Dale Quarterley runs up front, finishes seventh at Loudon. Dale Quarterley's Land O Lakes Chevrolet team enjoyed a solid performance in Saturday's first of three NASCAR Busch North Series races held at the New Hampshire International Speedway.
Dale Quarterley runs up front, finishes seventh at Loudon.
Dale Quarterley's Land O Lakes Chevrolet team enjoyed a solid performance in Saturday's first of three NASCAR Busch North Series races held at the New Hampshire International Speedway. Quarterley started the day in third place and ran in the top three for most of the event before settling for a seventh place finish.
The one-mile track in Loudon, New Hampshire had undergone some changes in the turns prior to the series visiting, leaving race teams with a new variable to account for when setting up their cars. After practice sessions held both Thursday and Friday, Quarterley took to the track for qualifying and came up with the third best time, 30.151 seconds (126.324 MPH).
"We started with the same basic setup as last year but when they changed the racetrack, there are transitions between certain parts of it in the turns and the transitions really upset the car. We had to go back and find a good set of shocks that would work with it. We went through three sets of shocks three times by the time we decided on a set, and that's basically where we're at right now. Qualifying-wise, we thought we'd be a little quicker than we were. We had done that time in practice in race trim, so we thought we could beat it in qualifying trim, but the qualifying stuff didn't make it go faster or slower, it just ended up being the same. Right now, because of that, we're thinking we need to make a couple of changes for the race.
"I think the track change is going to make the racing, for the fans, way more exciting," Quarterley continued. "To get by a guy, you're going to really have to muscle him over to get by him, and he's got a ton of things he can do to keep it from happening. So that's going to cause problems, but for the fans that's going to be a great show."
Quarterley was fast out of the gates on Saturday afternoon, briefly taking second spot twenty-five laps into the race but then settling back into third where he would ride until making a pit stop on lap 63. Leaving the pits eleventh, behind some cars that elected to stay on the track, Quarterley started making his way back towards the front.
Just fifteen laps from the scheduled end of the race, Quarterley was back up to fifth place and, following a lap 117 caution, was taking a lap 122 restart with Tracy Gordon in front of him. Heading into turn one, both Quarterley and Gordon moved low heading into the corner and contact was made, sending Gordon spinning into the wall.
"You're jockeying for position on those late restarts, and someone moves one way, and someone moves the other, and the next thing you know, you're both in the same space," Quarterley said. "I got under Tracy Gordon going into the turn and he started coming down, which wasn't a problem, I wasn't in the zone that I thought I needed to get out yet, and all of a sudden he hooked a left to finish closing up the hole, but I wasn't out of there yet. I basically hooked him in the rear quarter and that's the end of that."
The race ended with a green-white-checker finish, during which Quarterley and the other leaders scrambled for position and Quarterley wound up seventh when it was all over.
"For whatever reason, when we put that second set of tires on it just completely went away," he said after the race. "I don't know, we didn't really change anything on the car, it just didn't like that batch of tires. But we scored points. Last year we had a few devastating days. If we can get them to go away, we'll be good in the long run."
Quarterley and the Land O Lakes team now prepare for next Saturday's race at Nazareth Speedway in Nazareth, Pennsylvania.