Bill Penfold salvages seventeenth at Stafford with backup car. Bill Penfold and the VIP Charter Coaches-sponsored Penfold Motorsports team started out the season with high hopes and good performances with new equipment including a new...
Bill Penfold salvages seventeenth at Stafford with backup car.
Bill Penfold and the VIP Charter Coaches-sponsored Penfold Motorsports team started out the season with high hopes and good performances with new equipment including a new short-track Chevrolet, but an accident two weeks ago at Beech Ridge changed that, putting that car out of commission for a couple weeks while repairs are made. In the meantime, the team brought out its backup car, which performed well at short tracks last year, to Stafford Motor Speedway last Friday night and got a seventeenth place finish with it.
The Penfold Motorsports crew, looking sharp in new crew shirts provided by a family of enthusiastic Bill Penfold fans, prepared the backup car for qualifying after an afternoon of practice. In qualifying, Penfold recorded the 25th fastest time, the last car to make the field on time.
"I went out early and just over drove it," he said. "We're starting in the rear, we'll just have to take our time and pick our way through it. We've got a car that's consistent but doesn't qualify well, but it's consistent and that's what gets me up through. I just have to be careful and keep the fenders on it. I can be there in 150 laps, I've got plenty of time to get there, there's only 24 cars to pass. We're doing the best we can to stay up in the points and we'll see what today brings."
Penfold started out with a very loose car, and pitted under the race's first caution to try to address the problem. He returned to the race in 23rd position. The adjustments didn't help much, and Penfold was lapped by the leaders fifty laps into the 150-lap event. He pitted under caution on lap 105 for more adjustments and fresh right-side tires, and ran strong to the finish, picking up enough positions to get seventeenth, two laps down.
"I was lucky the pace car didn't pass me in the first part of the race," he joked after the race. "The car was loose all night. We loosened the car up thinking the track was going to tighten up, but we just didn't get this car hooked up. But it's in one piece, it didn't get beat up, so maybe we can work on it. Hopefully I can get the other car going, but I think we'll be at Holland with this one, so I don't know what to expect. It might surprise us. It ran well at Lee, maybe it can run well at Holland. We'll do the best we can with it.
"We gained some points on some of the guys ahead of us in points, and sixteenth, as bad as we were, we should have been about thirtieth," Penfold continued. "We'll take the sixteenth and try to improve. The guys worked hard. They made a big change in the car at the pit stop and that helped, but it was never competitive. Bob's already thinking about what to do to the car for the next race, so we might be in good shape at Holland."
Holland Speedway, located outside Buffalo, New York, is the next stop for the NASCAR Busch North Series, with its holding a 150-lap contest next Saturday night. For more information on the Penfold Motorsports team, visit its website at www.penfoldmotorsports.com.