Westfield, Massachusetts' Dale Quarterley extended his top ten streak to seven straight NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series races when he finished sixth in Saturday night's Waterford 150 at the third-mile Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl.
Westfield, Massachusetts' Dale Quarterley extended his top ten streak to seven straight NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series races when he finished sixth in Saturday night's Waterford 150 at the third-mile Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl. Quarterley started tenth in Saturday's race and avoided a large number of problems that plauged many drivers in the race. He now stands fifth in BNS points, 164 away from the championship leader.
Quarterley, whose Chevrolet was carrying sponsorship from New England Communications Systems and Standard Transportation, was sixth in the afternoon practice session but tenth in time trials.
"In the last couple weeks we've been coming around," he said. "The cars have been going better for the last couple of weeks. This combination n the car now is definitely a long run combo, it takes a couple of laps for the thing to come in. In qualifying it was a little on the slippery side getting in and getting off, because it's set up soft for the long runs. I think we'll be all right; eight or ten laps into a run it'll start coming around again."
Quarterley fell to twelfth in the race's early laps. He didn't re-enter the top ten until after halfway, taking advantage of two drivers tangling in front of him. Passing became difficult as the caution flag flew frequently and Quarterley's hoped-for long runs never materialized. He continued to pick up more positions as trouble struck other drivers in the top ten, though, and held his ground to the finish with a sixth place finish.
"We're still trying to get a handle on the tire," he said after the race. "The last couple of weeks we've gone from finishing eighth, a half a lap back, to finishing fifth, sixth, or seventh and running right with the leaders. Now our biggest problem is just running out of time at the end. Today was one of those days. We qualified tenth, and lost a couple of spots around some of those accidents. I had a good long run setup, not a short run setup. On a couple of restarts I'd get passed, and it'd take me four or five or six laps to get by them, because I needed laps.
"In the last half of the race, the only way you got by anyone was if they broke because we didn't go seven laps at a time," Quarterley continued. "If it stayed green, I had a car for almost anybody. I could run the second groove fast, but we never stayed green long enough. At the end you're just trying to save your spot. We finished sixth, and we're happy with it. We might have backed up a little bit in the points, but we're still right there with the top guys, so we're happy. And the short tracks are supposed to be our worst tracks. Things are looking all right."
The short track wars continue next weekend with the running of the Budweiser 150 at Seekonk Speedway, a race originally scheduled to be run in May but rain forced its postponement to next Saturday evening.