Kelly Moore's Waterford Race Spoiled By Late Accident (Waterford, Conn. - July 17, 2004) - Kelly Moore won last year's race at the .375-mile Waterford Speedbowl, and was looking to repeat that feat in this year's edition, the eighth race of the...
Kelly Moore's Waterford Race Spoiled By Late Accident
(Waterford, Conn. - July 17, 2004) - Kelly Moore won last year's race at the .375-mile Waterford Speedbowl, and was looking to repeat that feat in this year's edition, the eighth race of the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series season. But after making a mid-race pit stop, Moore's NAPA Auto Parts Of Maine Chevrolet was involved in an accident with just eighteen laps to go, leaving his car damaged and finishing fifteenth.
"We were hoping for a better night for NAPA of Maine and Bill Dodge, but it just didn't work out that way," he said after the race.
Moore started the weekend similarly to the way he started last weekend, which led to a fifth place finish at Lake Erie Speedway: practicing on old tires to hone his setup for a long run in the race. This resulted in practice times that were far from the top of the results sheets, but gave Moore some confidence for the race. He wasn't bad in qualifying, either, timing in sixth fastest.
"We unloaded and we were pretty consistent," he said. "We made some adjustments to it and the car responded pretty well. We came here with a pretty different setup from what we won with last year, so we didn't know quite how that was going to work. The competition is so strong in this series that we had to come back with something better than last year, and to deal with the tire changes from year to year. We had a good practice and then we time trialed sixth, which is a good effort. I think we'll be all right. The car was real consistent practicing, and we practiced on old tires. I think that's the key, getting the car to run well on old tires like we did last week."
Running eighth through most of the first half of the event, Moore had a good car that could have used improvement. An opportunity to improve came when caution came out at lap 65, and he headed to pit road along with five other drivers to come in for chassis changes for the second half of the race. Returning to the race in fifteenth, Moore started on the road back to the top ten.
Moore had worked his way back to ninth place, and trying to improve one more spot, with just twenty laps to go, when he encountered trouble trying to pass Bobby Dragon's No. 15 car.
"The 15 car got real loose getting into a corner and got way high on the racetrack," Moore explained. "I drove in underneath him. I never touched him, I drove in underneath him right up to his door, and then he came down. We made contact, I backed out of it and he straightened out. We went down the backstretch and I'm still up to his door, and we get to the next corner and he comes down again and gets himself all messed up again. Now we really made contact. Coming out of four, we made contact again because he kept trying to come down and squeeze me out. We got to turn one and he's about half a car length ahead of me, my right front is up to his door, and he did the same thing again. This time he didn't let off, he kept his foot in the gas and I had nowhere to go. He had me down on the apron and I ran out of racetrack and around he went and we got caught up in it as well."
This left the nose of Moore's car damaged, and he fell to the rear of lead-lap cars. There were eleven laps left to run after this final caution, and Moore stayed on the track to finish fifteenth.
"The car was loose right off the get-go, it was real loose and stayed that way all the way through," he said. "We thought the car might come around as we got further into the race, but it didn't look like that was going to happen, so on the second caution we came in and made some adjustments on the car. That got the car better, but it still wasn't what we needed. We struggled and worked our way back up to ninth, and that's about as far as we could go, we didn't seem to be able to get any closer to the front."
Moore, now fifth in Busch North Series points, returns to the track in a week to run the Siemens 125, the first of two series races held in conjunction with the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series this year. Moore has a stellar record at the Magic Mile, including six poles and four wins. He's led 607 laps in Busch North competition at the track, where he's run every Busch North race held there since it opened in 1990.