BRYON CHEW WINS FIRST BUSCH EAST SERIES RACE IN THRILLING FINISH WITH MIKE JOHNSON AT HOLLAND; THIRD PLACE MIKE OLSEN CLOSES ON POINT LEADER SEAN CAISSE HOLLAND, N.Y. -- Bryon Chew scored his first NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East ...
BRYON CHEW WINS FIRST BUSCH EAST SERIES RACE IN THRILLING FINISH WITH MIKE JOHNSON AT HOLLAND; THIRD PLACE MIKE OLSEN CLOSES ON POINT LEADER SEAN CAISSE
HOLLAND, N.Y. -- Bryon Chew scored his first NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series victory after six years of trying Saturday night at Holland International Speedway, leading only three laps of the Fuccillo Auto Park HUGE 150. Dueling side-by-side with leader Mike Johnson on a restart at lap 145, the Long Island driver finally claimed the lead for good on the white flag lap, winning by 0.221 seconds. Mike Olsen edged Tracy Gordon for third and closed to within 22 points of leader Sean Caisse, who placed eighth.
Caisse won his second consecutive Busch Pole award and led the first 63 laps, seeking a historic third straight win to open the season. Then Olsen, looking for his first wins since 2003, caught Caisse and the pair swapped the lead five times during the middle stages. With less than 40 laps to run Johnson, locked out of victory lane since 2004, surged to the front, only to be overcome by Chew on the decisive restart. Gordon, the last Busch East Series driver to win three in a row back in 2000, was a swift mover in the closing laps but ran out of time to mount a challenge for his first win since 2002. MacDonald's fifth pace run was his best with the new team he formed on the eve of the season opener.
Gordon won the POWERade Power Move of the Race Award for advancing 11 positions from start to finish, while Johnson captured the Featherlite Most Improved Driver award for turning around a miserable finish at Stafford Motor Speedway one week ago. For the first time, John Freeman was the leading Sunoco Rookie contender.
Four drivers- Caisse, Olsen, Johnson, and Chew- traded the lead nine times as nine caution periods slowed the action for 47 laps. Of the 26 starters, 23 were running at the finish with 15 on the lead lap. There were no significant incidents as all three retirements were due to mechanical issues.
The Busch East Series resumes action Thursday night, June 29, at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway in a doubleheader with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.