Penfold crashes while passing for lead, salvages 16th place finish It appeared that Bill Penfold might have the car to win the Carquest 150 Busch North Series event at Stafford Motorspeedway Friday night, but it was not to be. Penfold had one...
Penfold crashes while passing for lead, salvages 16th place finish
It appeared that Bill Penfold might have the car to win the Carquest 150 Busch North Series event at Stafford Motorspeedway Friday night, but it was not to be. Penfold had one of the fastest cars in the early practice sessions before qualifying was to start at 6 PM. Rain delayed qualifying by enough time that NASCAR decided to have just one round of qualifying for the 26 available positions. Bill went out early and held the pole position for quite a while before the cars with the advantageous late draw bumped him back to sixth place. On the traditional redraw, Bill drew the fifth starting position. It was the third race in a row the #0 VIP Charters / neracing.com Chevy started in the top ten.
"I knew when I went out for my qualifying lap, I had a great shot at the pole," Penfold said. "We had problems with our qualifying earlier this year, but we seem to have that worked out. My crewchief (Bob Harrison) has been giving me some great cars this year."
Bill started the #0 VIP Charters / neracing.com Chevy fifth and quickly moved up to fourth place. He stayed in the top five, staying with the leaders through all of the many caution flags that came out. On lap 70, Bill followed Dave Dion passed leader Jeff Taylor for the top two positions. Bill would remain in second place for the next 23 laps. Then disaster struck the 0 team on lap 93.
On lap 93, Bill attempted to pass Dion for the lead, but made contact with Dave as the two exited turn one, causing both drivers to spin and incur heavy damage. Bill went down several laps while in the pits for repairs, as did Dion. Bill was able to salvage a 16th place finish, one spot ahead of series points leader Brad Leighton. He was also able to move up one position in the points standings.
"I wish I could have that turn back," Penfold said after the race. "I thought I could get by Dave on the outside, I think if I could have taken the lead, I would have ran away from the field from there. We had a super strong car. I feel bad for the other drivers that were caught up in the wreck, I didn't want it to happen that way. I certainly didn't get into him intentionally. Dave has been around this series along time and has a lot of wins. I have a lot of respect for him, I hate that it happened."
The Penfold Team will be hard at work this week repairing the car and getting it ready for the BNS race at NHIS this weekend. Bill led a bunch of laps in this race at Loudon last year and finished tenth when his alternator died with ten to go, after running in the top five for the first 90 laps.