Greg Schaefer captures his best Stafford Motor Speedway finish with eighth. Hatboro, Pennsylvania's Greg Schaefer bettered his career best finish at Stafford Motor Speedway by one spot when he brought his Rite-Way Chevrolet home in eighth...
Greg Schaefer captures his best Stafford Motor Speedway finish with eighth.
Hatboro, Pennsylvania's Greg Schaefer bettered his career best finish at Stafford Motor Speedway by one spot when he brought his Rite-Way Chevrolet home in eighth position in Friday night's Carquest 150. Schaefer's previous best finish at the half-mile Connecticut oval, which the NASCAR Busch North Series visits three times this season, was ninth in this race last year.
Schaefer's race was not an easy one, mostly because he had to start near the rear of the field following a disappointing qualifying attempt. Complicating this was a failure of the timing system which forced NASCAR officials to clock each car using hand-operated stopwatches, and erring on Schaefer's lap by about three seconds to the bad.
"When they added all the laps, we were three tenths faster than what they had," he said afterwards. "It's still not what we should have run. We should have been better than that. We had a bad qualifying effort and when you add three tenths to it, that makes for a real bad qualifying effort.
"We're going to charge up through the pack because we have a much better car than where we are starting," Schaefer continued. "I think you're going to see us up at the front before the end of it. We have a really good car for the race. We were really good in practice, but in qualifying we were just way to loose but that might work to our advantage for the race. Starting in the back doesn't help, though."
Schaefer's charge got off to a good start, with his entering the top twenty just thirty laps into the race. By the time the second caution of the event came out on lap 91, Schaefer was up to twelfth, but wasn't that far from going a lap down to the leader. The caution prevented his falling off the lead lap, and Schaefer came to pit road to put on two tires. He returned to the race in tenth place.
With less than twenty laps to run, Schaefer had moved up to seventh, but he lost a position to Bryon Chew, who pitted late and had fresher tires. The eighth place finish, Schaefer's second top ten finish of the season, allowed him to maintain eleventh place in the series championship points standings.
"It was a pretty good race, we just had some problems with some lapped cars holding me up," he said after the race. "The car was really good and we were able to get up front and pass some pretty good cars. I think we had a better car than where we finished, I think we had a top five car, but it's just so hard getting there starting as far back as we did. Our qualifying is just killing us, I don't know what to do about that. But the guys did a great job getting the car ready, and we had a great pit stop. I took on tires because we were really starting to fall off. We were the last car on the lead lap so it was a no-brainer to come in and take on tires, and after that, it was pretty good.
Schaefer was very much aware of the fact that he wasn't very far from falling off the lead lap.
"I saw the leaders in my rear-view mirror, but at that point I was just really hanging on," he said. "It was a handful, but after we took on tires it was pretty good after that. We have to get top fives now, so we can get back up in the points. I'm certainly looking forward to going to Holland, I'll probably be the first one there."
Holland Speedway, located outside Buffalo, New York, was the scene of Schaefer's first Busch North top ten finish last year when he finished fifth. It will hold the next Busch North Series race next Saturday night.