Late Race Crash Ruins Bill Penfold's Dover Downs Race Bill Penfold, of Yarmouth, Maine, came to Dover Downs International Speedway for the NASCAR Busch North Series' MBNA E-Commerce 150 with high hopes. Looking forward to racing on the fast, ...
Late Race Crash Ruins Bill Penfold's Dover Downs Race
Bill Penfold, of Yarmouth, Maine, came to Dover Downs International Speedway for the NASCAR Busch North Series' MBNA E-Commerce 150 with high hopes. Looking forward to racing on the fast, high-banked track, Penfold prepared his VIP Charter Coaches Chevrolet with hopes of a good finish. This, unfortunately, would not be the result as a lap 118 accident ended Penfold's race while he was running inside the top ten.
While practice time was severely curtailed because of rain falling most of the day, Penfold wasn't too concerned because of experience he had on the track from the series' previous visit in 1998. After practice, Penfold was excited about his chances and looked forward to qualifying. His enthusiasm would be put on hold, though, as qualifying was also washed out by rain. He would start 14th according to his points position.
"It's going to be a good race," he said before the race. "There are a lot of fast cars, because they're starting by points there are some fast cars that are starting in the rear. So you're going to see a lot of passing. We're fast, we're in the top ten or twelve, and it's a long race. We're running on a great tire, this is a race tire, this is what Busch North needs to race on. We're having a good time. We like the speed, we like the track, the people are great. I hope we can keep coming here and I hope NASCAR knows we like it."
Penfold's race started out strongly, with Penfold racing into the top ten early on. Making a pit stop with many of the leaders on lap 56 found Penfold restarting the race in 15th, but he set his sights on the front of the field and was back in the top ten before the lap 75 halfway mark. By the time the race hit lap 100, Penfold was up to fourth, though cars that had pitted were threatening to pass him back. He had fallen to eighth, with Tom Carey following, on lap 120 when contact from Carey sent Penfold spinning, triggering a five-car crash. After being struck twice by oncoming cars, Penfold's came to rest on the front straightaway. Penfold climbed out of the car and was taken to the infield care center, where he was released without injury. He was classified as the 21st finisher.
"I got turned. Tom Carey turned me, I don't know why. There was no reason for it," he said after the race. "It's a shame, we had a pretty decent car and were running up front all day. When I got loose I stayed up out of the way and made sure they had room, if somebody got under me. We're trying, we're struggling with no sponsorship. I can't afford this.
"It's amazing, when I get turned and wrecked, NASCAR never sees a thing, they just don't see me getting wrecked," Penfold continued. "But if I touch a car, they throw me out for a week even when it's somebody else's fault to begin with. NASCAR needs somebody who's got some eyes. They may not like me, they should tell me. If you don't want me in the series, tell me. Just don't let me keep getting stove up. Save my money."
Penfold was nevertheless encouraged by how well he ran earlier in the race.
"We had been fast all weekend long," he said. "For an under-financed team, to come here and run how we did shows that we have the talent. I build my own cars and me and my crew chief spend all our time on these cars ourselves. When you come down to Dover and run in the top five and top ten all day long, we're proving something. It shows that we can make race cars go, but we just don't get any breaks."
For more information on the team, visit its website at http://www.penfoldmotorsports.com.