Little Trees 150 presented by Pepsi, Watkins Glen International, Saturday, August 10, 2002 Bryan Wall's victory was his first since Lime Rock in October 2000 and his first top five finish of the 2002 season. Four of his five wins have come on...
Little Trees 150 presented by Pepsi, Watkins Glen International, Saturday, August 10, 2002
Bryan Wall's victory was his first since Lime Rock in October 2000 and his first top five finish of the 2002 season. Four of his five wins have come on road courses, and that ties him with Butch Leitzinger for the most Busch North Series road course wins.
Wall also broke a three-way tie with Leitzinger and Mike Johnson for the second most Busch North wins driving a Ford. Dave Dion, of course, holds that record with 12. Ironically, Leitzinger, who last drove in the Busch North Series in 1996, was also a winner at Watkins Glen during the weekend. He won Friday's Grand American sports car race. That event was sponsored by Bully Hill Vineyards, the local winery whose name was also on the fenders of Wall's winning car at the Glen.
Dale Quarterley lost a race in overtime for the second time in less than a year, and both were fuel-related. Last September at Dover, he was as dominant as he was at Watkins Glen, only to suffer momentary fuel starvation on the final restart, dropping to sixth as Dale Shaw took the win. At the Glen, he led over two-thirds the race distance, only to fall victim to the extended laps necessary for the required green-white-checker finish.
Many questions asked following the Little Trees 150 presented by Pepsi will take fairly extensive research to answer: Has there ever been a Busch North Series race with two non-weather related red flags? Was the time from start to finish- approximately 4 hours, 9 minutes- the longest Busch North race without a weather delay? Has there ever been an accident that eliminated seven cars at one time?
One record can be declared without going to the dusty files. The eight laps added to the scheduled 62 in order to achieve the green-white-checker finish were easily the longest extension in percentage terms ever recorded. A standard 150-lap short track race would need to go 169 laps to equal the 13% added.
Denny Doyle's second place at the Glen was a career best, and followed two frustrating outings, where he crashed in practice at Thompson and was the first car out at NHIS with a broken valve. One of Doyle's two third place finishes was on the Lime Rock road course.
Joey McCarthy's first career top five marked the arrival of his new team, J.T. Mase Motorsports, as a serious contender. The team made its debut in June.
It's a whole new point race with seven races to go, as Matt Kobyluck moved one point ahead of Brad Leighton. Andy Santerre is well within striking distance, just 58 points back. The last Busch North Series title decided by less than 150 points was in 1997, when Mike Stefanik edged Jerry Marquis by 55 points.
Greg Schaefer and Bill Penfold moved back into the points race top ten at Watkins Glen, at the expense of absent Dave Dion and first-lap accident victim Martin Truex Jr.
A story of persistence by Carey Heath and the Aubuchon Hardware team. After being towed to the garage following the first lap melee, the crew headed by Carey's dad, John Heath, made the car raceworthy, i.e., not just able to run a few laps for points. She finished 16th, tied with Greg Schaefer for the most positions gained. The Flowmaster Star of the Race Award goes to Schaefer, however, based on his higher overall finish. Schaefer and Heath are one-two in the seasonal Flowmaster standings.