NHIS BUSCH NORTH LEFTOVERS by Mike Twist and Bob Dillner
Ryan's Performance Brings Different Opinions, Tracy's Tight and More
MOORE A PROUD FATHER AFTER RACING SON
For the middle part of the race, it was a two-horse fight between Kelly Moore and his son Ryan for the lead. The duo raced hard with plenty of side-by-side and nose-to-tail action. Kelly dropped to second place at the finish and Ryan fell to fifth, but the experience of running together was a good one for the Maine family.
“It’s hard to rate something like that,” said Kelly Moore. “It’s one of those things that you always want to do but you have to get both teams working together and both cars running as good as you can. That doesn’t happen every week. It might happen in one of 50 races. So far, it’s only happened in one of our 50 races. Hopefully, we can do this week in and week out.”
The elder Moore might have not agreed with all of his sons
moves on the racetrack, but he also realizes that every time
out is a learning experience - for both drivers.
“I asked him, ‘why did you keep pressuring me?’, but I’m
Kelly Moore (#47) runs with Brian Hoar (#45) early at NHIS. His favorite battle of the day was against his son later on. (51 Photo)
still learning every time that I go to the racetrack. He’s21 years old, so he’s learning every time he goes to the track as well,” said Moore. “He had a tight racecar and I could see that up ahead. I was learning what moves that he would make ahead of me. He’s going to school right now and he’ll be up in the big leagues really quick.”
SANTERRE AND RYAN MOORE DICE IT UP
In was a close race at the finish line for Andy Santerre and Ryan Moore. Moore’s car had its handling going away and Santerre was quick near the end. There was a little bumping and banging between the two drivers before Santerre inched ahead at the finish.
“Ryan’s car got away from him; it got real tight during that last caution,” said Santerre. “I had him passed once and he shut the door. I didn’t want to hit him because he was having a great day. I told his spotter during that last caution, if I get my nose in there, don’t chop me off, I don’t want to spin you. So Ryan apologized, he said he didn’t know I was there because he was having radio problems.”
That was not the end of the battle however.
“I got another run on him and we were battling it out those last few laps,” said Santerre. “Marquis got a run on both of us because Ryan was stopping in the turns. Jerry got by us and I knew I had to get by Ryan to get a fourth out of it. He gave me a body-slam coming to the start-finish line. I don’t know what that
Marquis was a darkhorse at New Hampshire, but finished third. (51 Photo)
Marquis played a waiting game in the race and made his moves near the finish.
“These guys were slowing me down a little bit getting in and I saw there was no pressure from behind so I needed to do something,” Marquis said. “That’s when I went to the outside. You gotta race and that’s what we did. Andy and the kid in the 74 (Ryan Moore) are good people to race with and they gave me plenty of room.
YOUNG MOORE QUICK AT NEW HAMPSHIRE
Although he dropped to fifth at the finish, Ryan Moore looked to have a winning car for much of the race. He led with ease in his #74 car and the young charger showed that he was comfortable out front on a one-mile track.
“It was wild,” said Moore. “We had a decent car at the beginning of the race and then we came in and adjusted on it and we made it even better. We charged to the front and we got in the lead. I thought we had it won because the car was running so good. All of a sudden, it just gave way; it got awful tight on us. I was going through the corners and it was so tight that everything, the dash, the windshield, was
all vibrating. I don’t know what happened.”
GORDON IS TIGHT IN #33 DEBUT
A tight racecar did not agree too well with Tracy Gordon, another driver to make his first Busch North start of the season at New Hampshire. Gordon drove his #33 car to a 17th- place finish.
The wrecked cars of John Blewett (#77) and Todd Szegedy sit in the infield. (51 Photo)
was all about. I passed him clean coming off of four, so that kind of surprised me. Ryan’s a good friend of mine, I’m sure he was frustrated because his car went away. I’ll make him come down and pop the dents out of it.”
Moore realized that he was getting physical at the end, but saw no other option for a good finish.
“We had to try to hang on and get a top-five and that’s what we did,” said Moore. “We had to do a little blocking at the end and I hate to do that. With 50-laps to go I’m not going to, but with four laps to go I’m going to do everything I can to hold my position. You gotta do what you gotta do for your sponsors when it comes down to the end. I don’t think Andy was happy. I got loose coming off of four on the last
lap there and I was either going to lift and lose a couple more spots or keep my foot in it and get into him a little. That’s what I did. You can’t give an inch.”
MARQUIS QUICK AT END, FINISHES THIRD
NASCAR Modified Series regular Jerry Marquis made his third Busch North start of the season at New Hampshire. He did it in style by working his way up from a 13th starting position to finish third after 125 laps of competition.
The good finish required some work to get there from his #52 Darling Motorsports team.
“The car was way too tight the whole day,” said Marquis. “We stopped twice to try and free it up and we did it. We were using this race as an experiment and it worked. We don’t run the whole series; this is only the third time we’ve run this racecar this year so everything we do it an experiment. They didn’t like the front-end on this car so they changed it like three times until they got it right. That’s all they did during the winter is work on this car to get it how they wanted it. We finished third here in Loudon, that says a lot for this team.
GALLO NOTCHES TOP TEN IN FIRST START OF ‘04
Not only did Mike Gallo make his first start of the season, it was also only the second start ever for his Jim Burgess-owned #88 team. Gallo shares the seat with Bryan Wall, who runs the car on the Busch North road courses at Lime Rock and Watkins Glen.
Gallo run in the top ten all day long and finished there as well. His road to the finish wasn’t without trouble though.
“I could have been and should have been a heck of a lot better,” said Gallo. “Getting spun, getting blocked and coming from the back to finish ninth - but how can I complain? We had a top five car and I can’t be any more thrilled for my race team. We finished in the top ten in our second time out. We’ve been in the hunt all week. We have a car to come back with and we’ll build on this.”
FULTZ HAS OBSTICLES AT NEW HAMPSHIRE
“We had it good in happy hour and then we put some springs to it and sh_t and it made it wicked tight in the race,” said Gordon. “The only one tighter than me was Tom Carey and I know because I was following him. We had our wheels turned so far, you couldn’t go anymore. They (the crew) said maybe you need to turn the wheel even more and I was like, ‘Nah.’ I was not a happy racer today. We screwed up somewhere between happy hour and the race.”
Gordon, who has won in Busch North with his own equipment, is now driving a limited schedule for Fred Skaff’s team.
“We learned a lot today,” said Gordon. “We’re working hard
The #33 team of Tracy Gordon pits for adjustments at New Hampshire. (51 Photo)
and these guys are a hard working bunch of people. That’s one thing that I can say. They want to finish up front and I want to finish up front. There sure wasn’t a lack of effort today.”
Despite being back in the pack, Gordon still felt racy.
“I could see them up front, but there wasn’t much that I could do about it,” said Gordon. “Tom Carey and I had a battle for 15th. A top 15 doesn’t do much for me and Tom doesn’t run like that either, but we’re optimistic for the next time that we come here.”
CAREY GETS BACK TO BUSCH NORTH WITH SOUTHERN RIDE
Tom Carey made his first NASCAR Busch North Series start of the season. The Massachusetts native and seven time race winner is now living in Mooresville, North Carolina. Dave Davis, well known for hanging bodies on racecars in various NASCAR upper level divisions, was the car owner for Carey’s
#03 entry. It was an operation with a shoestring budget.
“We’ve only had four guys here all weekend,” said Carey. “This is being done out of Dave’s pocket and we are all working our normal jobs and doing this at night. It’s hard to run against these guys because they are tough competitors. You really need to be on your game to get up front.”
Despite finishing 14th, Carey enjoyed his race weekend.
“It feels good to be back,“ said Carey. “We just couldn’t get a handle on the car all weekend. We learned something with the tires that was different from last year and we just couldn’t get a good combination together.”
Andy Santerre nipped fourth place away from Ryan Moore at the end, but he didn't get the spot easily. (51 Photo)
Jeff Fultz had a tough weekend at New Hampshire. The NASCAR Southeast Series point leader hopped into the #77 car, but ran into one problem after another in the 125 lap race.
“The right front shock fell off at the beginning of the race,” said Fultz. Then it was so tight and it was bouncing around, it was almost impossible to drive. I was just trying
to get a decent finish for them and then the rear-end blew
up. We’ll try again; we just need to be a little bit better
prepared for next time.
Fultz was credited with a 33rd-place finish. He also competed in the NASCAR Modified Series event, but dropped out with mechanical problems in that race as well.
POLESITTER STRUGGLES WITH HANDLING
Polesitter Mike Olsen struggled in the race with an ill handling racecar. He led the first five laps, dropped back and ended up finishing eighth.
“We guessed on the set-up a little bit,” said Olsen. “We started off free thinking that the track would tighten up and it never did. We burnt a right rear off. We had to come in and put on two right sides and tighten the car up a little bit. After that it wasn’t bad.”
STEFANIK SIXTH AFTER CORRECTING HANDLING TROUBLES
It was a busy day for Mike Stefanik, running both the NASCAR Busch North race and following it up with a 100-lap NASCAR Modified Series event.
Stefanik’s Busch North race was an uphill fight with a decent finish of sixth. He improved his finishing position with a third place run in the Modified race.
“We got loose, blistered a right rear and then we tightened it up and we went too much,” said Stefanik. We went from one side of the fence to the other. It was a long day to a sixth place finish. They coaxed me home and we just loaded her up in the trailer to come back another day.”