UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series champion Andy Santerre concluded his dominant season on the track with an equally dominant night at the podium during the 17th annual Busch North Series Awards Ceremony...
UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series champion Andy Santerre concluded his dominant season on the track with an equally dominant night at the podium during the 17th annual Busch North Series Awards Ceremony Saturday evening at Mohegan Sun Resort and Convention Center.
In addition to the Anheuser-Busch trophy and NASCAR championship ring symbolizing his second straight Busch North title, Santerre collected the Powerade Power Move of the Race award for position improvement during the season. For the second straight year, he was voted the Most Popular Driver by the NASCAR membership, and the series officials selected him to receive the Sportsmanship Award.
Receiving awards as part of Santerre's championship team were car owner Joe Bessey, crew chief Roger Tryon, and engine builder Dennis Fischer, who earned the Clevite Engine Builder of the Year Award. In accepting the championship, Santerre revealed that the original proposal for his title-winning team from a year ago to combine with Bessey's operation would have found Bessey, a former Busch North Series runner-up and Busch Series race winner, in the drivers seat with Santerre as team manager. In the final agreement Bessey stayed on the business side and Santerre became the fifth driver to repeat as Busch North Series champion.
Martin Truex Jr. accepted his second consecutive Bud Pole championship, won by taking four poles in six races, and was encouraged by the other drivers at the podium to carry the Busch North banner in his 2004 Busch Series season with Dale Earnhardt Jr. Ryan Moore picked up his Raybestos Rookie-of-the Year hardware, and Joey McCarthy was honored as the Most Improved Driver by vote of the Busch North officials.
Runner-up Mike Stefanik, third place Mike Johnson, fourth place Brian Hoar, and fifth place Kelly Moore all addressed the audience, with the recent Toyota All-Star Showdown at Irwindale, California, and the Busch North Series victory in the team competition playing a prominent role in their remarks.
The first Bunk Sampson Memorial Award, presented by the family of the late Busch North Series director, was made to technical inspector and safety director Dick Girard, and the Busch North Series Auxiliary award for dedication to the series was given to Linda Austin of the Barney McRae team.
SPEED Channel broadcaster and former Winston Cup and Busch Series driver Phil Parsons served as master of ceremonies as over 500 competitors, sponsors, media, and friends of the series gathered in Mohegan Sun's Uncas Ballroom.