Loudon, NH (5/9/99) -- Kelly Moore, driver of the LesCare Kitchens Pontiac, pulled double-duty this past weekend at New Hampshire International Speedway. Moore, the 1995 Busch North Series champion, earned the 36th starting spot in the Busch 200...
Loudon, NH (5/9/99) -- Kelly Moore, driver of the LesCare Kitchens Pontiac, pulled double-duty this past weekend at New Hampshire International Speedway. Moore, the 1995 Busch North Series champion, earned the 36th starting spot in the Busch 200 NASCAR Busch Grand National Division race, them climbed aboard his Busch North Series entry and qualified in the 9th spot. "Our Busch Series car didn't run as fast as we expected, considering our testing times here a few weeks ago were consistently below 30 seconds," Moore explained. "Our team did a wonderful job considering we had two cars to prepare, test and qualify. We learned a lot about our setups with the radial tires and really enjoyed running with the Busch Series competitors."
The LesCare Kitchens team started the 200-lap event from the 36th spot and ran very consistent times for the first twenty circuits. The car setup was tight but track conditions changed as the sun peaked through for the first time. Jeff Green, the Busch Series Bud Pole winner, set a fast pace from the drop of the green flag and was lapping cars before the 30th lap. Green would not relinquish the lead until past the halfway point. Moore's car developed a skip in the engine, which would eventually led to his early exit from the race on lap 95. "The engine started skipping and I just didn't have any pull down the straight-aways," said Moore. The best recovery of the race would have to go to Moore after a car sent him into a backward 360-degree spin on front stretch. Moore got his car under control without any contact with the retaining wall or other competitors. The team then pit under green to reset the roof flaps, fuel the car and take on new tires. After the lap 78 pit stop, the engine began to "sour" and the team decided to call it a day, finishing 42nd. Elton Sawyer was the eventually winner of the Busch 200, with Jeff Green taking home 2nd.
The Busch North Series, a NASCAR Touring Division, competed in the second race of the afternoon; their first of four visits to the 1.058-mile oval this season. Tom Carey, Jr. earned his second consecutive Bud Pole award and paced the field for 2 laps before diving into the pits to take his mandatory pit stop. This shuffle moved Moore into the top-5 but engine trouble again hit the LesCare Kitchens team when Moore reported a skip on lap 4. "The engine was skipping really hard, I switched the ignition boxes and that didn't help," Moore explained. "We decided to not pit early and ride it out so we wouldn't lose our track position." Moore did take his mandatory stop on lap 39. Moore running on seven cylinders continued to move up through the field and ran in the top-15 most of the day. "This car had the best chassis setup I've ever had here," Moore said. "Had it not been for engine problem, I think we would have had something for race winner Brad Leighton and Tom Carey."
Moore worked hard over the last 25 circuits to finish ninth and earn his second top-10 finish of the young season. Unofficially, Moore is seventh in the season point standings, 119 points behind leader Brad Leighton. "This was a pressure packed weekend for myself and our entire team," commented Moore. "I think all of us handled it very well, our team spirit was high all weekend long and this team really worked hard. We really learned a lot and look forward to our next Busch Series combination event at Nazareth later this month."
Kelly Moore and the LesCare Kitchens team will head to eastern Connecticut to tackle a 150-lap feature at New Thompson Speedway on Sunday, May 16. Moore's last win at the 5/8-mile track was 1994 and since that time has had mixed results. "We haven't really been on top of our game at Thompson the past few races", Moore continued, "Were going there with our old setup but will have to see what our chassis runs like with the Penske Shocks. We had a good run with the car at Lee but the tracks do not compare, so we certainly have our work cut out for us. Our team likes a challenge and they work harder and harder each race to get us on top."