In just his third start in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Dale Quarterley got past the weekend’s dominant car of Todd Szegedy with three laps remaining and captured the checkered flag in the inaugural Lime Rock 100 at Lime Rock Park.
Szegedy, the Coors Light Pole Award winner on Friday, led from the start of the race, and at times drove away from the field. Following a caution on Lap 56, Quarterley restarted fourth when the race went back green on Lap 59. He then worked past Ted Christopher and Mike Stefanik and was able to make the winning move on Szegedy in Turn 1 on Lap 63.
Quarterley, from Westfield, Mass., made his first Whelen Modified Tour appearance since 2008 as he drove the No. 52 Furnace & Duct Supply Chevrolet this weekend for car owner Wayne Darling.
An accomplished road racer, Quarterley had two previous wins at Lime Rock in NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races. On Saturday, while in third with 20 laps to go, he pitted for tires while the rest of the leaders stayed on the track. It proved to be the difference as he was able to knife through the field in the last third of the race.
“There was no way I was going to beat [Todd] Szegedy and Teddy Christopher with what I had left, between coming through the field the first time, we just used up too much tire,” Quarterley said of his late-race pit stop. “They [No. 52 team] came here to win, they’re only on a limited schedule, and that’s all they cared about. So it was a no-brainer, the second the caution came out, we were pitting and we knew it.”
Szegedy wound up second, followed by Ron Silk, Ryan Preece and Christopher in the top five.
Szegedy, who also has a road racing background, was on cruise control throughout the event, but wasn’t able to finish off what would have been his first win since 2008.
“I set my own pace – I took it easy the whole race – but when you’re up against new tires, you’re not going to beat him, I don’t care who you are,” Szegedy said. “Dale [Quarterley] is a heck of a driver. The car handled awesome, the crew did a heck of a job of setting the car up. The balance was perfect – everything was perfect – you just can’t keep up with fresh tires like that.”
A road course rookie, Silk more than held his own throughout the race weekend, and the third-place effort was his best finish so far this year.
“For a guy like me with no experience on anything like this, I’m so happy I feel like I won the race,” Silk said.
Stefanik, Chuck Hossfeld, Ed Flemke Jr., Jamie Tomaino and Wade Cole brought home the top 10. Seven of the top-10 finishers at Lime Rock had previous NASCAR Modified road racing experience.
Saturday was the second top-10 finish of the year for Cole, which marked the first time in the veteran’s extensive career he has recorded more than one top 10 in the same season.
Points leader and winner of three of the first five races of the year, Bobby Santos finished 17th after he suffered a late-race flat tire. He retains a 74-point lead after six races with Szegedy now up to second in the standings. Christopher slid one spot to third and Preece is now up to fourth.
Saturday’s Lime Rock 100 was the Whelen Modified Tour’s first road course race since 2000, and just the seventh in the 26-year history of the division. The previous six took place at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.
“I think the whole race went well,” Szegedy said. “It was a good day I think, and I hope to see us run some more road races.”
The Lime Rock 100 will air on SPEED on Thursday, July 22 at 6 p.m. ET.
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour-Lime Rock 100 Unofficial Results
At Lime Rock Park
Lap length: 1.5 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (6) Dale Quarterly, Westfield, Mass., Chevrolet, 66 laps, 65.335 mph, $6,900.
2. (1) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn., Ford, 66, $4,100.
3. (8) Ron Silk, Norwalk, Conn., Chevrolet, 66, $3,000.
4. (7) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Chevrolet, 66, $2,500.
5. (2) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 66, $2,450.
6. (4) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Pontiac, 66, $3,000.
7. (9) Chuck Hossfeld, Ransomville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 66, $2,200.
8. (18) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn., Chevrolet, 66, $2,100.
9. (21) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 66, $2,750.
10. (22) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 66, $1,900.
11. (13) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Chevrolet, 66, $1,900.
12. (23) Danny Knoll, Jr., Buffalo, N.Y., Chevrolet, 66, $1,700.
13. (19) Renee Dupuis, Glastonbury, Conn., Chevrolet, 66, $1,600.
14. (17) Glenn Tyler, Hampton Bays, N.Y., Chevrolet, 65, $1,540.
15. (24) Jake Marosz, Middletown, Conn., Chevrolet, 63, $1,525.
16. (3) Erick Rudolph, Ransomville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 63, $1,490.
17. (10) Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass., Dodge, 62, engine, $1,575.
18. (14) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 61, $1,640.
19. (25) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Chevrolet, 53, accident, $1,440.
20. (16) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 46, $1,440.
21. (11) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 41, engine, $1,840.
22. (5) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 28, $1,440.
23. (12) Richie Pallai, Jr., Yorktown Heights, N.Y., Chevrolet, 23, engine, $1,540.
24. (15) Kevin Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 20, engine, $1,440.
25. (20) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 20, engine, $1,540.
Time of Race: 1 hour 30 minutes 55 seconds
Margin of Victory: 0.784 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: T.Szegedy (101.697 mph, 53.009 seconds)
Caution Flags: 5 for 21 laps.
Lead Changes: 1 among 2 drivers.
Lap Leaders: T. Szegedy 1-62; D. Quarterly 63-66.
Standings: 1. B. Santos, 1012; 2. T. Szegedy, 938; 3. T. Christopher, 926; 4. R. Preece, 879; 5. M. Stefanik, 878; 6. R. Silk, 792; 7. J. Bonsignore, 743; 8. W. Pitkat, 727; 9. C. Hossfeld, 695; 10. R. Pallai,Jr., 695.