BNS: Waterford race preview

Busch North Series Promises More Fender-To-Fender Short Track Action In Waterford 150 At Waterford Speedbowl On Saturday Night, June 30 WATERFORD, Conn. (June 21, 2001) - Although the Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring will appear in five ...

Busch North Series Promises More Fender-To-Fender Short Track Action In Waterford 150 At Waterford Speedbowl On Saturday Night, June 30

WATERFORD, Conn. (June 21, 2001) - Although the Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring will appear in five superspeedway events at three one-mile tracks in 2001, as well as two road courses, it is still basically a short track series. Short track technique is a prerequisite to season-long contention for the Busch North Series title. That was illustrated in textbook fashion last summer at Waterford Speedbowl as Brad Leighton took a big step toward his second consecutive BNS title by waiting for a multitude of early contenders to eliminate themselves, then prevailing in a close but clean duel with Dennis Demers to claim the victory.

The Busch North Series makes its second annual stop at the one-third mile track in the land of submarines and slot machines- close to the main U.S. Navy submarine base and two major casinos- on Saturday night, June 30. The Waterford 150 will again play a significant role in the Busch North Series title picture as the series approaches midseason.

Brad Leighton analyzes his Waterford success in 2000 as one part patience, one part strategy, and one part good fortune. In battling with the veteran Denis Demers, he knew he was dealing with a worthy opponent. "We've run a long time together, even before we joined the Busch North Series, on these tight bullrings," Leighton observed, adding that the secret to running close is to run clean. "You've got to give a guy a lot of room and a lot of respect," he declared.

Leighton has learned to look at the race track the same way a point guard might look at the basketball court; that is, thinking one step ahead of the current situation. "You need to anticipate all the unknowns, he said. "You've got to look way ahead when you come into a corner."

Translating that into Waterford Speedbowl terms, he gave this strategic view of a lap on the tight third-mile:"When you're entering one, you need to be looking out of two. Your peripheral vision and your instincts will take care of the rest." That puts a premium on good input from the spotter, who can see the whole track. "You're running side-by-side and nose-to-tail anywhere on the track. so the spotter is very crucial," Brad emphasized, adding "We've been pretty fortunate to stay out of wrecks."

That brings up the third factor in the short track equation- avoiding the wrong place at the wrong time, which ended the hopes of so many contenders in last year's Waterford 150 before Leighton and Demers moved to the front.. "I think we've got a better handle on it as a series when we go back this time," Leighton observed.

The Waterford 150 is scheduled as a one-day event on Saturday, June 30, with practice starting a 12:30 p.m. and Bud Pole Qualifying in one round at 5 p.m. Race time is approximately 7:30 p.m., as Waterford's regular NASCAR Weekly Racing Series classes will also be in action.

Waterford Speedbowl is located in the heart of the Southeastern Connecticut resort area, with Mystic Seaport and the historic cities of New London and Norwich as well as the two Indian casinos all within a 20-mile radius of the track. The speedway is located on State Route 85 (Hartford Road), with easy access from Interstates 95 and 395, which merge near the track.

The Busch North Series is one of nine NASCAR Touring series which blanket the USA, bringing major events to NASCAR Weekly Racing Series tracks like the Waterford Speedbowl, as well as many superspeedways and road courses. The NASCAR Touring program is recognized as the premier training ground for NASCAR's national series, the Winston Cup Series, Busch Series, Grand National Division, and Craftsman Truck Series, while also providing career opportunities for professional racers at the regional level. Corporations making major contributions to NASCAR Touring point funds include Anheuser-Busch Inc., Featherlite Trailers, Goody's Headache Powders, Gatorade, RE/MAX International, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Raybestos Brakes, and R.J. Reynolds' Winston brand.

-nascar/bns-

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