BNS: Nazareth: Greg Schaefer race report
Greg Schaefer puts on late charge to take eleventh at Nazareth. Greg Schaefer's visit to his "hometown" track of Nazareth Speedway found him having to work his way back from being nearly a lap down to come within striking distance of the top ten, ...
Greg Schaefer puts on late charge to take eleventh at Nazareth.
Greg Schaefer's visit to his "hometown" track of Nazareth Speedway found him having to work his way back from being nearly a lap down to come within striking distance of the top ten, but had to settle for his second eleventh place finish in the last two weeks driving his Rite-Way Electric Chevrolet. Schaefer now stands ninth in the NASCAR Busch North Series points standings.
Schaefer, from Hatboro, Pennsylvania, was one of the fastest in pre-qualifying practice, and was the fifth driver to take to the track to make his qualifying attempt. He wound up fourteenth out of the thirty-two cars in attendance.
"The car felt good, but I don't know if going out early hurt us," he said. "It certainly wasn't as good as it was in practice. We qualified in race trim so we're not going to change much now. We didn't do anything for qualifying except to tape off the grille.
"This isn't the easiest place to pass, so I'm a little concerned with starting where we will be," Schaefer continued. "Anything can happen. That's why we try to start up front, to make things a little easier on me."
Schaefer worked his way towards the top ten through the race's early laps, and took the second caution on lap 24. He pitted on the second lap the pits were open and Parks/Schaefer Motorsports team put on right-side tires and made a chassis adjustment. Schaefer exited the pits shortly before the race restarted and soon found himself being approached by the race leader, Paul Wolfe, who was threatening to put Schaefer a lap down. A caution for debris slowed the field and allowed Schaefer to stay on the lead lap, and he pitted for more fresh tires and got ready for the stretch run.
Restarting the race all the way back in twenty-third position, Schaefer picked his way through traffic and was sitting fifteenth before the first of two late-race yellows. He made the few remaining green flag laps count and was up to eleventh when the checkers flew. Schaefer knew the car was capable of moving up even further if there were more laps to run.
"Eleventh isn't that bad, considering what could have happened," he said after the race. "I got so close to losing a lap. We had a horrible pit stop and got out late, right in front of the leaders. Paul was really reeling me in, I didn't know if he was going to be nice or not. It didn't look like he had anybody behind him, and I was hoping he was going to cut me a break. But it didn't look like he was going to.
"We came in a second time, took right side tires and we were back to being fast," Schaefer continued. "It was real tight when we started, but we got it going a lot better. It seemed we were pretty much dead last before we got back up to eleventh, and I'm happy with that. I wish it was 150 laps, I think we could have got up into the top five somewhere, the car was coming on that well."
IMCA: Las Vegas Bullring standings 2002-05-19
SWS: Pikes Peak: Race report