Bill Penfold Overcomes Broken Wrist, Fading Brakes to Post Seventh at Stafford (Stafford Springs, Conn. - June 18, 2004) - Bill Penfold suffered a racing-related wrist injury just five days before Stafford Motor Speedway's NASCAR Grand National...
Bill Penfold Overcomes Broken Wrist, Fading Brakes to Post Seventh at Stafford
(Stafford Springs, Conn. - June 18, 2004) - Bill Penfold suffered a racing-related wrist injury just five days before Stafford Motor Speedway's NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race, but he didn't let that get in the way of his posting his second top-ten finish of the 2004 season as he drove his No. 0 VIP Charter Coach Chevrolet to seventh place in the race.
Penfold broke his left wrist last Sunday while trying to qualify for the Pro All Stars Series' DNK Select 250 Pro Stock at Unity Raceway, and showed up at Stafford with his wrist in a removable cast, which he took off while in the car Friday. Fifteenth fastest in Friday's practice, he suited up for qualifying and picked up three spots to claim the twelfth starting position.
"We left a little out there," he said before the race. "The car pushed a little bit coming out of the turns on the first lap, so I was expecting it to do the same thing on the second lap. I didn't push it as hard coming out of two on the second lap and the car didn't push a bit, and I knew I left something out there. I flat-footed it coming out of turn four that lap and it didn't even wiggle, so I knew we had a good car.
"The crew's doing a hell of a job on the VIP Charter Coach Chevrolet," Penfold continued. "We're running a different car than we've been running, and we're learning a few things on this car that we can use to get the other car to go better. We'll be pretty good for the race."
Eleventh at the fifty-lap mark, Penfold faded to fifteenth, but still on the lead lap, after halfway as the car was becoming tight and the brakes were starting to heat up and fade. A caution on lap 87 gave the field an opportunity to pit and many took advantage, including Penfold. On pit road, the Penfold Motorsports crew replaced the right-side tires quickly, gaining the Yarmouth, Maine driver a pair of positions.
Penfold put on a charge after the caution gave him a chance to put on fresh tires and cool the brakes. He was in the top ten before lap 110, and he wasn't stopping there. He moved up to eighth with thirty laps to go, and started working on Brian Hoar's No. 45 car.
"The brakes started to fade, so I backed off and tried to cool the brakes," Penfold explained. "But then I got to racing with the 45 and I heated the brakes up again so all I had left were rear brakes. I went into turn one under him and I could feel the wheel hop in back and I thought we were going to crash. Brian gave me enough room so I could get control back and I can't thank him enough."
That gave Penfold seventh place with just seventeen laps to go. He caught the sixth place car of Dave Dion, but couldn't get a chance to make a pass as laps ran out, and he finished seventh.
"The arm's sore, but we got a top ten," he said after the race. "The car was tight all race long and the brakes were starting to fade, so we had some adversity to overcome. But we did it, we got seventh place and we're real happy with that. We were right on the sixth place car at the end, and we were turning laps as good as the leader's. We had a tenth place car but we got a little bit of luck and ended up seventh. The VIP Charter Coach Chevrolet ran good, but the best part of the night was that the pit crew was just awesome. They picked me up some spots in the pit and that's what we needed to do. The car doesn't have a mark on it, so we can take some extra time this week and work on the other car. We'll be ready for Holland."
Holland International Speedway, in western New York, hosts the sixth Busch North Series race of the season. Penfold will enter that race eleventh in points, just five points out of the top ten. Holland's race will be broadcast on HDNet the day after the event, on June 27th at 8:30 PM, and again on SpeedTV on July 10th at noon. Stafford's race was broadcast live on HDNet, with a rebroadcast on SpeedTV set for July 3rd at noon.
For more information on the Penfold Motorsports team, visit www.penfoldmotorsports.com.