Dale Quarterley comes back from spin to finish fourth at Stafford. Land O Lakes Chevrolet driver Dale Quarterley, who currently sits sixth in NASCAR Busch North Series points, enjoyed an adventurous NASCAR 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway on...
Dale Quarterley comes back from spin to finish fourth at Stafford.
Land O Lakes Chevrolet driver Dale Quarterley, who currently sits sixth in NASCAR Busch North Series points, enjoyed an adventurous NASCAR 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night when he started the race in eighth, went back to the last car on the lead lap just 42 laps into the race after being involved in an accident, and fought his way back to have a shot at the lead, though he had to settle for fourth at the checkers.
Quarterley, who finished third after qualifying seventeenth in the first visit to Stafford by the series last month, began his race day with his qualifying fourth in a field of twenty-six. In the redraw of top qualifiers' starting positions, he drew eighth.
"It's a lot better than seventeenth," he said after qualifying. "We weren't that good in practice, but we made some changes at the end of practice that really woke it up, and because of that we were able to try a quick qualifying run, and figure out what we needed to do when we were to make our actual qualifying attempt. It all came together. Now we just have to hope it's something that's going to last all night. It seemed to in practice, so we'll see what happens here."
Quarterley settled into seventh in the early going, but four laps after a lap 38 restart, he found himself involved in an incident that ultimately involved three cars.
"I was starting to go under Bryon Chew and I just had too much rear brake in the car or something," he said. "He started pinching me down a little and the harder I pushed on the brake the more loose it got, and then he was pinching me even more and I just couldn't slow it down and keep it down, and finally I got up and bumped him. I don't know if the tires must have touched, because we bounced apart and then we really crashed back together. When we hit the second time, it was all over. The things just took off and that unfortunately got the 96 [Mike Johnson] involved too."
Quarterley stayed on the lead lap as caution flew and, under this caution, pitted to take on right-side tires and to have the crew make sure no fenders were rubbing on the tires. He returned to the race in seventeenth with two-thirds of the race yet to run. By lap 95, he had worked his way back into the top ten. With twenty laps to go in the 150-lap distance, he was sixth and still charging. A caution at that point had him fifth on the restart, and following the lap 136 restart he jumped to third.
Following a lap 137 caution, Quarterley raced martin Truex, Jr. for second and took the spot. Going into turn one with just five laps to go, he looked underneath the leader, Andy Santerre, and the two ran side-by-side into the first corner. Third place Dale Shaw saw an opening down low and made it three-wide for the lead, with Quarterley in the middle. The three bounced off each other and the end result was Shaw took the lead, Santerre crashed in turn two, and Quarterley had to slow and fell to fifth. This set the stage for a two-lap shootout for the finish and Quarterley could only make up one position to be fourth when the checkers fell.
"On restarts, the car was just a rocket ship," he said after the race. "I had got all the way up to leading with two laps to go, and we got into the first turn and Shaw hit me so hard that the car just took off, and when it did that it got me up into Santerre. We both wiggled and when I went to turn it back down Shaw hit me again, and I hit Santerre again, and I lost five positions. I made it back to fourth at the end.
"We were there," Quarterley continued. "Not only did we have a shot to win, we were leading. Hopefully we can carry this further."
Quarterley's first win of 2002 could possibly come in two weeks' time at Watkins Glen International, where he came within ten laps of winning, taking the lead just as a tire went flat. He recovered to finish sixth.