Santerre extends point lead at NHIS Harrisburg, North Carolina -- Andy Santerre, driver of the ...
Santerre extends point lead at NHIS
Harrisburg, North Carolina -- Andy Santerre, driver of the #6 Aubuchon Hardware/Brickmill Marketing Services/Castle Chemical Chevrolet on the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series, finished 2nd in the New England 125 at New Hampshire International Speedway after a valiant attempt to score his 3rd win on the Magic Mile Saturday, July 19, 2003.
Santerre, a 10-year Busch North veteran, was fast off the truck, finishing no lower than 6th on the time sheet after each practice and backing his practice efforts up with a 4th place qualifying effort regardless of an early draw.
"I worked real hard on this car," Santerre admitted after qualifying. "It is a brand new car and I tested it here (NHIS) in June. I wasn't real happy with it so I took it back to North Carolina and worked hard on certain aspects of it. The week before we came to New Hampshire, the earliest I got home was 2:00 AM." Santerre continues, "We were good, but I wanted to be better, I wanted to be the best."
Santerre started the race on the outside of row two and gained a position on the first lap of the race crossing the stripe 3rd on lap one. He would never fall out of the top-four all day.
"We had a loose car at the beginning of the race," the 34-year old Santerre said. "I was betting the track would tighten up, but I was so loose at the start, that I had to make a chassis adjustment on my pit stop at lap 29." Santerre adds, "I should have left the car alone because the track did tighten up and I just couldn't get under the 56 for the lead."
Santerre battled in the 2nd position for most of the 125-lap event battling Martin Truex, Jr. on the inside several times in the closing laps, but never being able to complete the pass.
"I was just a little too tight when I got under Martin," Santerre explained. "I could get a run on him going into and through the corner, but just couldn't get on the throttle coming off the corner to complete the pass."
Truex Jr. and his team commended Santerre on his driving saying he could have turned them at any time during the closing laps of the race.
Santerre commented on their praise, "I probably could have gotten into him (Truex) and pushed him up the track, but I don't want to win a race that way. My competitors will race me the way I race them when I am leading. It is called respect and I have too much of it for myself, my equipment, and my fellow competitors to race dirty just to win a race." Santerre finishes, "I am looking at the big picture. I could have gone for the win, wrecked and ended up 30th . I finished 2nd , ahead of my competition for the Championship. At the end of the season, the Championship is our main goal."
Santerre extended his points lead by 161 over Rookie, Ryan Moore in the #74 Chevrolet (1335 to 1174 unofficially).
Santerre and his 6 Aubuchon Hardware/Brickmill Marketing Services/Castle Chemical crew will head to Waterford Speedbowl for the Waterford 150 next weekend to continue their efforts toward defending their 2002 Championship.
For more information on Santerre and the Bessey Motorsports team, visit his website at www.andysanterre.com.