The Penfold Motorsports team visited Star Speedway in Epping, New Hampshire over the weekend for the Auto Town 150 Busch North Series, Touring Division race. The Penfold team has had a series of tough luck this season, and had set their goals ...
The Penfold Motorsports team visited Star Speedway in Epping, New Hampshire over the weekend for the Auto Town 150 Busch North Series, Touring Division race. The Penfold team has had a series of tough luck this season, and had set their goals realistically for this race. The first task of the day would be qualifying.
The team has qualified exceptionally well in the past five events, qualifying in the top ten in each of those events. It would be a little different in the Auto Town 150. After failing to qualify in the first round, crew chief Bob Harrison made a series of changes before Bill Penfold took the #0 VIP Charters -- neracing.com Chevrolet out for second round qualifying. The changes were just what the car needed, as Bill was the fastest in the second round to earn the 17th starting position.
"I can't say enough about Bob, he keeps giving me great cars every week," Bill said after second round qualifying. "We struggled with our qualifying program earlier this year, but we're right where we want to be now."
Just after the race got under way, Bill had to lay on his brakes hard after a spin in front of him. He lost many positions due to the spin. Once the green flag waved again, he quickly began picking off cars as he worked his way back up through the field. Bill ran a clean race and remained on the lead lap through the first 125 laps. He moved all the way into the top ten late in the race when another lead lap car made contact with him, sending him spinning off the track.
"I was really happy with the race up until we got spun out," Penfold said. "I ran a clean race and made it into the top ten. But then we got spun out - again. I can't get over it, I am so disappointed with the officiating in this series right now. The driver that dumped me never received a penalty. Even though I was on the lead lap, the official told my spotter to have me get out of the way of the guy behind me who was racing me for position. I stayed low and gave the guy the outside lane, but he spun me anyway, and there was no call."
Bill went a lap down after the incident, but still passed a few more cars to earn a 12th place finish. It was the teams best finish since finishing seventh at Holland last June. The finish moved Bill up one spot in the points standings.
"I know it is a tough job to watch the whole track to make sure everyone is driving clean and its easy to miss a call now and then," said the disappointed Penfold after the race. "But we've been penalized several times this year on calls that I didn't feel were right, and to make it worse, I have been spun several times now and the guys spinning me never served any penalties."
The series next event is at Thunder Road in Vermont this weekend. It's the second of three straight short track races for the series. Bill has raced several times at Thunder Road and hopes to bring the VIP Charters -- neracing.com Chevy home with a top ten after this visit.