KOBYLUCK DOMINATES BURNHAM HYDRONICS 200K PRESENTED BY MOHEGAN SUN AT LIME ROCK PARK; SANTERRE MOVES CLOSER TO CLINCHING FOURTH STRAIGHT BUSCH NORTH SERIES TITLE LAKEVILLE, Conn. -- Matt Kobyluck led all but a dozen laps of Saturday's Burnham ...
KOBYLUCK DOMINATES BURNHAM HYDRONICS 200K PRESENTED BY MOHEGAN SUN AT LIME ROCK PARK; SANTERRE MOVES CLOSER TO CLINCHING FOURTH STRAIGHT BUSCH NORTH SERIES TITLE
LAKEVILLE, Conn. -- Matt Kobyluck led all but a dozen laps of Saturday's Burnham Hydronics 200K presented by Mohegan Sun at Lime Rock Park's 1.53 mile road course, but the Busch Pole winner had to hold off a closing charge by Mike Olsen to record his fourth NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series victory of the season. He became the circuit's leading winner and visited victory lane at the third different Connecticut track in 2005.
Joey McCarthy, point leader Andy Santerre, and Mike Stefanik completed the top five, with Eddie MacDonald, Bryon Chew, Bill Penfold, Dale Shaw, and Sunoco Rookie leader Sean Caisse finishing sixth through tenth. All the top three overcame major obstacles to their success. Kobyluck damaged his road race prepared car by hitting two deer who crossed the track during an open practice session at Lime Rock Tuesday before the race, Olsen was spun out during the middle stages of the race, and McCarthy did major front end damage in a Friday practice accident.
Once the track opened on Friday, Kobyluck's weekend became nearly perfect. He won the Busch Pole by a decisive margin, pitted under the green flag after leading the first 14 laps, and was back in the lead by lap 25 after the pit stop cycle was complete. Brian Hoar, whose car sustained heavier damage than Kobyluck's in the Tuesday practice incident, took the lead for two laps before breaking an axle, but otherwise Kobyluck was comfortably in command until Olsen turned up the heat in the last six laps. Kobyluck clinched the win when he prevented Olsen from trapping him behind a lapped car with two laps to go. His margin of victory was 0.636 seconds.
Eight caution periods for 36 laps held Kobyluck's winning pace to 69.645 miles per hour. There were seven lead changes among six drivers and 14 of the 25 starters completed all 82 laps. Dale Shaw advanced from the tail of the field to finish ninth, earning the POWERade Power Move of the Race Award, while Eddie MacDonald topped his finish from one week ago in Dover, Del., by 20 places to claim the Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award.
The Busch North Series title race moved closer to a decision as Ryan Moore, after qualifying second, fell to a 13th place finish and dropped from second to third in the standings, while Santerre and Stefanik posted top five runs. With one race remaining, Santerre leads Stefanik by 75 points and Moore by 94 in search of his fourth straight title. The championship will be settled next Saturday night at Thompson International Speedway in Thompson, Conn., in the rescheduled New England dodge Dealers Twin 100, a doubleheader with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.