NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL DIVISION, BUSCH NORTH SERIES POST-RACE NOTES Local Dodge Dealers 150, Lake Erie Speedway, North East, Pa., Saturday, July 9, 2005 Ryan Moore had the post-race ritual all set for his first Busch North Series win, which was...
NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL DIVISION, BUSCH NORTH SERIES POST-RACE NOTES
Local Dodge Dealers 150, Lake Erie Speedway, North East, Pa., Saturday, July 9, 2005
Ryan Moore had the post-race ritual all set for his first Busch North Series win, which was also his first on television thanks to HDNet's live coverage. He stopped at the flagstand, did a burnout from turn one back to victory lane, and leaped triumphantly from the car. The release of emotion was natural given the number of near-misses he's had in his two-plus years on the circuit. He wasn't starting the celebration early, though.
"The last five laps I was just praying," he confided. "It seems we've had so many close calls in the past that I wasn't going to be satisfied until the checkered."
While Ryan and the uniformed Moore Racing crew were celebrating, a familiar figure in street clothes stood off to the side with a smile. Kelly Moore was enjoying his son's victory too, but he's been there 26 times, so he didn't need to crash their party. And don't call Kelly "retired"- he pulls the belts tight again in the famous 47 car this week at NHIS, looking for win number 27.
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Consistency makes champions. That's as close to a universal truth in racing as you will find. It also describes why the top five in the current Busch North standings are Matt Kobyluck, Mike Stefanik, Andy Santerre, Mike Johnson, and Dave Dion. Those five drivers, in the first three races, account for 11 of a possible 15 top-five finishes. The only drivers outside the "Fab Five" to account for a top-five run are Jerry Marquis, Ted Christopher, Joey McCarthy,and of course, Ryan Moore. Dion, 11th at Stafford, is the only one of the quintet to post a finish outside the top ten.
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The Barney McRae-Sean Caisse combination is clicking better every week. After 14th in the opener at Stafford, they have reeled off tenth at Holland and eighth at Lake Erie to move Caisse into the top ten in the Busch North Series overall standings, while leading the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contest by six points over Charles Lewandoski. The only rookies to finish in the top ten in overall points during the last ten years are Brad Leighhton (5th in 1996) and Mike Johnson (8th in 2000)
According to racing historian Rick DeBour, eighth place ties the best finish by the Motion Racing #5, set by McRae at Star Speedway in 1990 and repeated by Ron Lamell at Monadnock Raceway in 1991.
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Dale Quarterley was absent from a Busch North Series race for the first time since 1998, breaking one of the longest active streaks of consecutive races in the series. He had been in a virtual tie with Kip Stockwell for second behind Mike Olsen on the active list. With time and personnel in short supply, Quarterley cancelled his Lake Erie entry in order to work on his NHIS car in preparation to defend his 2004 victory at the New England 125. His absence dropped him from 11th to 18th in Busch North Series points, with only the top 15 to earn invitations to the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown at Irwindale Speedway in November.
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MILESTONES... Marriage apparently agrees with Kip Stockwell. A week after walking the aisle, he walked off with ihs first top-ten finish since 2002 and the POWERade Power Move of the Race Award... Along with Ryan Moore and Sean Caisse, best career finishes were recorded by John Salemi, Joe Masessa, and Rob Humphreys... On the other hand, Eddie MacDonald and Joey McCarthy suffered their worst outings of the year... A streak which continued was a larger field of cars at every Busch North Series race in 2005 than at the corresponding event in 2004. Lake Erie's 24-car field was the largest in the three-year history of the event... Finishing percentage for the series in the first three races of 2005 is 86.1 percent, with 68 of 79 starters seeing the checkered flag.