Dale Quarterley, driver of the No. 32 Standard Transportation Chevrolet in Saturday night's Budweiser 150, a NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race, overcame handling problems on the tight third-mile oval to post a fifteenth place ...
Dale Quarterley, driver of the No. 32 Standard Transportation Chevrolet in Saturday night's Budweiser 150, a NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race, overcame handling problems on the tight third-mile oval to post a fifteenth place finish.
Quarterley, admitting that his team has struggled at Seekonk in the past, spent the practice session trying to find the setup. That process continued through to the qualifying session, where he posted the twelfth fastest time trial lap.
"This is by far the worst race track for us, though it's certainly not because we don't like it, it's just that we haven't found the combination for it," he said. "We struggled during practice trying stuff that we learned the last time here, and trying to carry it a step further, and most of it the car didn't like. So we spent a lot of practice time backing up to where we started. At the end of practice it actually wasn't too bad. We're thinking we were going to be a little loose for qualifying so we tightened it up, but we actually went too far and it ended up being too tight for qualifying. Once again, I don't think it's that bad of a ride, come race time it's probably a good sixth, seventh, eighth place car. I don't think it's a winning car here, but I think it'll be all right in the long run."
The search for the setup continued in the race, as Quarterley ran in the top ten early but could not progress any further than ninth place through the race's first half. Under the lap 89 caution, Quarterley pitted to make adjustments, rejoining the field outside of the top fifteen. He pitted again under the next caution, which came out on lap 103, but just couldn't make any more progress through the field. He was fifteenth in the final rundown.
"We just never actually got a full handle on it," he said. "At the beginning, we were still a little tight and I had to pit before I blew the right front tire off of it. We made some adjustments and they helped it, but they didn't help it enough to get it back through the field, and we were trying to do all we could to not crash it or hurt it or not do any worse than we were doing. Right at the end we did make it a little better, but it was too little too late. That's as good as it was going to go.
"Once I got back from the pit stop, I wasn't really coming back to the front, we just kept pitting trying to make it better," he continued. "We were in the back anyways, so we just tried to do what we can. We always wound up with the same guys pitting, so we were running with the same guys after we pitted. I wound up passing the same guys twelve times, but that's as far as we could go anyways with the way the car was handling."
Next up for Quarterley is the road course at Watkins Glen International, which will host its annual Busch North Series event on Saturday, August 9th. In the last two years, Quarterley has had the car to beat at the Glen, leading both races late into the going before problems like flat tires and running out of fuel as the race went into 'overtime' robbed him of victories.
Las Vegas Bullring standings 2003-08-03
Southampton Motor Speedway race report