Burnham Boilers 100, Nazareth Speedway, Saturday, May 18 Ted Christopher's Nazareth victory didn't appear likely on Friday morning, when the team's best engine expired in practice. As crew chief Ralph Solhem explained, "We had Old Faithful in...
Burnham Boilers 100, Nazareth Speedway, Saturday, May 18
Ted Christopher's Nazareth victory didn't appear likely on Friday morning, when the team's best engine expired in practice. As crew chief Ralph Solhem explained, "We had Old Faithful in the truck, the engine we used to win at New Hampshire last year, so we put it in.". The engine was never fired up until Christopher went out to qualify. He made inspection and the qualifying lineup in the nick of time, timed ninth fastest, and the rest is history. Ralph Solhem made a second trip to victory lane at Nazareth when his famous #0 modified was driven to the win in Sunday's Service Electric 100 Featherlite Modified Series race by Nevin George.
By adding Nazareth to his resume, Ted Christopher has now won at four of the five Busch North Series tracks one mile or longer. He has four wins at New Hampshire International Speedway and one each at the Lime Rock and Watkins Glen road courses. Unfortunately, he's not scheduled to race in 2002 at the one he's missing, Dover International Speedway in September.
Bill Penfold's fourth place finish matched his Busch North Series career best, recorded at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in 1999. Martin Truex Jr. and Brian Hoar, both of whom started at the tail of the field, as well as Paul Wolfe and Tracy Gordon recorded their first top tens of the season. Obviously, so did Christopher, since it was his first start.
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Matt Kobyluck has recorded three straight top-five finishes, while Brad Leighton has been no lower than sixth. That's why they're the point leaders. Andy Santerre, after first and second at Lee and Loudon, was 22nd at Nazareth and slipped to fourth behind Dale Shaw, who's not been out of the top ten. Meanwhile, Bryan Wall's frustrations continued, as his 17th matched his best run of the year. For Mike Rowe, 14th was a positive sign after 28th and 30th in his first two outings.
After reviewing the circumstances, NASCAR officials have determined that Dale Shaw was not eligible for the Flowmaster Star of the Race Award in the Busch 125 at NHIS on May 11, as shown on the unofficial results for that event.
Shaw started 33rd and finished fourth after his qualifying time was disallowed due to a technical infraction at post-qualifying inspection. His starting position resulted from a penalty and he was not a provisional starter, making him ineligible for the award which recognizes the driver improving his position the most from start to finish. Andy Santerre becomes the Flowmaster recipient for the Busch 125.
The Flowmaster Star of the Race Award carries no monetary reward for individual races, but does pay a $7,500 point fund at the end of the year, for which Shaw remains eligible.
The same principle was applied when the qualifying times of Martin Truex Jr. and Brian Hoar were disallowed at Nazareth Speedway, making race winner Ted Christopher also the Flowmaster winner.
The Flowmaster point system awards 3 points for the greatest position improvement among eligible drivers, followed by two points and one point for the second and third best improvements, with overall finish as the tiebreaker. A summary of the Flowmaster points awarded in 2002 is as follows:
Lee USA: Greg Schaefer 3, Dale Shaw 2, Gary Shackford 1
NHIS: Andy Santerre 3, Dave Dion 2, Kip Stockwell 1
Nazareth: Ted Christopher 3, Dennis Demers 2, Mike Rowe 1
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Of 96 starters in the first three Busch North Series races of the season, 84 have been running at the checkered flag, a finishing percentage of 87.5%.