Perfection, or the search for it, is our first topic on two different fronts. Tom Carey and Martin Truex Jr. have entered the same three races -- both at events at Stafford and Saturday's Pepsi Racing 150 a Thompson. With bonus points for lap ...
Perfection, or the search for it, is our first topic on two different fronts.
Tom Carey and Martin Truex Jr. have entered the same three races -- both at events at Stafford and Saturday's Pepsi Racing 150 a Thompson. With bonus points for lap leadership available for the first time this year, a perfect score through three races would be 555 points. The actual totals are 530 for Truex and 525 for Carey. Specifically, Truex has one win leading the most laps (Stafford 1), a second with laps led (Stafford 2), and a third with laps led (Thompson). Casey, after finishing fifth without leading at Stafford 1, has run the table at Stafford 2 and Thompson, winning after leading the most laps in both races.
In 2000, Brad Leighton set a Busch North Series record by completing every lap of every race. Going into the Pepsi Racing 150, nine drivers had made it to the one-third mark of the 2003 season completing every lap: Andy Santerre, Joey McCarthy, Matt Kobyluck, Mike Stefanik, Eddie MacDonald, Dale Quarterley, Tim Andrews, Brian Hoar, and Bryon Chew. McCarthy, Andrews, and Chew fell from the ranks of the unlapped on Saturday night, but the other six remain perfect after 1,050 laps.
In addition to the six who have completed every lap, McCarthy, Andrews, and Kip Stockwell have been running at the finish of every race. So far in 2003, 83.7 percent of starting cars in the Busch North Series have taken the checkered flag.
Saturday was a memorable day for John Cerbone and his low-budget team. Their hauler broke a driveshaft on I-395 and had to be towed the remaining 15 miles or so to the track, arriving too late for the first practice session. Despite short track time, Cerbone qualified 26th and ran steadily on the lead lap to finish 16th. Best of all, Cerbone collected the PowerAde Power Move of the Race Award for position improvement, and the $1,000 which makes it the richest of the weekly special awards. That should pay for the tow and fix the driveshaft too.
A new car with a new paint scheme put Tucker Reynolds and the Kimball Oil #28 team closer to the front Saturday night. Reynolds had the yellow Chevrolet with black trim and red numbers in the top ten at a lap 63 restart and finished 14th on the lead lap. The team's old maroon Monte Carlo was a casualty of the back straight wreck at Beech Ridge in June.
Matt Kobyluck is the fifth different driver to occupy second in the point standings behind Andy Santerre, who has topped the chart since winning the opener at Lee USA Speedway. Kelly Moore, Mike Stefanik, Ryan Moore, and Joey McCarthy have take turns chasing the defending champion.
Mark Durgin, crew chief Don Pinard, and the Willow Laboratories team get the perseverance award for the Pepsi Racing 150. The #19 Chevrolet would not start to be driven out for driver introductions. The car was pushed off the grid and behind the wall where the fuel pump was changed and Durgin joined the race 35 laps down. He finished 28th, losing only one more lap. Durgin ranks third in the Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year standings.
Denny Doyle's first race since his Lime Rock victory in the 2002 season finale brought mixed results. He qualified fifth, but was the first car out after seven laps. He still made it to victory lane to congratulate teammate Tom Carey.
Milestones... Dale Quarterley extended his top-ten streak to five straight races... Kelly Moore, Mike Johnson, and Mike Olsen each have three straight top-tens. Santerre, of course, has seven straight... Laine Chase, with a new car and a new 12-to-1 compression motor, enjoyed his best qualifying performance... Thompson modified regular Buz Artiano (it's spelled with one "z" over the driver's door) made his Busch North Series debut with former Winston Cup rookie-of-the-year Ken Bouchard as crew chief. Artiano finished 27th.