BNS: Loudon: Race notes

LOUDON, N.H. -- It was a 600-horsepower chess match as Martin Truex Jr. held off Andy Santerre and Brad Leighton in a tense battle over the final 75 laps to win the New England 125 NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race at New ...

LOUDON, N.H. -- It was a 600-horsepower chess match as Martin Truex Jr. held off Andy Santerre and Brad Leighton in a tense battle over the final 75 laps to win the New England 125 NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race at New Hampshire International Speedway Saturday afternoon.

Bud Pole winner Truex led all the lead lap cars but one into the pits for their only stop under caution at lap 29 and emerged third behind Dennis Demers, who did not stop, and Ryan Moore, who was first off pit road. He quickly passed Moore, bringing Santerre with him, but a series of caution flags kept Demers out front until a lap 47 restart when Truex, Santerre, and Moore surged past.

Santerre forced his way inside Truex at the halfway mark and the pair ran side-by-side for two full laps before Truex was again able to establish his lead. Santerre would make several more challenges entering turns one and three, but never again came as close to seizing the lead.

Leighton qualified third in the debut of his new team, but the seven-time NHIS winner didn't become a factor until he passed Moore for third with 25 laps remaining. He easily ran down the leaders, recording the fastest lap of the race on the 104th circuit, but neither Truex nor Santerre made the mistake which could have shuffled the deck.

Ryan Moore finished fourth in his first superspeedway race, moving into second place in the Busch North series point standings. Mike Johnson, who crashed his primary car in the morning practice session and started from the tail of the field with his back-up machine, charged through the field to fifth, with Mike Olsen, Dale Quarterley, Dave Dion, Tom Carey, and Brian Hoar completing the top ten.

Truex earned $13,550 for his second victory in four years at this event, which his father also won in 1994. He averaged 90.119 miles per hour, recording as margin of victory of 0.211 seconds. Five caution periods slowed the field for 38 laps, as 28 cars were running at the finish with 18 on the lead lap. Seven cars were retired with accident damage, five of them coming from single-car incidents. The only multi-car accident occurred just past the flagstand on lap 24 as Paul Wolfe was forced sideways by contact with another car, and Matt Kobyluck was left with nowhere to go. Kobyluck hit Wolfe's car on the right side at nearly racing speed, but both drivers walked away from their wrecked cars. For Kobyluck, the resulting 38th place finish dropped him from second to seventh in the Busch North Series standings.

Two Winston West Series drivers made the cross-country trek to compete at NHIS, with Brandon Miller recording a 14th place finish and Jack Sellers 25th. Tom Carey earned the PowerAde Power Move of the Race Award, and Ryan Moore was the Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Race. The Busch North Series moves back to the short tracks next Saturday night for its annual appearance at the Waterford Speedbowl in Waterford, Conn. Santerre holds a 161-point lead over Ryan Moore, who in turn leads his father, Kelly Moore, by 23 points.

TIME OF RACE: 1 hour, 28 minutes, 3 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 90.119 mph
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.211 seconds
CAUTION PERIODS: 5 for 38 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 2 among 2 drivers
LAP LEADERS: Martin Truex Jr. 1-29, Dennis Demers 30-46, Truex 47-125

BUD POLE AWARD: Martin Truex Jr., SeaWatch Chevrolet (30.340 seconds @ 125.537 mph)
POWERADE POWER MOVE OF THE RACE AWARD: Tom Carey, Sta-Rite Water Systems Chevrolet
RAYBESTOS ROOKIE-OF-THE-RACE AWARD: Ryan Moore, Snow's/Castleberry's Chevrolet
CLEVITE ENGINE BUILDER OF THE RACE AWARD: Martin Truex Sr. (owner), SeaWatch Chevrolet <pre>

UNOFFICIAL BUSCH NORTH SERIES POINT STANDINGS (wins) 1. Andy Santerre (3) 1335 2. Ryan Moore 1174 3. Kelly Moore 1151 4. Dale Quarterley 1127 5. Mike Stefanik 1126 6. Mike Johnson 1120 7. Matt Kobyluck 1082 8. Mike Olsen 1054 9. Eddie MacDonald 1050 10.Brian Hoar 1048 11.Joey McCarthy (1) 1047 12.Tim Andrews 1034 13.Dave Dion 1021 14.Bryon Chew 936 15.Kip Stockwell 851

UNOFFICIAL RAYBESTOS ROOKIE-OF-THE-YEAR POINTS 1. Ryan Moore 76 2. Tim Andrews 73 3. Mark Durgin 56

NEXT EVENT: Waterford 150, Waterford Speedbowl, Waterford, Conn. Saturday, July 16

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