Saturday morning dawned with sunshine in Seekonk and the conditions quickly became hot and humid. The clouds that arrived just before practice made it more comfortable, but inevitably they brought drizzle by the end of the first practice session,...
Saturday morning dawned with sunshine in Seekonk and the conditions quickly became hot and humid. The clouds that arrived just before practice made it more comfortable, but inevitably they brought drizzle by the end of the first practice session, and after consulting weather radar, the decision was made to postpone the Budweiser 150 a second time, to Saturday night, August 2.
A Busch North Series race on the first weekend of August won't be unique for the Cement Palace. In 2001, Seekonk scheduled two Busch North races, with the second race on that weekend. Unfortunately, it rained on Saturday, but Sunday was available as a rain date, and the race was run in near-tropical heat with Dale Shaw the winner.
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You need not go back to the dusty archives to find the last time a Busch North Series race was rained out two weeks in a row at the same track. The 2002 season finale at Lime Rock Park met that fate, with no on-track activity the first weekend and the rains returning just before the end of qualifying on the second attempt. The race was only put in the books in shortened form on the third try thanks to a Herculean effort by the teams, officials, and track staff.
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Bill Penfold returned to action at the scene of his best career finish, second, in this race last year. Penfold missed the Stafford and Lake Erie rounds after a hard crash in the season opener at Lee USA Speedway. Bill reported that his car from Lee was a total write-off, including engine and drive train. His #0 car at Seekonk was a Pontiac purchased from the former John Swanson #25 team. It marked the first time in 2003 there had been a second Pontiac to join Kip Stockwell's in the field.
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Rejoining the field at Seekonk after missing the Lake Erie round, in addition to Penfold, were Bobby Dragon, Scott Bouley, Barney McRae, and Jerry Marquis. Marquis was accepting congratulations around the garage for his last-turn victory in the Featherlite Modified Series race at Stafford Motor Speedway the night before.
Bobby Dragon, incidentally, recalled winning the season opener at Seekonk 30 years ago in 1973.