Fifteenth place Nazareth finish does not reflect how well Dale Quarterley raced. Dale Quarterley may have finished fifteenth at the one-mile Nazareth Speedway in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, but that finishing position does not tell the whole story...
Fifteenth place Nazareth finish does not reflect how well Dale Quarterley raced.
Dale Quarterley may have finished fifteenth at the one-mile Nazareth Speedway in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, but that finishing position does not tell the whole story about the Land O Lakes Chevrolet driver who qualified third fastest, ran inside the top five until pitting, and working his way back to eighth place before being spun late in the event.
Quarterley struggled in practice but his 1/4 LEY Racing team set to adjusting the car for qualifying. The adjustments must have worked, since Quarterley qualified third fastest with a lap of 28.003 seconds (128.558 MPH).
"If I told you the car was handling like an overloaded tri-axle dump truck in practice, I'd be understating things," he said after qualifying. "The thing just would not turn no matter what we did. We just kept working on it and working on it, and we finally, right at the end, started making a dent in it. At the end of practice, the best laps were 28 seconds flat, and I was 28.8. So I was eight tenths off, that's how bad the thing was. We put our heads together and made a couple of phone calls, went out there for qualifying and missed the pole by a tenth. We went a 28 flat, we were eight tenths faster, which is unheard of. I'm ecstatic over the whole deal and the guys are beside themselves over here.
"The problem is that it still doesn't turn as well as it needs to in order to win the show," Quarterley continued. "So now we have to go back and keep working. But now that we're pressed for time, we're going to go right by where we need to be and I'll be out there in the race with a car so loose that I can't step on the gas pedal. But we're going to go for it. We lost Loudon because the car was too tight. We've spent this whole weekend going the complete opposite of what we've been doing, just trying to get the car to go to the front."
Quarterley fell back to fifth at the start but held his ground there, and moved up to fourth when he followed Ted Christopher past Brad Leighton on lap 33. When caution flew on lap 48, Quarterley was the second car to hit pit road for right-side tires and chassis adjustments, and rejoined the race back in seventeenth. By lap 70, Quarterley was back in the top ten but with the field strung out, gaining more positions came slower. He was up to eighth on lap 74 and held that position entering the first of two late-race restarts.
One lap after a lap 97 restart, Quarterley was racing back to a caution flag when someone got underneath him and bumped him out of the groove, sending him spinning into the infield grass. Quarterley recovered but had to pit and replace a flat tire, and took the final green-white-checker restart in seventeenth. He could only make up two positions in the closing laps, and finished fifteenth.
"We were thinking that more cars would pit when we did, so we stopped and put tires on," he said after the race. "When we noticed that there were only eight or ten of us that pitted, we figured it was no big deal, we could get back to the front, and we did, we got back to eighth. What we didn't need was that caution late in the race, we would have been fine without it. We went green and got a lap in, then coming onto the front straightaway, I drifted up to the wall and suddenly someone tagged me in the door and just turned me around. I got it turned sideways and had it floored, bumping it off the rev limiter trying to keep it from shooting down or shooting back onto the track. Somehow I managed to do that and got it onto an access road and got it straight. I drove it back onto the racetrack but the door was bowed in and the left rear tire was flat, so we stopped and put a tire on but that put us back twenty positions again. We had a good day, we just didn't have the results to show for it.
"Paul Wolfe and myself were the fastest two cars out there, we just weren't fast enough long enough," Quarterley continued. "But we learned some stuff here that we can use at Loudon, so it was a good day all around."
Quarterley and the NASCAR Busch North Series return to the short tracks this Saturday with the running of a 150-lap race at Massachusetts' Seekonk Speedway.