BNS: Thunder Road: Greg Schaefer raceday notes

Greg Schaefer struggles at Thunder Road to finish eighteenth. Hatboro, Pennsylvania's Greg Schaefer ran his first NASCAR Busch North Series race at Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, Vermont Saturday night for the running of the True...

Greg Schaefer struggles at Thunder Road to finish eighteenth.

Hatboro, Pennsylvania's Greg Schaefer ran his first NASCAR Busch North Series race at Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, Vermont Saturday night for the running of the True Value 150. The tight quarter-mile track lent itself to quick racing action, some of which affected Schaefer and his Rite-Way Electric Chevrolet adversely, leaving him finishing eighteenth. Schaefer continues to run in the top ten in the series championship standings.

Following three practice sessions over the course of Saturday afternoon, Schaefer and the ParksSchaefer Motorsports crew prepared the car for qualifying. In time trials, held late in the afternoon, Schaefer was blinded by the sunset and set the 25th fastest time. Not being in the fastest 21 time trialers, Schaefer was awarded a provisional starting position for the race and took the green in 23rd.

I couldn't see a thing going into the third turn," he said after qualifying. "It just turned the windshield white and that's when you notice that you have overspray all over the windshield. I just didn't drive it in there as hard as I should. This qualifying thing is becoming really frustrating."

Schaefer's plan for the race was simple. "Go, because you are going to get lapped in a hurry," he said. "Just go, go, go. I'm sure this thing will be over before you know it. We'll just try to stay out of trouble."

Trouble found Schaefer just thirty-four laps into the race when Barney McRae spun on the narrow frontstretch and those behind had to slow and take evasive action. Schaefer's car was hit on all sides but continued running, even though it was a lap down. A trip to pit road let the crew check the car out, and they sent him back to finish the race. He did so, but not before encountering more trouble on the track.

"We were doing all right, but Barney got turned around on the frontstretch and everybody got jacked up with each other," he said. "It tore the car all up and got us a lap down, and it was just downhill from there. It never got better. I pitted just to make sure everything was still attached. There was another wreck and we all checked up in it, and after that something didn't feel right in the back end, it feels like something was broken. It didn't slow the car down too much, but it didn't feel right. We'll just duct tape it back together and try again next week.

"We don't belong here," Schaefer continued. "This series absolutely does not belong at this track, or tracks this size for that matter. It doesn't work, it doesn't lend itself to good racing."

Schaefer will patch up the short-track car over the week and prepare for the running of the last short-track race of the year, which will be the make-up date for the rained out Beech Ridge race originally scheduled for August 24th.

-ajc-

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Greg Schaefer