BUSCH NORTH SERIES, NASCAR TOURING POST-RACE NOTES Budweiser 150, Seekonk Speedway, Seekonk, Mass., Saturday, May 26, 2001 The parallels between the 2000 and 2001 Budweiser 150's at Seekonk are remarkable. Last year, a Busch North Series icon,...
BUSCH NORTH SERIES, NASCAR TOURING POST-RACE NOTES
Budweiser 150, Seekonk Speedway, Seekonk, Mass., Saturday, May 26, 2001
The parallels between the 2000 and 2001 Budweiser 150's at Seekonk are remarkable. Last year, a Busch North Series icon, Dave Dion, broke a long winless streak by taking the lead on lap 55 and holding off the challenge of Tracy Gordon. Last Saturday, another Busch North Series icon, Kelly Moore, broke a long winless streak by taking the lead on lap 53 and holding off the challenge of Tracy Gordon. Both races were notably clean as well, with five cautions for 31 laps and 28 cars finishing in 2000, and four cautions for 24 laps with 25 finishing in 2001.
One major difference was noted- there was no approaching thunderstorm to menace the 2000 edition.
Tracy Gordon has the Busch North Series right where he wants it. He's the point leader after three races, and the next three events on the schedule are all races he won in 2000, at Holland, N.Y., Beech Ridge, Me., and the Star Speedway in Epping, N.H. After three events in 2000, Gordon trailed eventual champion Brad Leighton by 13 points.
Paul Richardson's third place finish was the best of the Georgetown, Mass., veteran's career. His Bellingham Sheet Metal Chevrolet never dropped out of the top four and was a solid contender for victory until passed by Gordon in the last ten laps.
Brian Hoar also enjoyed the best result of his brief BNS career, taking seventh, earning the Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Race Award, and moving into the Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year point lead. Joey McCarthyand Eddie MacDonald, each of whom has enjoyed the point lead in 2001, are tied for second.
Hoar has driven Dodges to several Thunder Road International Speedbowl and ACT titles, and his family owns a Dodge dealership in the Burlington, Vt. area. The Intrepid is approved in the Busch North Series rulebook, but it's simply not practical for a budget racer to start from scratch, so Hoar has done the next best thing with his ex-Kelly Moore Pontiac. He has added blackout trim around the nose and windows which combine with the red paint and number "9" to create a reasonable facsimile of an Intrepid while retaining the Pontiac sheet metal.
John Swanson was the only driver who made his 2001 Busch North Series debut at Seekonk. Swanson's Pontiac qualified 25th and finished 20th. Swanson was a BNS regular in the mid-1990's.