Dale Quarterley Finishes Watkins Glen In Third Place (Watkins Glen, N.Y. - August 14, 2004) - Dale Quarterley, one of the favorites heading into this weekend's Mohegan Sun 150 at Watkins Glen International, could only muster a third place finish...
Dale Quarterley Finishes Watkins Glen In Third Place
(Watkins Glen, N.Y. - August 14, 2004) - Dale Quarterley, one of the favorites heading into this weekend's Mohegan Sun 150 at Watkins Glen International, could only muster a third place finish in Saturday's race driving his No. 32 Bully Hill Vineyards Chevrolet in NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series competition.
For the second consecutive race, rain played havoc with the practice schedule and forced qualifying to be cancelled, with the field being lined up by the 2004 points standings. This put Quarterley sixth on the starting lineup. A single practice session saw him lead the way with a fast lap half a mile an hour faster than the next fastest competitor, and things were looking up for Saturday with a good weather forecast.
Quarterley methodically worked his way to lead the race, taking over the top spot from Matt Kobyluck with a pass under braking heading into the first turn of lap 16. On lap 23, caution come out, and Quarterley led most of the field onto pit road for a stop to give him enough fuel to get to the end of the race. He restarted in the thirteenth position.
Halfway through the race's 62-lap distance, Quarterley was up to sixth place and continuing to move forward, taking fifth from Joey McCarthy on lap 35. He got fourth from Andy Santerre on lap 47, and took third from Mike Stefanik with just nine laps to go. But that's as far as he could get before running out of time, and he had to settle for a third place finish.
"I most certainly wanted better than third," he said after the race. "We made a change after practice last night that we were positive would help the car, but I guess we weren't positive enough, because it hurt it. I knew it right at the beginning, and that's why I couldn't go as well as I'd have liked. I didn't lead much, just that one time to make sure I got the bonus points. After that, little by little it started going away from us, and there was nothing we could do in a pit stop to fix it. I just did the best that I could do to get to the end.
"The car just didn't want to turn at all," the Westfield, Mass. driver continued. "It was a struggle to get to third. I went as fast as I could go and still keep it on the racetrack. On the plus side, it was a great points day. So while I didn't win the Glen, which is something that's eluded me for I don't know how long, at least for once I came away with something better than fifteenth place. So that's something we can take from here that's a positive."
With just four races left to run in the Busch North season, Quarterley rides fourth in points, just fourteen points out of third place. His next race will be held at the site of his first series win, the third-mile Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Maine. The race will be held on Saturday, August 21st, and broadcast live on HDnet television.