Sean Caisse Settles for Second After Dominating at NHIS Sophomore Sensation Leads Most Laps Before Losing Lead on Last Corner CONCORD, NC (July 17, 2006) -- One quarter of a lap. That's how close Sean Caisse came to fulfilling his dreams ...
Sean Caisse Settles for Second After Dominating at NHIS
Sophomore Sensation Leads Most Laps Before Losing Lead on Last Corner
CONCORD, NC (July 17, 2006) -- One quarter of a lap.
That's how close Sean Caisse came to fulfilling his dreams of winning on the NASCAR Busch East Series' biggest stage, New Hampshire International Speedway. Caisse grew up in the shadows of the "Magic Mile," hoping to one day race at the 1.058-mile facility. He fulfilled that goal in 2004 when he made his first NHIS start, but going into Friday's New England 125 at NHIS, his best finish there was 21st.
From the time that Caisse and the Andy Santerre Motorsports unloaded the Casella-sponsored number-44 at NHIS, things were looking good for an improvement on that career-best finish. Caisse narrowly missed the pole, started third and led 95 of the 125 laps at NHIS Friday afternoon. He only needed to lead one-quarter of a lap more to claim the victory, but instead some severe handling problems late in the race due to a deteriorating tire allowed Mike Olsen to slip beneath Caisse for the New England 125 win.
Even though Caisse's hopes of winning at NHIS were dashed just a few hundred feet from the checkers, a strong second place finish after leading the most laps allowed the 20-year-old to close to second in NASCAR Busch East Series points.
"We had the dominant car all day," said Caisse. "I saw that yellow car [Olsen] in my mirror coming quick, but I was trying to save my equipment all day. I had built up a pretty good lead a bunch of times. I was just running about 70-percent and not trying to burn my stuff up too bad.
"Apparently something happened with about 15 to go. I don't know what happened, but something happened with the car that we weren't as dominant as we were before. I don't know if we just missed the setup or what, but still I'm just thrilled that we got another top-three finish and it was another great points run."
As the ASM team quickly noticed after the race, the reason for the ill-handling racecar was a worn-out right-front tire.
"The tire was to the core," said team owner and crew chief Andy Santerre following the race. "The last 10 laps Sean was just holding on. He did a great job all race long, especially in those last laps. He was doing everything he could but he couldn't keep the car on the bottom in that last corner. There was nothing he could do. He wouldn't have been able to go another lap or two with the tire the way it was."
Even though he wasn't able to win at NHIS, the second-place finish was no disappointment for Caisse. After suffering through a mechanical failure two races ago at Thompson, the driver who won the first two races of the 2006 season has since finished second at both Lake Erie last week and at NHIS on Friday, boosting him up to second in points.
"It's not all about winning races in this sport. It's all about being consistent, making good decisions on the racetrack and bringing the car home whole every single week is what's important. Of course, winning is pretty good to, don't get me wrong. But if we keep doing what we're doing we have a strong team that can get the job done.
"We finished second to Mike Olsen two weeks in a row, but we're going to go back to the shop to make sure that doesn't happen at Adirondack. We're running second in points now so I'm pretty pumped up about the rest of the season."
Caisse will be back in action to hopefully pick up that one more spot to get back into Victory Lane at Adirondack Speedway on July 29th.