Greg Schaefer is Flowmaster "Star of the Race" at Lee USA, finishes ninth. Hatboro, Pennsylvania's Greg Schaefer turned a disappointing qualifying performance into a top ten finish at the NASCAR Busch North Series season opener at Lee (N.H.) USA...
Greg Schaefer is Flowmaster "Star of the Race" at Lee USA, finishes ninth.
Hatboro, Pennsylvania's Greg Schaefer turned a disappointing qualifying performance into a top ten finish at the NASCAR Busch North Series season opener at Lee (N.H.) USA Speedway. His improvement from starting 26th to finishing ninth was the best of any driver starting the race, and earned Schaefer's Rite-Way Electric Chevrolet team the Flowmaster Star of the Race award.
Qualifying found Schaefer not quite up to speed, and since he was not in the top 25 cars when the results were tallied, he was forced to take the first provisional starting position.
"Our qualifying effort was a shame," he said. "We just messed up. We didn't have the stagger set right on the car, and it was just awful for qualifying," he said.
Schaefer made up some positions in the early going, despite getting stacked up in traffic and damaging the car's nose. He was mired in 15th position, but still on the lead lap, at the race's halfway point. An opportunity to pit arrived under caution on lap 89 and Schaefer joined most of the field on pit road to change right-side tires and make some adjustments. He returned to the race in twelfth position and started moving up in the last 50-lap stretch.
Entering the top ten with just twenty laps remaining in the race, Schaefer endeavored to improve further. Despite having two more cautions slow the pace in the closing laps, Schaefer was able to move up to ninth and record his first top ten of the young season.
"We knew we were a lot faster than we qualified and we knew we were going to go to the front," he said after the race. "From where we started to where we ended it was pretty good, and, the way the car looks, we'll definitely take tenth.
"Most of my passes happened when other guys got into each other and got themselves out of the groove, opening up a spot for me," Schaefer continued. "That's where most of it came from. The rest of it was just hard racing. We had a couple close calls. I don't know if Bryan Wall had an ignition problem or what, but he just slowed in front of me. I got into the back of him and almost spun myself out. But this race is a good start, and I felt like I could have gone a little better at the end if we had some more laps."
The next race for the Parks-Schaefer Motorsports team will take place on May 11 at New Hampshire International Speedway. The race will be broadcast on Speed Channel on May 20.