Great Watkins Glen Expectations End On Third Lap For Bill Penfold (Watkins Glen, N.Y. - August 14, 2004) - There was no bigger disappointment coming out of Watkins Glen International's Saturday activities than that of Bill Penfold. The Yarmouth,...
Great Watkins Glen Expectations End On Third Lap For Bill Penfold
(Watkins Glen, N.Y. - August 14, 2004) - There was no bigger disappointment coming out of Watkins Glen International's Saturday activities than that of Bill Penfold. The Yarmouth, Maine driver had been anticipating returning to the 2.45-mile road course since finishing fourth there last year, and he was ready to improve on that further with this year's stop by the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series. Unfortunately, just three laps into the event, Penfold was involved in an accident that knocked his VIP Charter Coach Chevrolet out of the race.
Denied the chance to qualify due to rain and fog that blanketed the track for most of the day on Friday, Penfold was to start the race back in the thirteenth place. But after posting the eighteenth fastest lap in practice with a comfortable car, Penfold had reason to be optimistic for the race.
All that changed just three laps into the event.
"I was coming up through the Esses and Mike [Johnson] was on the inside," Penfold explained. "I figured that I was a lot faster so I just set on the outside to go by. He started to lose it and he came across. We touched just a little bit, so I backed right off. But he spun back around and got me in the door and that put me into the wall."
The damage was severe, and Penfold was forced to retire from the event.
"I didn't want to wind up like we did," he said. "I had a car that could have won the race. It was a shame. Mike let me borrow gears at Loudon, so he's generally a good guy. I know he didn't do anything intentionally, and I hope he knows I didn't. I was trying to go to the outside because I had a lot faster car and he was struggling. I gave him the preferred line, I was just going to go by on the outside. Either his spotter didn't tell him I was out there or something, and that's one of those deals. I really had a lot for the front. We started thirteenth, but in just a couple laps we were sixth or seventh, so we were really on the fly. It's a shame. I'm just disappointed as hell."
Penfold will try to bounce back next Saturday at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway just down the road from the Penfold Motorsports shop. For more information, visit www.penfoldmotorsports.com.