Busch 125, New Hampshire International Speedway, Saturday, Ma y 11 Brad Leighton's victory over Andy Santerre by 0.021 seconds is easily the closest electronically timed finish in a Busch North Series race at NHIS. Leighton's margin over Dale ...
Busch 125, New Hampshire International Speedway, Saturday, Ma y 11
Brad Leighton's victory over Andy Santerre by 0.021 seconds is easily the closest electronically timed finish in a Busch North Series race at NHIS. Leighton's margin over Dale Quarterley in this event two years ago is listed as "3 feet", and the September 1992 finish between Mike McLaughlin and Dick McCabe is recorded as "2 feet". In order to enable finishes like the Busch 125 to be accurately scored, the scoring transponders must be mounted in the same location on all cars.
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Notably, the top seven drivers in the season-opening Sanel Auto Parts 125 at Lee USA Speedway were also in the top ten at NHIS. Andy Santerre is about a foot from a perfect season, of course, with a first and an ultra-close second. Brad Leighton has a sixth and a first, while Dale Shaw and Matt Kobyluck repeated their Lee finishes at NHIS, fourth and fifth, respectively. Mike Olsen is 2-9, Mike Johnson 3-6, and Dave Dion 7-8 for the first two rounds. Greg Schaefer barely missed the top ten double, finishing eleventh at NHIS after a ninth at Lee.
Kelly Moore, seventh in the standings with a 12th and a third, is the best-placed driver without two top tn finishes.
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Of course, the cold numbers work the other way too. Mike Rowe has a 28th and a 32nd, Tracy Gordon has a 26th and a 24th, not to mention a destroyed race car after his first turn crash at NHIS, and Bryan Wall a 24th and a 17th. Jamie Aube has been consistent in the least desired way, with a pair of 27th place finishes.
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Two drivers changed engines after qualifying and dropped to the tail of the field as required by NASCAR rules, although they retained their starting positions for record keeping purposes. Richard Jarvis Jr. wound up 16th and Dave Davis 22nd.
Drivers who pulled double duty in the NHIS Mother's Day weekend doubleheader enjoyed little success in their Busch Series, Grand National Division efforts. Martin Truex Jr. was certainly the most disappointed. Driving the Yellow Chevrolet in place of Jimmy Spencer, he was plagued with mechanical problems and wound up 29th, the last car running in the Busch 200. Jumping into his regular SeaWatch Chevrolet for the Busch 125, he crashed hard in turn two. Andy Santerre and Mike Johnson, driving Busch Series backup cars, parked early and were credited with 37th and 38th in the Busch 200 but rebounded for second and sixth in the Busch 125.
Denny Doyle enjoyed his best NHIS qualifying effort, fifth on the grid for the Busch 125, but wound up 25th for an unusual reason. Checking up to miss a spinning Dennis Demers in the closing stages, he stood on the brakes so hard the rod from the pedal to the master cylinder broke!
Smiling despite a 26th place finish was Scott Bouley. Teamed with Glen Rudolph's STI outfit for 2002, the long-time independent ran as high as ninth during the mid-race pit stop shuffle before going behind the wall late in the race.
Also counting a good day in the Busch 125 was Bill Penfold, who overcame a broken header in practice to run as high as fifth and record his first top ten of the season.