster struck with only ten laps remaining, as Moore relinquished the lead to Brad Leighton after a mechanical failure forced Moore to pit. Crew Chief Jamie Lorfano was confronted with an engine compartment that had fuel splashed everywhere. During the course of the race, an adjuster for the float in the carburetor had loosened, and leaked more than three gallons of fuel, causing Moore's Pontiac to run out of gas a mere ten laps from the finish. "We had the field covered today and I still had more left in that car," a dejected Moore explained. "We were also very lucky that the race car didn't start on fire, we lost quite a bit of fuel."
Due to inclement weather on Thursday and Friday, teams had only a half hour of practice Saturday morning. This left many teams guessing on how the cars should be setup. "It really is a tough call on the setup. This weekend is a little different because there are three different tire compounds on the track, " explained Moore. "Since we only had twelve laps of practice, we had to make the right call on the setup and the team came through for us today.
Since qualifying was cancelled, the starting grid was determined by points, post marked entry dates and provisonals. Moore would start from the fifth spot, within the first five laps was up to the second spot, and began to challenge leader Brad Leighton. The day's first caution was thrown on Lap 5 and on the restart Leighton jumped out to a big lead. Moore took his time in tracking down the leader and made the pass coming off turn two to take the lead on lap 15.
Leighton took the lead back from Moore during a lap 43 restart but a series of caution flags would delay Moore's mission to recapture the top spot. Once the field stopped beating and banging on each other, Moore wasted little time after the lap 53 restart, getting back by Leighton on lap 59. "This car was really quick in the corners today," said Moore. "We could pull Brad down the straight-aways, and we were much better in the middle of the turns."
During the closing laps, Moore steadily increased his lead over Leighton and appeared to be on his way to his 20th career victory. However, onlookers were shocked when Moore slowed with only nine laps remaining. "This is a hard pill to swallow, I feel bad for our team and our sponsors," explained Moore. "It would have been nice to get back in victory lane with all our fans and sponsors watching on national television."
The 1999 Busch North Series campaign wraps up on October 16 at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, CT. Moore and his team will travel to Rockingham, NC for a two-day test session on September 27. Moore has added the October 23 Kmart 200 Busch Series race to his schedule.