It has been said that statistics are for losers, but the stats on Saturday's winners are pretty impressive... Mike Stefanik's win was his 11th in the Busch North Series, and his 77th in NASCAR regional touring series competition, including a ...
It has been said that statistics are for losers, but the stats on Saturday's winners are pretty impressive...
Mike Stefanik's win was his 11th in the Busch North Series, and his 77th in NASCAR regional touring series competition, including a record 66 in the Whelen Modified Tour. While there's no formal record for regional touring series wins, Stefanik's total exceeds any driver among the currently operating regional series. As a point of comparison, Mark Martin has 80 NASCAR national series victories among the NEXTEL Cup Series (34), Busch Series (45), and Craftsman Truck Series (1). That's impressive company, even if it's only on the stat sheet.
Stefanik's Busch Pole was his ninth overall and his first since this same race in 2003.
Grizco Racing, which Steve and Peg Griswold brought to the Busch North Series in 1996 with Brad Leighton, scored their 21st win and their first with a driver other than Leighton, who departed after 2002 but has returned in 2005 for a limited season. With Stefanik and Santerre on board for the full campaign, plus Leighton for seven races, there should be more to come.
Meanwhile, Jerry Babb reached victory lane in just his second race as a Busch North Series crew chief.
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The name "Burnham" is perhaps the most recognized sponsor in the Busch North Series, winning two titles with Mike Stefanik driving Mike Greci's H&H Motorsports team in 1997 and 1998, and also backing Bryan Wall and Brad Leighton to many wins before Stefanik donned their colors again in 2003. For 2004 there's a subtle change as the #55 is now sponsored in the name of Burnham Hydronics, reflecting the wider scope of the Lancaster, Pa., boiler manufacturer's business.
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Matt Kobyluck was the show at Holland as he raced side-by-side with Andy Santerre for second place, with a challenge to Stefanik's leadership tantalizingly close. "We ran 40 to 50 laps door-to-door with each other and there's not a scratch on either of our cars," he related, adding, "That what this series was built on and that's what's going to get people coming to our races. They want to watch that kind of racing." While the tire smoke from a spinning car caused Kobyluck to back off and lose second, it was accidentally hitting the ignition kill switch while reaching for another control that broke off his challenge.
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Mike Olsen also reported hitting the kill switch early in the race when the steering wheel was ripped from his hands by contact with another car. Olsen pitted under the first caution to reset his steering wheel. He advanced from 26th to sixth before a late spin dropped him to 12th.
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Joey McCarthy won his only Busch North Series race to date at Holland in 2003. After a 12th place run in 2004, he again showed his affinity for the western New York oval by charging from 14th to fifth in the Fuccillo Auto Park HUGE 150, earning the POWERade Power Move of the Race Award, worth $1,000.
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Sean Caisse was the top Sunoco Rookie Contender for the second straight race and also picked up his first career top ten finish. Car owner Barney McRae knows a little about running for rookie points- he was second in the 1990 rookie race. Who won that rookie title? A guy named Ricky Craven, who would win the Busch North Series crown the following year befoe bursting onto the national stage he has never left.
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MILESTONES... Besides Caisse, John Salemi (18th) enjoyed a best career finish... A bumper crop of first-time starters made the field at Holland: Tim Bainey Jr. (17th), Rocky Moran Jr. (20th), Rich Gould (21st), Joe Masessa (23rd), and Rob Humphreys (25th). All but Humphreys were running at the finish... Bainey's father is a former ARCA driver... Moran made his debut on race later than expected after the car did not appear at Stafford. Ironically, his usual racing class, Toyota Atlantic single seaters, were running 150 miles down the lake shore in Cleveland .. You can add one more profession to those represented in the Busch North driving ranks, which have included in the past a former NFL linebacker (Joe Pezza) and the bass player for a 1970's British pop group (Rob Wilson). In real life, Sunoco Rookie contender Joe Masessa is a dermatologist, i.e., a skin doctor.