Originally-From: Al Robinson <Al_Robinson@speed.nascar.com> Kelly Moore Wins 21st Busch North Series Race, 41st Bud Pole in Carquest 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway; Leighton is Second; Olsen'S 7th Keeps Point Lead STAFFORD SPRINGS, Conn....
Originally-From: Al Robinson <Al_Robinson@speed.nascar.com>
Kelly Moore Wins 21st Busch North Series Race, 41st Bud Pole in Carquest 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway; Leighton is Second; Olsen'S 7th Keeps Point Lead
STAFFORD SPRINGS, Conn. - Kelly Moore pitted early, took the lead late, and won his record 21st career Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring race Friday night in the CarQuest 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway. Moore took the lead on lap 133 as Brad Leighton, whom he was racing side-by-side for the lead, spun out just as a caution flag was shown for an unrelated incident. Leighton recovered in third and eventually finished second, while Dennis Doyle matched his best career performance by taking third ahead of Jerry Marquis and Dale Shaw.
Brian Hoar was sixth and again took the Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Race Award, while point leader Mike Olsen saw his two-race winning streak ended but ran strongly to finish seventh. Dennis Demers and Greg Schaefer completed the lead lap finishers in eighth and ninth, with Mike Johnson tenth, one lap down.
Moore averaged 52.376 miles per hour in a race which featured five lead changes among three drivers, and was slowed eight times for 48 laps by the caution flag. Of the 30 starters, 24 were running at the finish.
A qualifying session interrupted by rain saw Moore win his third Bud Pole of the young season and the 41st of his career with a record lap of 19.674 seconds at 91.491 miles per hour. He redrew the fifth starting spot, with Leighton and Matt Kobyluck sharing the front row.
Leighton and Kobyluck would swap the lead four times over the first 132 laps, with Leighton in front for 79 laps to claim the Gatorade Front Runner Award, while Kobyluck paced 53 circuits. Moore nearly stole the lead from Kobyluck before the halfway mark, but chose to pit for right side tires at lap 80. Kobyluck lost the lead to Leighton on lap 93 and pitted at the next opportunity. He would never be a contender again, finishing 21st, two laps off the pace.
Moore charged into the top five at lap 109 and was second eight laps later. Still, Leighton on was able to stay ahead on his old tires. The climax came as the leaders touched in turn four, moments after Mike Johnson spun at the other end of the speedway. Leighton powered through the resulting spin, which let Jerry Marquis gain second place after starting 21st. Leighton regained the runner-up spot with four laps to go, but the big mover of the closing laps was Doyle, the 24th starter who pitted on lap 37 and drove a heady race, finally slipping by Marquis for third on the final circuit. Doyle's 21-position improvement earned the Flowmaster Star of the Race Award.
Last year's CarQuest 150 winner, Ted Christopher, cut a tire and lost three laps under the green flag in the early stages. He passed the leaders, but settled for 22nd, two laps down.
The red flag was displayed after just seven laps for David Darling, whose engine erupted in flames after a single-car incident in turn one. Darling was not injured.
The CarQuest 150 results unofficially left Olsen with a 100 point lead in the Busch North Series standings over Mike Johnson, 1135 to 1035. Tracy Gordon, who finished 26th, dropped from second to third with 1015.