NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL DIVISION, BUSCH EAST SERIES POST-RACE NOTES Pepsi Busch East 100 Thompson International Speedway, Thompson, Conn., Thurs., June...
NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL DIVISION, BUSCH EAST SERIES POST-RACE NOTES
Pepsi Busch East 100
Thompson International Speedway, Thompson, Conn., Thurs., June 29, 2006
BIG MATT TAKES OUT THE BROOM: Matt Kobyluck and the No. 40 Mohegan Sun Chevrolet completed the sweep of all tracks in his home state with his Thompson victory. Last year alone he conquered the Stafford and Waterford ovals, his home tracks during his weekly racing days, as well as the Lime Rock road course. But the Big T had always eluded him, with a best, until now, of fourth in 2003.
A WHOLE NEW BALLGAME: Kobyluck's win combined with Sean Caisse's 28th place finish put a new spin on the Busch East Series point race with four of 11 races completed. Kobyluck went from 48 points behind Caisse to a 58 point advantage. Caisse is now fourth in the standings, also trailing Mike Olsen and Bryon Chew, with Charles Lewandoski close behind..
But Andy Santerre, owner and crew chief of the No. 44 Casella Waste Systems Chevrolet, is a four-time champion, and in the first (2002) and last (2005) of those titles he came from behind to claim the crown. In both those years he overtook Matt Kobyluck for the point lead.
WELCOME CASH: For the first time in 2006, the top 20 Busch East Series teams will enjoy a payout of $50,000 from the championship point fund based on the first third of the schedule, which ended at Thompson. A similar distribution will be made after eight races based on the standings at that time, with the balance of the point fund as well as contingency awards paid out at the end of the year.
Point leader Matt Kobyluck will pocket $10,000 from the first-leg payout, with Mike Olsen receiving $5,000 and Bryon Chew $4,500. Rich Gould, in 20th position, is in line for $1,000.
MARCHING FORWARD: It was a terrible start to the Pepsi Busch East 100 for Rich Gould, Patrick Dupree, and Eddie MacDonald. Gould required a push start and dropped from his 15th qualifying position to the tail of the field. Dupree was turned around as the green flag dropped and watched the whole field put him a lap down while pointing the wrong way. MacDonald, the second fastest qualifier, stopped on the track during the caution for Dupree and was pushed to the pits with apparent electrical problems, losing three laps. Yet all three made something of the night. Gould recovered to a career best 14th, Dupree was 18th, and MacDonald soldiered on to 20th.
WRONG DIRECTION: John Freeman and Joe Masessa suffered the opposite fate, watching good performances slip away in the closing laps. Masessa slid down the grass along the back straight in a shower of spray on lap 81, coming to rest in a muddy spot which trapped him for four laps until he could be towed out. Doctor Joe's car was undamaged, but a potential top-15 became a 22nd place finish. Under the caution for Masessa's misadventure, Freeman cut a right rear tire and pitted, dropping from the top ten to 19th.
DOUBLE DUTY: James Civali retuned to the Busch East Series on a busy day, driving both his family's Busch East car and the Don King entry in the companion NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Thompson. A 12th place qualifying effort came to naught in the Pepsi Busch East 100 as he was eliminated in a lap 27 accident, but he ran a strong third in the modified event.
ABSENCE EXCUSED: One of the popular faces in the Busch East Series garage area every week is Kim Griffen, owner of record and team manager for her brother Scott Bouley's No. 26 Towne & Aurell Excavating Chevrolet. Kim was missing from Thompson, but with good reason.. Her husband and family surprised her with a trip to Disney World as a birthday present. Scott, after a spell behind the wall, brought the "plum crazy" Monte Carlo 23rd in Kim's absence.