NAPA Auto Parts 125 Riverside Park Speedway NASCAR Busch North Series, Grand National Division August 24, 1996 AGAWAM, MA - In a cleaner race than the Busch North troops have been known to...
NAPA Auto Parts 125 Riverside Park Speedway NASCAR Busch North Series, Grand National Division August 24, 1996
AGAWAM, MA - In a cleaner race than the Busch North troops have been known to put on at this quarter-mile oval, veteran Bobby Dragon took down the win.
Thirty-four cars arrived at the track to try for the twenty-six starting positions. Glen Brehio practiced but did not attempt to qualify. Fast timer was Brandon Butler with a 13.782 second lap, with Jerry Marquis second best at 13.931 as the top 20 starters of the feature came from time trial results.
Carnage in the second lap of the qualifying race (to fill starting positions 21 and 22) saw Kelly Moore squeeze Bryan Wall into the frontstretch wall. Moore took a provisional and moved into the feature with a back-up car while Wall was finished for the night.
The re-drawing shuffle saw 4th best timer Babe Branscombe draw the pole, with Jeff Barry outside. Behind these two, Brad Leighton and Robbie Crouch made up the second row, and Tom Carey and Dave Dion in the third.
The green flag waved at 9:23PM and Branscombe took off with the lead with Leighton passing Barry for second. Barry ran in third, followed by Crouch, Marquis, Dion, Mike Stefanik, Carey, B.Butler, and Stub Fadden making up the early top ten. Yellow came out for the first time on lap 10 when Marquis was spun heading into turn three. Because of his involvement in the incident, Crouch was sent to the rear of the field. Gege Gravel took this opportunity to pit.
Racing resumed on lap 15 and on the restart Leighton took the lead from Branscombe, and Stefanik also got by for second. Branscombe fell into third, followed by Barry, B.Butler, Bobby Dragon, Carey, Dion, Andy Santerre and Fadden. The Sta-Rite Pumps Chevrolet of Denny Doyle started smoking as Gravel retired his S&J Transportation Pontiac to the infield. Doyle soon joined Gravel in the infield.
Green flag racing reigned over the speedway for most of the race, and the drivers had to contend with heated brakes. From the grandstands one could see most cars with brake rotors glowing red as they headed into the third turn. Lapped traffic was also becoming a factor thirty laps into the race, and for the most part was not terribly cooperative. On lap 30 the running order was Leighton, Stefanik, Branscombe, Dragon, Santerre, Dion, Barry, Carey, B.Butler and Fadden. Mike Gallo retired to the center of the infield with a blown right front tire, waiting for a yellow to give him an opportunity to pit.
Negotiating traffic kept the leaders pretty much single file, though by lap 50 Dragon was up to third, and on lap 50 he took second from Stefanik, who was having more brake troubles than most. At the halfway point the top ten was made up of Leighton, Dragon, Stefanik, Branscombe, Santerre, Dion, Dale Shaw, Marquis, Carey, and Jamie Aube.
Glenn Sullivan retired from the event on lap 83 in his Brioschi Antacid Chevrolet. More shuffling at the front saw Stefanik losing more positions, putting Branscombe to third, Santerre to fourth by lap 90.
On lap 95 Bobby Dragon used lapped traffic to get by Leighton for the lead just as the yellow came out for Jerry Marquis' second spin, this one the result of a flat left rear putting him in the wall. Marquis drove the car into the pits, but the team called it a night. Also pitting under this yellow were Gallo, Doyle, and Jeff Barry, who slapped the frontstretch wall under green many laps ago and wound up losing many laps riding around afterwards.
The restart took place with 17 laps to go, with Dragon leading Leighton, Branscombe, Dave Dion, Santerre, Shaw, Stefanik, Carey, Fadden, Aube, Crouch, Kelly Moore, Tom Bolles and B.Butler as the only cars on the lead lap. Shortly after the restart Dion passed Branscombe for third. On lap 116 Eric Bodine and Bill Penfold tangled but didn't bring out a yellow as they both got going on their own. Bodine, however, had his rear bumper cover loosened and was black-flagged.
Brad Leighton spun out of second place in the second turn while under pressure from Dave Dion on lap 121, but also got going and didn't bring out a yellow. Half a lap later Babe Branscombe spun on the front straight but again the yellow wasn't thrown. Dale Shaw's car started smoking heavily, and the interior of the car was filled with smoke, causing cars to scramble around him and because of the fear that he was dropping fluid, the yellow was thrown on lap 123, setting up a green-white-checker finish. Pitting under this yellow were Jeff Barry and Billy Penfold.
The restart on lap 129 saw Bobby Dragon drive away as cars quickly got down to side-by-side racing behind him. Dragon drove unchallenged to the checkers for the win, followed by Dave Dion, then Mike Stefanik just nosing out Andy Santerre, and Tom Carey just nosing out the ailing car of Dale Shaw. The checkers flew at 10:02PM.
These results are extremely unofficial and should not be used to settle wagers: F S # Who What 1 14 71 Bobby Dragon Crystal Clear/US Cellular Pontiac GP 2 8 29 Dave Dion Berlin City/Continental Ford TBird 3 9 51 Mike Stefanik Burnham Boilers Chevrolet MC 4 11 44 Andy Santerre EJP/Wynn's X-Tend Chevrolet MC 5 7 8 Tom Carey Jr Atty. Mark E. Salamone Pontiac GP 6 20 60 Dale Shaw Ocean Spray/R.D. Roy Pontiac GP 7 21 41 Jamie Aube Aube Racing Chevrolet MC 8 10 16 Stub Fadden NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet MC 9 4 6 Robbie Crouch Auto Palace Pontiac GP 10 23 47 Kelly Moore Tic Tac/Pennzoil Pontiac GP 11 3 55 Brad Leighton Coed Naked/Just Hafta Chevrolet MC 12 17 76 Tom Bolles Bolles Racing Chevrolet Lum 13 5 7 Brandon Butler Skoal Pontiac GP 14 1 38 Babe Branscombe Branscombe Racing Chevrolet Lum 15 16 4 Brad Bennett PPG Paints Chevrolet Lum 16 13 61 Mike Olsen "Little Trees" Pontiac GP 17 15 45 Franklin Butler Oldsmobile Cut 18 26 21 Eric Bodine Glacier Ridge/Pennzoil Chevrolet MC 19 22 0 Mike Duquette Dutcher Automotive Buick Reg 20 24 28 Billy Penfold Duke's Ladder & Scaffolding Pontiac GP 21 2 22 Jeff Barry Barry Associates Chevrolet MC 22 6 15 Jerry Marquis O'Connor Buick/GMC Chevrolet MC 23 19 39 Glenn Sullivan Brioschi Antacid Chevrolet MC 24 12 92 Mike Gallo Gallo Racing Chevrolet MC 25 18 30 Denny Doyle Sta-Rite Pumps Chevrolet MC 26 25 54 GeGe Gravel S&J Transportation Pontiac GP
Next up for the BGNN Series is Lee USA Speedway
Next up for this writer is NHIS, September 8
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