Dale Quarterley Gets Second Straight Top Ten At Phoenix With Sixth Place Finish In NASCAR West Series Competition (Phoenix, Ariz. - April 21, 2005) - Dale Quarterley, making his second NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series start of the ...
Dale Quarterley Gets Second Straight Top Ten At Phoenix With Sixth Place Finish In NASCAR West Series Competition
(Phoenix, Ariz. - April 21, 2005) - Dale Quarterley, making his second NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series start of the season at the one-mile Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway, improved on his eighth place finish from January's United Rentals 100 by finishing sixth in Thursday night's Casino Arizona 150. Quarterley led ten laps of the race, the first lap he's led at the track.
Quarterley, driving the No. 32 NortheastMortgage.com/EDART Chevrolet that won in NASCAR Busch North Series competition last year at New Hampshire and Dover International Speedways, paced practice early before other teams started making mock qualifying runs. Fifth overall in the final practice standings, Quarterley prepared for qualifying where he took the third starting position.
Settling into second place and chasing down early leader Burney Lamar, the Westfield, Mass. driver got the better of Lamar after a lap 31 restart to claim the top spot. He held the lead for ten laps before Lamar reassumed the lead. At that point, Quarterley sensed the car's handling had changed.
"We were leading and I was just starting to get a little tight coming up off the turn," he said. "We decided that, when the caution came out, that we'd stick a spring rubber in the right rear to free the thing up."
That opportunity came on lap 67, and Quarterley's crew, with help from members of Joe Gibbs Racing's Busch Series teams, changed four tires and added that spring rubber. Returning to the race in third place, Quarterley was set to resume his battle for the lead with half the race still to come. But then he received some news that proved to be unsettling.
"The car was a little bit on the free side and it just got worse and worse," he said. "Ten laps into that run, they came over the radio and said that the right front tire they took off the car was going flat. The push I was experiencing before the pit stop was from the tire going flat, not that the car needed to be adjusted. So when we adjusted the car, we adjusted it right out from being competitive."
Despite Quarterley's car not being a winning car, it was still good enough to survive the rest of the race, including a pair of green-white-checker finish attempts, in sixth place.
"It was a winning race car," he said. "It was like a car I had at Loudon or Dover. But once we figured out the problem, we were so deep into the race that we didn't dare to come back in and then have to come up through the field, though in retrospect with all the yellows we had, we probably could have. You can't predict how many cautions you're going to get, though, since when we were here in January we went the last 70 laps without a caution.
"We're still learning stuff, though, and hopefully it'll help me start our season off at home a little stronger than we have in the past. Every other year we struggle to start the season off, but now with a couple of races under our belts already we should be in a better position to start off the Busch North season," Quarterley concluded.
His attention now shifts to the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series season, which opens its campaign on Sunday, May 15th, at Lee USA (N.H.) Speedway.