STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT - Yarmouth, Maine's Bill Penfold started the second half of the Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring season on a high note by scoring his first top ten finish of the year in the NASCAR 150 held Friday night at Stafford (CT)...
STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT - Yarmouth, Maine's Bill Penfold started the second half of the Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring season on a high note by scoring his first top ten finish of the year in the NASCAR 150 held Friday night at Stafford (CT) Motor Speedway. The eighth place finish was Penfold's best since scoring a fourth at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Maine last September.
After suffering engine troubles in recent short-track events, the VIP Charter Coaches-sponsored Penfold Motorsports team had a new Carl Wegner engine in its #0 Chevrolet Monte Carlo for the Stafford event. The new engine brought Penfold to the 18th starting spot after qualifying.
"We went out early and I think that hurt us a little bit," Penfold said after qualifying. "The field's only separated by three tenths of a second, so it doesn't take much to slip a little bit, lose a tenth and you're in the back of the pack. The car's been driving good all day, it's been consistent. If I can stay out of trouble we should be in the top ten all right."
Penfold did exactly that, avoiding some early accidents and entering the top ten under yellow as some teams elected to make pit stops. Following a lap 84 restart, Penfold was running as high as fifth, despite the car running on only seven cylinders. Settling into tenth for the last 50 laps, Penfold picked up two more important spots when the race ended under a green-white-checker restart. Penfold was thrilled at the finish after the race.
"The car was awesome, it was handling great," he started. "We lost a cylinder at about lap 50, we were running on seven cylinders out there but the car was handling so good I could go by guys inside and out. If I didn't lose that cylinder I had something for the leaders because the car was perfect. We got some luck on our side and got through the wrecks.
"I can't thank VIP Charter Coaches enough for sticking with me," Penfold continued, "the Kennebunk Chamber of Commerce, my crew chief Bob Harrison, Bryan Thompson, these guys have been busting butt all year, and they stuck by me. We knew we could do it. If we could keep the engines under the hood we can win one of these things. We've got a little bit of luck now so we're coming around. I'm just glad to be in the top ten finally."
With the engine problems expected to be easily fixed, Penfold Motorsports will return to the track this coming Saturday for the Budweiser 150 at the Waterford (CT) Speedbowl.