Dale Quarterley Survives Seekonk With Eighteenth Place Finish (Seekonk, Mass. - June 12, 2004) - Dale Quarterley has considered Seekonk Speedway, a third-mile oval in Seekonk, Mass., to be one of his worst tracks on the NASCAR Grand National ...
Dale Quarterley Survives Seekonk With Eighteenth Place Finish
(Seekonk, Mass. - June 12, 2004) - Dale Quarterley has considered Seekonk Speedway, a third-mile oval in Seekonk, Mass., to be one of his worst tracks on the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series schedule. This hasn't kept him from trying to turn his fortunes at the high-banked bowl around, and in his latest attempt Saturday night he ran well enough to drive past the leaders.
However, a flat tire and a late-race spin conspired to keep him down a lap, and he could only muster an eighteenth-place finish. He did, though, move up a spot in the series championship standings to fourth.
A broken part that could have had serious implications on a larger track or under race conditions cost the Westfield, Mass. driver and his EDART/Bully Hill Vineyards Chevrolet team valuable practice time.
"We were going decent in the first practice but in the second session I couldn't drive the thing," he said. "I thought I had a flat tire, but we came in and checked it out and the tires were fine, so maybe we had a shock that broke. It turns out that the right front lower A-frame had broke and it was collapsing, and the longer we drove on it the worse it got. It was like a giant spring."
With that repaired, Quarterley prepared for time trials where he claimed the twelfth starting position.
"It's not a winning car, but if it gets in the right situation like we did at Thompson, it could be," he said. "We're happy qualifying twelfth, and the car still felt decent. This is one of those rare times where we're going to leave it alone before the race and go see what happens."
Quarterley was involved in a battle for tenth with Eddie MacDonald when he suffered a cut right front tire on lap 64. Caution came out to allow him to visit pit road, but he lost a lap before he could return to the race. He lined up on the inside lane of the restart to try and race the leader to get his lap back, but was unsuccessful in his first try. On the next restart, which came with 50 laps to run, he passed eventual race winner Andy Santerre to get back on the lead lap. Caution came out on lap 107, and that allowed Quarterley to drive around to the back of the lead-lap line.
On his way back to the front, he encountered trouble while passing Joey McCarthy, and then he got into a little trouble himself.
"We were coming back through and I was behind the 8 car," he explained. "I was just going to give him a little nudge just to move him over and I nudged him at the wrong time and he just lost it. They made me go all the way to the end, and coming back up through I got by all those guys again and going down into a turn they just never lifted, hit me and spun me out so I wound up going down a lap again."
That was with just twenty laps to go, and no caution came out for the incident, so Quarterley had to settle for being a lap down and ran to the finish where he was scored eighteenth.
"It was a sensational car," he said afterwards. "But you can't pass on this track, there's just no room here. Everybody's fighting for the bottom, especially late in the day. If you get up in the second groove it won't turn, and then you can't get on the gas, so the bottom's the place to be. For us, we had a sensational car and we're fortunate that we didn't go five laps down under green when we had that cut tire, even though we did go a lap down."
Race fans can see the Budweiser 150 on HDNet television on June 13th at 8:00PM, and again on SpeedTV on Saturday, June 26th at noon.
Quarterley's next race will be Friday night at Stafford Motor Speedway. That race will be broadcast live on HDNet, with coverage starting at 7:30PM.