Handling Woes Slow Bill Penfold To Fifteenth At Seekonk (Seekonk, Mass. - June 12, 2004) - Bill Penfold had one of those days at the track that he's glad to put behind him. Coming off a stellar fourth-place finish two weeks ago at the road...
Handling Woes Slow Bill Penfold To Fifteenth At Seekonk
(Seekonk, Mass. - June 12, 2004) - Bill Penfold had one of those days at the track that he's glad to put behind him. Coming off a stellar fourth-place finish two weeks ago at the road course at Lime Rock Park, Penfold could not duplicate that success at Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway's third-mile oval and struggled to finish fifteenth.
Penfold entered the fourth race of the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series ninth in points. But at Seekonk, the Penfold Motorsports crew just couldn't get the No. 0 VIP Charter Coach Chevrolet handling to Penfold's liking. A number of changes were made to the car before qualifying but it was still not working right, leaving Penfold nineteenth on the starting grid.
"We haven't been handling all day," he said. "We've been tight and we loosened the car way up trying to get it loose and it still didn't get as loose as we'd like. So we did a whole bunch of things for time trials and it finally got loose, maybe too loose. We ran the same time as we'd been running, but we've got to get somewhere in the middle of where we were in practice and where we were in time trials. I'm not sure what we've got for the race, but we're going to go out there and run the best we can. Hopefully with these changes we'll have a car that's steady and comfortable, which is what you need at this track. A lot of guys didn't pick up a lot of time in qualifying, and we noticed that their times fell off a lot in the long runs in practice while ours didn't. We'll play the patient game and try to out-endure them. That's all we can do at this place. Pitting is an option available to us, we'll consider pitting to try and get the car better.
"We almost won here two years ago, but we just can't seem to hit it now. But we're trying hard and we're not going to give up," Penfold continued.
Penfold didn't have to go far into the race before encountering trouble. Contact with Barney McRae left Penfold's right front fender damaged, and he pitted under the first caution to have that checked out. Throughout the event, Penfold made three more stops to try and improve the car, but the changes made weren't enough to prevent the car from finishing fifteenth. Penfold now rides eleventh in the series point standings.
"We weren't handling at all today," he said after the race. "It's one of those races where we just didn't hit on the setup no matter what we did. We just tried to survive out there and did the best we could. We got fifteenth, and we'll take that and go on to Stafford. We run good there, so we'll look to get a top-five out of there and build on that."
Bill Penfold left Seekonk for Maine to run the DNK Select 250, an open-competition Pro Stock race, at Unity Speedway on Sunday. He'll return to the Busch North Series on Friday when it makes its only trip this year to Stafford Motor Speedway in Connecticut.
For more information on the team, visit its website at http://www.penfoldmotorsports.com.