Rockingham: Series race report

Caisse Wins Career-1st at Rockingham; Schrader Runs Out of Gas ROCKINGHAM NC (4-19-09) - Veteran Ken Schrader dominated the Carolina 200 Sunday at Rockingham Speedway, but it was rookie Sean Caisse who walked off with the winner's ...

Caisse Wins Career-1st at Rockingham; Schrader Runs Out of Gas

ROCKINGHAM NC (4-19-09) - Veteran Ken Schrader dominated the Carolina 200 Sunday at Rockingham Speedway, but it was rookie Sean Caisse who walked off with the winner's trophy. Schrader, after leading 185 of 200 laps, ran out of gas with less than three laps to go, opening the door for Caisse who sailed on through and into victory lane to earn his career-first victory in his sixth series start.

"Well I can say I've lost a lot of races before, not necessarily running out of fuel but tires going down or something; but I've never won a race this way," said Caisse, who only led three laps all day. "I can tell you it feels just as good."

Caisse, in the Venturini Motorsports Texas Corral-PME Engines Chevrolet, battled and chased Schrader all afternoon but could never find a way around the Fenton, Missouri driver until Schrader's tank ran dry.

"I won the race but I didn't beat him (Schrader). He was doing such a great job with throttle control. I did get to race him side by side for the lead. It would have been a lot sweeter if we could have all made one more pit stop and battle for the win to the end."

Schrader, who made it to pit road, lost a lap in the exchange and returned to finish seventh.

"They (Caisse/Venturini Motorsports) were the best car for 200 laps and that's what matters," said Schrader. "I didn't expect to go without a yellow for that long. I started conserving with about 40 laps to go but it wasn't enough. I am proud of the show the ARCA Series put on today."

Patrick Sheltra, in the BuckedUpShirts.com Dodge, finished second after leading eight laps. The Indiantown, Florida driver also snagged the point lead away from Justin Lofton, who went five laps down after an unscheduled pit stop relegated the Westmorland, California driver to 22nd in the final running order.

"The win last weekend got everything going and this whole program is building up momentum," said Sheltra. "The racecar wasn't used up as much as the tires were. The tires do wear quickly here so you have to have your stuff together. We came back from that penalty around lap 60 and I'm very proud of the guys. It's still early to be talking about the points but hopefully we can keep the momentum rolling heading into the rest of the season."

Matt Merrell, in the Win-Tron Racing ColinsHope.org Dodge, finished a career-best third.

"Just fighting through some lapped traffic," said Merrell. "Nothing like putting a Rockingham stripe on the side of your car. Any laps you can get here is very beneficial for you in terms of gaining racing experience. These tires wear down so much more than the Late Model I raced here and so we just put it to the line for the entire time."

Bryan Silas, in Andy Hillenburg's Rockingham Speedway-Holland Pumps Chevrolet, finished a career-best fourth from the tail-end after changing a transmission in post qualifying.

Penske Development driver Parker Kligerman, in the Cunningham Motorsports Dodge, finished fifth. Kligerman also left the track tied for the lead in points with Sheltra.

The ARCA RE/MAX Series heads to Talladega Superspeedway next for the ARCA RE/MAX 250 Friday, April 24.

-credit: arca

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Ken Schrader , Andy Hillenburg , Bryan Silas , Justin Lofton , Sean Caisse , Patrick Sheltra , Parker Kligerman , Matt Merrell