Watkins Glen, NY - Kelly Moore, driver of the LesCare Kitchens Pontiac, finished 34th on Sunday in the NASCAR Busch Series Lysol 200 race at Watkins Glen International. Moore and a handful of Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring, regulars made the...
Watkins Glen, NY - Kelly Moore, driver of the LesCare Kitchens Pontiac, finished 34th on Sunday in the NASCAR Busch Series Lysol 200 race at Watkins Glen International. Moore and a handful of Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring, regulars made the trip to the historic 2.45 mile road course to participate in the final Busch Series combination event of 1999.
While rain hampered the Craftsman Truck Series practice, the weather did clear in time for the Busch Series competitors to shake down their road course setups. Moore's Pontiac Grand Prix experienced engine problems during the Friday afternoon and Saturday morning practice sessions. The team decided that an engine swap was necessary and began the tedious task of exchanging engines.
The team did an excellent job in getting the Pontiac Grand Prix ready for qualifying but unfortunately ran out of time and missed their qualifying group. NASCAR race officials would not allow the team to attempt qualifying laps in the later groups. Moore took one of the three available provisional starting spots for the Busch North Series competitors, starting 44th on Sunday's grid. "The team did an outstanding job on the engine change, we simply ran out of time," said Moore.
With qualifying over, the team continued to check over the new powerplant and discuss possible chassis setup combinations for "happy hour" practice. During the final hour of practice on Saturday, Moore made more than 25 laps on the course and as the team fine-tuned the chassis, Moore continued to pick up speed; ending the session as the 15th fastest overall. "We made great strides during "happy hour"," commented Moore. "We just made subtle adjustments to the chassis after each run and they really improved the overall handling."
After a pre-race ride around the road course, Moore and the other 43 competitors took the green flag for the first of 82 laps that made up the Lysol 200. Moore gained momentum on the field within five circuits, moving up to the 37th position. The first of eight caution flags was thrown on lap 7. Moore pitted with others on lap 8 for fuel, while others took on some fresh Goodyear Eagles. Moore got back into a rhythm and by lap 12 had moved into 31st. Scott Gaylord and Tony Roper made contact entering the esses, and as Moore checked up to avoid the melee, got hit hard from behind and become the third victim of the lap 28 crash. There was significant body damage to the front and rear end of the Pontiac Grand Prix, but fortunately, no major damage was found in the engine compartment.
Moore brought the damaged car into the garage area and the crew worked feverishly to repair the car. "We knew we couldn't compete for the win but the attrition rate here is very high and we wanted to gain as many spots as possible on the track," said Moore. "Our team worked hard all week to prepare for this race, we also had some major hurdles here at the track but we overcame them all and made the show. LesCare Kitchen representatives and guests were present for the weekend and we wanted to show them that we have a race team that will work hard and not give up." Moore reentered the race on lap 37. During the last seven laps, Moore experienced severe brake problems and also battled the extreme heat conditions inside the race car. Moore finished 34th on the day, fourteen laps behind race winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr.