Joe Masessa Enjoys First NASCAR Showdown Despite Accident

(Irwindale, Calif. - Nov. 12, 2005) - Joe Masessa, of Franklin Lakes, N.J., completed his rookie season of NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series racing with the running of the Toyota All-Star Showdown in Irwindale, California. Masessa, driving the No. 0 North Jersey Dermatology Center/BSB Medical Services Chevrolet, finished 26th after being eliminated from the race in a lap 127 accident.

Masessa earned his way into the annual Busch North vs. West Series Showdown based on his nineteenth-place points finish in the regular season. He finished eleventh in his qualifying race on Friday, completing all fifty laps, which gave him the 22nd starting position in Saturday night's 150-lap feature event.

Despite going down a lap to the leaders before the fifty-lap mark, Masessa earned the beneficiary under a lap 61 caution and returned to lead lap status. He raced into the top twenty, running sixteenth when the race was stopped on lap 100 for a scheduled ten-minute break for teams to work on their cars. Resuming the race, he again set off for the top fifteen.

He was still sixteenth on lap 127 when four cars ahead of him tangled going into turn two. Masessa could not avoid the incident and glanced off one of the stopped cars.

"I hit it hard and then I hit the wall, and that tore the oil filter off the front of the car and that was where the fire, came from," he said after the race. "I pulled it over and was told to get out because there was a fire. That's where my day ended."

Masessa was unhurt and the fire was quickly extinguished, but the No. 0 car suffered sufficient damage that it could not return to competition. He was classified 26th in the final rundown.

"We started out pretty well, starting working my way to the front. I lost some positions during the course of the event, but I went right back to work getting them back. I had a super car, it was lightning fast and could have gotten all the way to the top ten.

"It was a great, great race car tonight and I passed a lot of cars tonight," Masessa continued. "It wasn't a bad showing coming out here with just two or three crew members at the end of my first year of Busch North. I had a great time, a great season, and I can't wait for next year."