Dale Quarterley completed the short-track portion of the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series season with an impressive sixth place finish in Saturday night's True Value 150, held at the quarter-mile Thunder Road International ...
Dale Quarterley completed the short-track portion of the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series season with an impressive sixth place finish in Saturday night's True Value 150, held at the quarter-mile Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, Vermont. With his ninth top-ten finish of the season under his belt, Quarterley now sits third in the points standings, seven points out of second and 165 points away from the leader.
Quarterley, who readily admits that the short tracks are not his strong suit, started his night at the tight little track by qualifying right in the middle of the pack, in thirteenth position.
"I've never been competitive here, ever," he said. "We've come out of here in the top ten a couple times, but that was due to everybody else goofing up, not that we had stellar days. Today, we've been doing what we've been doing for the last couple of weeks. We threw all kinds of stuff at it: springs, shocks, bars, 500 or 600 pound changes and thought nothing of it. In practice, we got it going halfway decent. I qualified thirteenth, but that's because the car wasn't a two lap car."
Quarterley didn't enter the top ten until the race crossed the one-third distance mark, when some cars ahead of him pitted under caution. He rode tenth until moving up a spot fifty laps later. Traffic was tough on the short track, and driver of the No. 32 Bully Hill Vineyards/EDART Truck Leasing Chevrolet had to deal with some drivers who were aggressively trying to pass.
"Somebody got me and had me past a half a turn correcting it, almost past spin-out mode," he said. "I had the rear tires blazing up in smoke. It took me from the middle of turn two to three-quarters of the way down the back straightaway before I finally got it straight again. It was sideways the whole time and I knew if I lifted, it was going to go right over the embankment. Then a couple of guys got up into the tire and I just threw the thing sideways and mowed it down to the bottom forcing them to either finish me off or let me back in the hole. They didn't race their way in there, they just drove it in so hard they got me in the rear. If you let them go, you'll have three more guys ready to freight-train by me. I said to them to either dump me and get penalized for it, or let me go. If you race me semi-clean, I'll give you a shot at the spot."
Quarterley recovered from those on-track incidents to finish sixth.
"It was an excellent night," he said. "At one point, I thought I had a flat tire, and lost three or four spots thinking I had a flat. It didn't seem to get any worse so I started going again, but it took me a while to get back by the guys. Points-wise, I think it was a good night. Everybody that I'm battling, except for [Andy] Santerre, finished behind us, three or four spots back."
"At my good tracks, I keep getting the wins in my hands and then flush them down the toilet," Quarterley continued. "But at least at those tracks we're a little more confident that we're going to be a front-runner. When we come to tracks like this, we're driving up here joking that we're going to come home 32nd, and there's only 26 cars here. We know as well as anybody else knows that we're hot and cold on the short tracks. We can drive them not too badly, but we just don't always know the setup. Now we'll get psyched to go to Loudon and Dover and those other tracks that we've run well at in the past."
The Busch North Series takes a well-deserved weekend off before returning to New Hampshire International Speedway for the second of two visits to the one-mile track on Saturday, September 13th.