TSI Harley-Davidson 100. Photo by Howie Hodge.

After a near month-long break in the schedule, NASCAR’s Whelen Modified Tour returned to Stafford Motor Speedway for the running of the 19th annual TSI Harley-Davidson 100.

For the third stop on the 2009 schedule, 37 cars attempted to qualify for just 31 spots. Of the cars taking time, the No. 90 team posted the 21st fastest time of the session.

Following qualifying, while the cars were sent to impound, Renee went to Stafford’s midway and participated in an autograph session.

Set to start the 100-lap race on the favored inside line, the No. 90 car unexpectedly required the assistance of a push truck to get started following driver introductions. After the jump, the car appeared normal – then completely lost power as the field was coming to the green.

“I don’t know if the battery died – and I don’t mean lost its charge – or if we had a short in the main electrical switch, offered Renee (the team has since learned a plate in the battery was knocked loose as a result of the accident during the previous race causing the battery to short). “Regardless, it ended our day before we even made a single lap. We obviously had no indication of a problem prior to the start of the race.”

“I should have guessed the day would turn out like this,” she continued. “We were out in Chicago on Thursday night for a reception for our sponsor – UNION Insurance Group – and our flight out (on the first flight available on Friday morning) was delayed. Luckily, we got out – but our plan didn’t go smoothly. Then, once we got to the track, we had problems in practice.”

“The May Stafford race is always a short field and, in the past, we haven’t even qualified for this race. We’ve worked hard to better our performance at Stafford and to have this happen is frustrating, to put it mildly.”

With another lengthy break in the schedule, the team will next head to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the June 27 running of the New England 100 – a support race to the weekend’s headlining Sprint Cup race.