BUSCH: Gateway Andy Santerre Likes His Own Car

Santerre finds success in his own car By Shawn A. Akers MADISON, Ill. (Oct. 16, 1998) Andy Santerre just couldn't get it out of his blood. While his primary job is to drive the No. 47 Monro Chevrolet in the NASCAR Busch Series...

Santerre finds success in his own car By Shawn A. Akers

MADISON, Ill. (Oct. 16, 1998) Andy Santerre just couldn't get it out of his blood. While his primary job is to drive the No. 47 Monro Chevrolet in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division, he still has the desire to help build race cars, something he did on a regular basis while running for years in the Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring. Earlier this season, Santerre built a car for the Monro team with his own money, and it's become one of the best cars in the team's stable. It has already won a Bud Pole for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate, and on Friday, Santerre earned another top-10 start when he placed sixth in Bud Pole Qualifying for Saturday's CarQuest Auto Parts 250 at Gateway International Raceway. It's the third time the team has run the car this season. The first time, Santerre won the Bud Pole at Richmond International Raceway in September and had his best finish of the season, 10th. The team took the car to Dover the following week as well and Santerre qualified sixth. Mechanical problems relegated him to a 38th-place finish. With limited resources, building his own cars was a necessity for Santerre in the Busch North Series. "That's the way things were back then, and I really enjoyed working on and be able to be a part of building the cars myself," said Santerre, who turned a lap of 131.326 mph Friday -- briefly setting a track record before five other drivers broke it. "Earlier this year, I got the itch to build a car of my own, with my own money. I told (team owner) George (deBidart) that I would do it, and if it ran well, we'd talk about him buying it later. "As it turns out, it's run very well, and we're very happy with the way it has performed. Getting our first pole at Richmond and finishing 10th has been the highlight of the year for us. I guess we ought to bring this car around more often." Santerre is the leading candidate for Raybestos Rookie of the Year heading into Saturday's event at Gateway. With 1,636 points, he leads Wayne Grubb by 248 points and Dave Blaney by 280 points with four races left in the season. Santerre has had a pretty fair rookie season. The finish at Richmond has been his only top-10 effort of the year, but he has had several other solid efforts, including an 11th-place finish at Bristol in April and a 12th-place at Watkins Glen in the Lysol 200 in June. "We've had a pretty up-and-down year, that's for sure," Santerre said. "We started off pretty well, then we went into sort of a tailspin in the middle of the season and we had a lot of problems. Recently, though, I think we've done pretty well for ourselves, with the exception of Charlotte (where he failed to make the field for the All Pro Bumper to Bumper 300). "We're looking pretty good for the rookie deal, but it's certainly not over by any means. We know we have to go out there and perform because of the way the points are set up. We may be ahead by a good margin, but that can still change over the course of the last four races. Hopefully we can be pretty solid in the last four races and get a couple of top-10s and finish up the season pretty well."

Source: NASCAR Online

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