Stafford Springs, CT -- The NASCAR Busch North Series returned to Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday evening, the second of three races for NASCAR's Grand National Division at Jack Arute's famous short track. Moore won the 2002 edition of the June...
Stafford Springs, CT -- The NASCAR Busch North Series returned to Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday evening, the second of three races for NASCAR's Grand National Division at Jack Arute's famous short track. Moore won the 2002 edition of the June race, and it appeared as though he just might be able to repeat the feat but late race cautions and lapped traffic prevented the veteran from picking up his first win of the season.
"We had a good car late in the race, but we needed some longer green flag runs," said Moore.
The NAPA Auto Parts Team had their work cut out for them earlier in the day as Moore smacked the wall during the afternoon practice session, causing considerable damage to the right side of his Bill Dodge Auto Group/Maine Lubrication Services Monte Carlo. The team spent a majority of the remaining practice session preparing the car for qualifying, without having any substantial practice laps.
During the qualifying session, Moore laid down a hot first lap but made an uncharacteristic qualifying mistake that placed him 15th fastest overall, his worst qualifying effort of 2003.
"I think we had a really good car, capable of winning the Bud Pole, but I made a mistake and that cost us any chance of getting a good qualifying spot," Moore said.
If Moore was going to repeat his performance of last June, he had a tough task in front of him but as usual, the hard nosed driver was up for the challenge. He battled his way through traffic into the top-10 with ease. The Shell Rotella T pit team pitted Moore for right side tires on lap 46 and he returned to the field running 18th. The car was well prepared and running perfect, allowing Moore to break back into the top-10 within 20 laps after pitting.
The toughest challenge Moore faced on this evening was from lapped traffic. Moore had to contend with lapped cars on every late race restart, one of the competitors, who was a lap down, decided he would block the third place driver at any given opportunity.
"Lapped traffic was not forgiving at all this evening," commented Moore. "I really didn't want to put the car in a position to do damage to it. If they didn't give me any room, I wasn't going to push myself in there and take the spot. We all have to give and take, and some drivers were not giving the guys up front any respect."
Moore and his team were very happy with the third place finish, and after suffering through some disappointments in the previous weeks, are riding on a high note as they head west to Holland International Speedway in Western New York. The Busch North Series will be in town on Saturday evening for a 150-lap feature at the .375 mile banked track.
With his third place finish on Friday evening, Moore moved up three spots in the 2003 point standings.