Hatboro, Pennsylvania's Greg Schaefer, who is running a partial NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series schedule with his ParksSchaefer Motorsports team, returned to Watkins Glen International's road course with hopes of repeating - or...
Hatboro, Pennsylvania's Greg Schaefer, who is running a partial NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series schedule with his ParksSchaefer Motorsports team, returned to Watkins Glen International's road course with hopes of repeating - or improving on - his 2002 result of third place. While Schaefer proved to have a competitive car with it practicing tenth fastest and qualifying thirteenth, troubles on the track and in the car left him unable to finish the race, having to settle for 34th in the final rundown.
Practice went well for Schaefer, who carries associate sponsorship from Rite-Way Electric but is seeking primary sponsorship for his Chevrolets. He was tenth fastest in the opening practice session, and felt confident that he had a good car. In qualifying, he took the thirteenth spot on the starting grid after turning a lap of 77.081 seconds (114.425 MPH) around the 2.45-mile road course.
Schaefer had hopes for a good race but things turned sour just a handful of laps into the race.
"I was passing cars early and tried to outbrake Mike Johnson going into the chicane," he explained. "He was trying to block me and got me down into the grass, and I slid through the grass, got into Eddie MacDonald, and took the both of us out. It was a bad move on my part, I should have been a little more patient that early in the race."
MacDonald recovered to eventually finish the race in the third position. Schaefer's problems were just beginning as the front end was knocked out of adjustment and he was left to manage what he called a "super loose" race car. Fighting that condition, he spun off the track in the Inner Loop and lost a lap while being retrieved from the gravel trap there.
Resuming in the race after the front end was worked on some by the crew, Schaefer tried to soldier on to the finish but transmission failure forced him to retire the car from the event, completing 31 of what turned out to be a 40-lap race after rain caused it to be finished early.
"It's just a shame, we had a good car," he said after the race. "All you have to do here to do well is keep the car on the track, and we didn't do that."
Schaefer will return to Busch North racing in September for a 125-lap event to be held at the one-mile New Hampshire Interational Speedway, where he ran in the top five for many laps in July before a cut tire ended his race early. For more information on the ParksSchaefer Motorsports team, visit its website at www.psmotorsports.com.